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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.
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Blogging, Caroline, Divorce, milestones, Moving, NICU/Prematurity issues, Pregnancy, Preschoolers, Residency, School, Single Parenting, Toddlers, Travel | Categories:
Caroline, Dental School, Divorce, Must Read, NICU/Prematurity issues, Pregnancy, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance
Monday, June 11th, 2012
I’ve been dealing with an awful lot of Mom Guilt lately.
Here’s the deal: I’m coming up on the end of my residency (only two more days!). In order to finish early, I had to switch a bunch of call, so I’ve been on call approximately one billion times in the last few weeks. There have been a few days in there where I would be at the hospital until 10pm or later, go do my grocery shopping, come home and pass out for a few hours, and then drag Caroline to daycare at 6:30am to be in the operating room by 7. This past Sunday, I saw 17 patients and didn’t get home until it was almost Caroline’s bedtime.
I would complain that my own kid doesn’t even know me anymore, but the fact that she’s repeatedly begged me to “stop fixing so many teeth, Mama, please” is evidence enough that she’s well aware of who I am and exactly how much of a workaholic I am, to boot. Some nights I call to check on her and my mom will tell me “she’s doing great” so that I don’t worry, but in the background I hear “am I going to Mama’s house soon? Is it time for Mama yet?”
Feels good to get it out, though, even if there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment. And while we’re at it, I have a few other things I’d like to get off my chest. That’s right! It’s time for True Confessions: Mom Edition. Here’s how this works: I publicly post a bunch of stuff that I’d normally never tell anybody, ever, and then you do the same in the comments. K? Good talk. Don’t let me down, ladies.
Here we go:
I’ve had an open container of cooked egg noodles sitting next to the carseat for four days.
Those AAA batteries you gave my kid with her birthday gifts? Not a single one of them was used to power her toys, if you catch my drift.
I got fed up with Dora the Explorer, so Caroline thinks she’s been “sleeping” since sometime around February 2011. I have also been known to tell her that Yo Gabba Gabba is “broken”.
I have brought her to daycare looking like this, because I didn’t have the energy to fight her:
When she asks me what my wine is, I tell her it’s “Mommy tea”. And yes, the liquor store is the “Mommy tea store”. And she comes with me when I go there. Frequently.
Those fruit snacks and Kraft mac and cheese in the shopping cart are for me.
When I get tired of reading her books over and over, I hide them and tell her they’re at Daddy’s house.
I have occasionally bribed her with candy to stay in the jogging stroller so that I can get a workout in.
If people come over on short notice, I throw all her toys in the shower so that my house looks clean.
When she wakes up at 5am on weekend mornings, I have been known to drag her into my bed, hand her a bowl of dry cereal and my iPad, and pass out cold next to her until she shakes me awake again.
So, what about you? Time to share in the comments! Don’t leave me hanging, here…
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Caroline, On-call, Preschoolers, Residency, Single Parenting, Toddlers | Categories:
Caroline, Must Read, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance
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.
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Apartment, Breakups, Caroline, Dating, Dentistry, Friends, milestones, Moving, Private practice, Residency, Single Parenting | Categories:
Caroline, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
So lately I’m scrambling to get my life together for the next year-ish plus, including but not limited to:
1) Finding a job (or several part-time jobs) in private practice,
2) Finding a new apartment,
3) Finding a new preschool,
4) Sorting out the latest complicated situation in my personal life, which for once I don’t feel like discussing here (hey, there’s a first time for everything, right?),
5) Not attending the purse party (this one was critical), and
6) Figuring out a plan for long-distance visitation, since Tyler is moving to D.C. and Caroline and I are staying here in New England.
Yep… lots of changes happening around here.
I have several interviews and prospects lined up for number one, numbers two and three are dependent on the location of number one, number four is just depressing me and you’d probably all judge me for it anyway, number five is very much completed, and number six is undetermined right now. Which is where you people come in.
Tyler and I have always known we would eventually have to figure out some kind of plan for long-distance visitation. He is a paleontologist, and there are very few job openings for that, so he will likely always live far away from us. He’ll be going from postdoc to postdoc for a number of years, but once he settles down permanently, I’ll consider relocating to where he is for Caroline’s sake.
Until then, I have no idea how to work this– try to stick to the current every-other-weekend schedule? Figure out several longer periods of visitation, spaced farther out over time? Who will be responsible for traveling with her, and how will we work out who covers what? I don’t want to just leave it up to him and not have a plan, because I’m pretty sure he’ll slowly fade out of Caroline’s life… and they’ve gotten so much closer lately, and it’s been so good for her.
(Selfish full-disclosure time: it’s not just about Caroline. I’ll admit that I’m freaking out a bit about the potential of going back to the solo parenting gig, because that was a tough road. I love my daughter, but she is quite the handful at this age and I need a little bit of a break. My parents are fantastic and will always help me out, but Caroline needs her father, too, and he has responsibilities that he should be fulfilling no matter where he lives. So, we need a plan.)
Any suggestions? How do you and your ex handle long-distance coparenting? And if one of you moved and you changed your visitation schedule drastically, did you actually modify your court order, or just work it out between you two as a verbal agreement?
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Caroline, Custody, Divorce, Moving, Residency, Single Parenting, Tyler, Visitation | Categories:
Caroline, Divorce, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance
Thursday, April 19th, 2012
I made my decision about what to do with my life. Finally. After this, I will quit talking about it. Promise.
I told myself the other night that once Caroline was in bed, I was going to sit down on my couch and figure out what I was doing once and for all. I’ve been going around in circles for months and nothing is going to change, I’m not going to have any sudden epiphanies… I needed to just sit down and reason it out and decide.
So I did.
I’m not joining the Army. I’m not moving to DC with Tyler, where he’s accepted a postdoctoral position. I’m not staying here in my apartment, either. I’m going to look around New England for jobs, try to stay within a reasonable distance of my family and friends so that I don’t lose my support system, and I’m going to move wherever I find a job that I am happy with. And because my program director was kind enough to offer, I’m going to stay in my residency until the end of the summer to take the pressure off of immediately finding a new job (and apartment, and preschool).
It is somewhat disappointing to let the Army thing go, but more of a relief, really. I don’t want a legal battle with Tyler, which he threatens on and off, I don’t want to be incredibly far away from my family and friends, I don’t want to risk being sent away from my daughter to serve in a war that my hippie self will undoubtedly not believe in… I don’t want to be away from her at all, really. I guess the truth is that as the reality of the situation approaches, and sets in, that career choice is not worth the sacrifice to me. I will still be a dentist no matter what I do. And if the idea of nine weeks away from her for training makes me want to cry, then I can’t even imagine up to a year or more of deployment…
Whenever I am faced with a decision in my life, I think I am often drawn to do the crazy thing. The thing that most people are afraid to do, or wouldn’t choose. I take a lot of pride in it, for some perverse reason. I’m afraid that this is one of those things that I would do simply for the reason that it is different, and that I would regret it (and its effect on my daughter), and I’d still have years stretching out ahead of me with an unbreakable commitment to the military…
I made list after list and thought about pros and cons and all kinds of logical things. And it helped me make the decision, I’ll admit. But what I couldn’t get out of my head was this:
I had picked Caroline up from Tyler’s place on Sunday afternoon after she had spent the weekend there. I was giving her a bath that night, and from out of nowhere she looked at me and said, “At night time at Daddy’s house, when it starts getting dark, I sit on the rug and I think about Mama.”
I can’t risk leaving her. I just can’t. Not for my career. Not for anything. She would be traumatized and I would be miserable.
Maybe I’m finally growing up. (Just kidding. That’ll never happen.)
I do need a change, though, so I’m going to move somewhere else in New England. Honestly, if Tyler were moving permanently to DC, I would probably pick up and move there too, just so she could have as full of a relationship with her father as possible. But even he admits that he is most likely going to bounce from postdoc to postdoc for years on end, so I am going to put off relocating with him until he’s settled down, and then I’ll see where I’m at in my life and reevaluate the situation.
It feels good to have a plan, and one that I am happy with. I came within mere inches of doing the crazy thing, but I am turning my back on it and walking away. It sounds a little anticlimactic from the outside, maybe… but I think it’s the perfect solution, and I couldn’t be more at peace with the whole thing.
I get to have my new start, and I don’t have to leave my baby. I don’t know why it took me so long to get here, but I’m glad that I did, in the end.
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Apartment, Caroline, Custody, Dentistry, Divorce, Military, Moving, Residency, Single Parenting, Tyler, Visitation | Categories:
Caroline, Must Read, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance