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Sunday, September 9th, 2012
Well… it’s about that time.
I’ve been blogging for over four years, and for over a year here for Parents. It’s been an interesting and, at times, a pretty amazing ride. I’ve written about anything and everything, been on some awesome trips, received my share of hate mail, been published on and linked to from places like Yahoo!, Shine, and Time.com, and corresponded and shared my life with some pretty incredible people.
I have honestly enjoyed sharing my life with all of you. Opening up about all of my experiences– the good, like giving birth to Caroline, graduating dental school, and finding a job… and the bad, like Caroline’s hospitalization, my postpartum depression, and my divorce– has been exciting, cathartic, therapeutic. But with my new start here in a new state with a new job and a new home, the time has come for me to move on.
I’ll admit that part of it is that I’m simply burned out on the criticism and hateful email that I seem to get no matter what I write. It is not easy to share as openly and publicly as I do, and I might just not have the backbone for some of the responses that I get anymore. Having a job as a “real” dentist also means that I need to be a little more careful and professional about what I put out there on the internet, know what I mean? I’ve always written whatever I feel about whatever’s on my mind, and if I have to constantly censor myself or worry about what I’m writing, then I’d rather just not write at all… or at least not write so publicly. I also feel like I don’t have as much to say as I used to, and I really only enjoy blogging when I have something interesting to say.
I guess what it ultimately comes down to is, I just need my life to be a little more private right now.
I appreciate, from the bottom of my heart, all of you who have read and loved my blog, whether you’re a new or longtime reader; whether you’ve read occasionally or never missed a post. Your kind words and support got me through some tough times, your advice helped me make some tough decisions, and what some of you have shared with me, in return for all I’ve shared, has touched my life as I hope I’ve managed to touch some of yours. My favorite part has been the emails and comments I get from other single parents who have been inspired by what I’ve written to make changes in their lives, to go back to school, to move on, to find happiness again. I’ve appreciated every word from you, more than you know.
Thanks for laughing and crying with me, everyone. You might see me again on the internet someday, in a more anonymous or private space…you just might not know it’s me.
Categories: Caroline, Dental School, Divorce, Must Read, NICU/Prematurity issues, Pregnancy, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance | Tags: Blogging, Caroline, Divorce, milestones, Moving, NICU/Prematurity issues, Pregnancy, Preschoolers, Residency, School, Single Parenting, Toddlers, Travel
Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
Well, we’re all moved in up here in Massachusetts, and it’s safe to say it’s been… quite the adjustment for Caroline.
We’re pretty much unpacked, which helps some. I made sure that her room was completely set up the first day I moved, before my parents even brought her to the new place, to give her some sense of stability.
I got the rest of the house set up as quickly as I could for the nanny, who started with two 12-hour days immediately after we moved in. Sigh… I think that was a mistake on my part. The house was in a state of chaos, the days were long, and they had only met each other once before. I should have done half days at work or something rather than my usual 11-hour Monday and Tuesday. By Tuesday afternoon, Caroline was a mess, and I had to hand off my 6:00 patient to one of the other doctors so that I could come home early. After two days at home with me, she was better, but it’s still just… a lot to handle. She’s insecure, going through a lot of transitions, and no nanny in the world, no matter how awesome, is going to take the place of her mom right now.
At least having the nanny start immediately after a move has set the bar pretty low for my housekeeping (or lack thereof) for the rest of the summer. (Silver lining?)
All in all… I’m happy to be here, and to be starting out on our new life, but… I am tired, you guys. I just started a new job, Caroline is so clingy and freaked out by the move that the only time I really have had to unpack is after she’s in bed, so it’s been slow going and I haven’t sat down in about a week. My feet are so swollen that I only have a couple of pairs of shoes I can wear, and she doesn’t sleep much at night so she’s either thrashing around in my bed with me, or running screaming down the hall to my room because she wakes up and doesn’t know where she is.
My bedroom, of course, is the only part of the house that’s a wreck at this point. I’ll get to it when I get to it. My room, and my feet, and in general my sanity, are the least of my worries right now.
I repeat. I am tired. I have no help– my parents are in Ireland, Tyler is gone, and I can’t possibly ask the nanny to do more than I already do.
Once we’re completely set up, and she’s adjusted, it will be fine. It will be pretty much perfect. I have an amazing job and a paycheck and awesome coworkers and a great new place to live. We’ve just got to get through this transition period… and I need to sit down, and sleep for more than 45 minutes at a stretch. Which I will do. Sometime. Soon.
Any advice on helping a child adjust to a new home, state, childcare situation, diet, father who’s moved away, and/or all of the above, would be much appreciated.
Saturday, July 14th, 2012
Tomorrow is Moving Day. Goodbye Connecticut, hello Massachusetts. Caroline and I are outta here.
First of all, I need to just get it off my chest that moving out of state with a three year old is most definitely not a one-person job. I can confirm it. I’m so deliriously tired that I probably will not even remember writing this post after tonight. It’s been kind of a perfect storm of craziness around here these days. I started my new job in private practice two weeks ago, I’ve been painting the new place and packing to move, Tyler hasn’t been around and won’t be again, Caroline is leaving her old preschool and I’m having a new nanny start, and I had to radically change Caroline’s diet. She is kind of a mess, I’ll be honest with you. She doesn’t do well with transitions. And we’re dealing with a lot of them, all at once.
“Kind of a mess” in preschooler terms translates to constantly throwing tantrums, screaming NO regardless of what I’m saying, clinging to me with a death grip, and unpacking everything I try to pack. Thank goodness for my parents. They live an hour away, but they are there when I need them. I literally could not have done this alone.
But now everything is packed, and the movers are coming tomorrow, and we are leaving this place for good. This living room is soon to be empty again. Even though Caroline’s lived her whole life here so far, I have to say I won’t miss it.
I’m ready for my fresh start.
I absolutely love my new job. It couldn’t be a better fit for me, honestly. Everyone there is so nice, the practice runs so smoothly, and I feel like I am doing good work for good people. I’m only working three days a week, so I have a lot more time to spend with Caroline than I did during residency. I got my first paycheck, so money is no longer a constant stress. Our new house is bigger and brighter than our tiny dark apartment, and has a yard for Caroline to play in.
It was not easy for me to finish dental school in the middle of a divorce and with an unexpected baby and to go through a residency as a single mother. But I did it, and I’m proud of it, and I feel like all of my hard work is finally paying off… for me, and for my daughter.
I’m pretty sure that once things settle down, there won’t be a whole lot more we could ask for. So hold on, Caroline. I haven’t quite got things put together yet… but we’re headed for a better life.
Categories: Caroline, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance | Tags: Apartment, Caroline, milestones, Money, Moving, Nannies, Preschool, Single Parenting, Tyler, Visitation, Work
Monday, June 18th, 2012
With my residency complete, my next task has been to focus on finding a nanny in Massachusetts to take care of Caroline for the summer before her new preschool opens.
(Side note: this new preschool is totally badass. It’s a Montessori school where she can take Spanish and music and art and yoga and Zumba. Not joking. I basically want to go to it myself and send Caroline off to work in my dental office to support us. I mean, she’s already got the scrubs. But I digress.)
Faced with this task, I tackled it with my usual crazy-intense full-tilt totally-inappropriate approach: I went all in, you guys. I did nanny speed dating.
I used Care.com to post an ad for a nanny (did not include Caro’s Tumblr, though I should have) and was promptly overwhelmed by over thirty applicants for the job. In all seriousness, that website is great. The vast majority of the applicants were well-qualified and seemed very nice, and they do the background checks for you. No, I’m not getting paid by them to write this– it’s just the truth.
Problem is, with all those applicants and all the online dating I’ve been doing lately, I was afraid I was going to mix up my accounts and start hitting on the nannies and trying to hire the single men. Which I’m pretty sure is illegal in at least 48 states. (Although, wait a minute… that actually sounds like a more successful dating strategy than anything else I’ve tried lately…)
Anyway. I managed to narrow the field to six potential nannies, and scheduled to meet all of them in half-hour blocks this afternoon. Let’s just pause for a minute and discuss how incredibly awkward I am and should never be allowed to interview anyone for anything, ever.
Okay, good talk. Glad I could share that with you guys.
It was a rather tedious afternoon of saying the same thing over and over and asking the same questions over and over, trying to politely dismiss them before the next one walked in while we were chatting. One of the nannies actually called me out on it:
Me: (glancing at the door) Okay, well, thanks for coming by! I’ll be in touch about the position. Nice to meet you!
Her: Are you cycling all your potential nannies through here this afternoon, like, one right after another?
Me: What? No. (guilty look)
Her: (irritated) You’re doing this like speed dating, aren’t you?
Me: HAHAHA! That’s exactly what this is like! That’s hilarious! I love it!
Her: ::blank stare::
Yeah, I didn’t hire her. I don’t think we’re that compatible. We’d never work out in the long run. We just want different things, you know? (It’s not her… it’s me.)
In the end, I found a great girl to come and hang out with Caroline this summer while I’m working, and hopefully help ease her transition to a new home, a new preschool, her father moving away, and whatever else we have in store for us. Speed dating was a pretty efficient way to find her, too. And now it’s on to the next task: moving to a new home, with a three year old in tow, and no help.
Anyone know of a speed dating service for movers?
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Well, after all kinds of back and forth and craziness regarding my future employment, I can finally say that I’ve settled on something and gotten a job.
An awesome job. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s about as good as this whole “job” thing gets. (I wouldn’t know. I’m 28 and have been in school for-literally-effing-ever, so I have never had a real one before.)
I’m going to be an associate at a private practice in Massachusetts, about 45 minutes from where Caroline and I live now. It’s a busy and successful practice with two other super-nice young doctors who also have kids, the office is beautiful, and my hours are perfect: Monday and Tuesday 8-7, and Friday 8-5. I’ll have to find a sitter I trust to pick her up on my long days, but this will leave me four full days of the week to spend with Caroline. And this poor child has been in daycare from 7:15am to 5:30pm nearly every day of her life since I went back to dental school and then residency, two and a half years ago. I am so excited to actually make a comfortable living and still be able to spend more time with my daughter… particularly since her father is moving eight hours away, and I’m sure she’s going to be somewhat… out of sorts.
Basically, it’s my dream come true, I think. I have worked so hard for this.
So all of that is a huge relief and very exciting. I’ll be finishing my residency at the end of June and starting at this practice in early July, assuming I can get a Massachusetts license by then, because as it turns out, it is the most giant pain in the butt ever to acquire a Massachusetts dental license. I need to pass a physical and take a legal exam and get a passport photo taken and donate a kidney and give up my firstborn child and wait, I’m not even sure what we’re talking about anymore, but all of that seems reasonable, no? Thanks a lot, Massachusetts. We might never be friends.
Caroline and I also found the most adorable house for rent ever, located in a fancy-pantsy town nearby, so we are waiting to hear back about whether or not we are cool enough to live there. I suspect we might not be, seeing as how I have been known in the past to forget to pay my bills until whatever I’m not paying for gets shut off (well played, cable company) and I am a scandalously single young mom. But, we will see.
So, things are looking pretty good for me and Caroline these days. As my friend says, “Great kid, great job, great future– only one piece is missing now, Jules…” She means men, of course, and although I have pretty phenomenally terrible luck in that category, I’m sure that someday, all of that will work itself out, too.
And if it doesn’t? That’s okay. Because I’ve got my dream job… and I’ve got my baby.
Categories: Caroline, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance | Tags: Apartment, Breakups, Caroline, Dating, Dentistry, Friends, milestones, Moving, Private practice, Residency, Single Parenting