Saturday, March 27, 2010

Conflict and compromise

There's no denying it. It is just easier when one parent stays home. I wish I could be that person. I tried. I wasn't happy. And already we are dealing with the new challenges this arrangement presents.

The boys have been sick on and off for a few weeks. Of course that meant sleepless nights for all of us, but the added dilemma of what to do with them during the day. With R, we just pushed through, dropping him off at the sitter and keeping him filled up with baby Tylenol.

Q was a different story. He was coughing and feverish and his throat hurt. We kept him out of preschool for a couple days, but he still went to the sitter's. On Wednesday though, we decided he was too sick, and needed to stay home. And there begins the problem. Who stays home with him? I argued I was in first month of work with a couldn't-be-missed training. T said he had a super-important meeting. We both stressed. We both got annoyed at the situation and each other.

Eventually, we figured it out. T stayed home in the morning, and I slipped out of work for the afternoon. I wasn't comfortable with it entirely, but it had to be done.

This will all get easier in a few months when I am comfortable and established in my job, and not afraid of looking like the person who is always leaving to deal with family issues. T will soon be the boss, which will bring advantages and new challenges. He will have the latitude to create his own schedule but a host of new responsibilities to juggle.

There's no doubt life would be infinitely simpler with me at home. No doubt who would stay home with sick kids and drive them to school and make lunch and schedule doctors appointments. Simpler, but not happier for me.

So we'll make it work with some challenging compromises along the way.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Over my head

I'm used to being somewhat smart in most groups. I did well in high school. I was above average in college. Broadcast news doesn't exactly attract rocket scientists, so I could hold my own there. But now I am dealing with the uncomfortable feeling of being one of the dumb ones.

I now work for a software company. Who would have thought it? I am not entirely computer-illiterate but mostly so. My strengths are writing and speaking. The numbers and technology part of my brain is shriveled and practically bloodless.

So as I sit in class and the person next to me rolls their eyes at the simplicity of the lesson, I wrack my brain to understand this foreign language being spewed at me.

And I'm not even in the technical side of things. So far I have passed two exams (We have to take many weeks of classes, pass several exams, and submit a few projects). That makes me a feel a little better. I haven't taken exams in ages, and now the stakes are a lot higher than just getting an "A" in a class.

So lately I have sort of a constant anxious feeling. Wondering if I will be able to learn all this and get it all done quickly. Nervous that I made a bad decision accepting such a challenging job. Unsure of what's coming next.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Asleep at the wheel

For as long as I can remember, I have had a sleeping problem. If my body is tired, it will just go to sleep. Doesn't matter what I am doing, reading, studying, driving, I will start to fall asleep. This is a huge pain.

I rarely get the requisite eight hours of sleep. Who does? I think I could actually sleep about 16 hours of day in fact, if it were socially acceptable (in my next life I want to be a cat). So, my body always seems to think it needs to sleep. I am endlessly jealous of those people who say they only need four or five hours of sleep. That would be so liberating!

I would fall asleep virtually the moment a video started during a high school science class. I slept after every section of the P-SATs. I would stop in the library during college for an hour-long nap in a cushy armchair between classes. I think I slept through 98% of the lectures in History of American Journalism. I used to have to stop multiple times for quick naps in rest stops in my 500 mile drive home from college.

Driving is obviously the worst and scariest. If someone else is driving, no problem. I am happily snoring in the passenger seat. But if I am driving, this is clearly a bigger problem. I pump the radio, open the window, chew gum, but still drowsiness slips in, and I find myself napping in a parking lot. The advent of cell phones was probably literally a life-saver. Now I call T and say, "Talk to me, I'm falling asleep!"

I can sleep anywhere, anytime. On a plane, a bus, slumped over a chair in the airport. It's a gift really.

This has been quite problematic during my first weeks of work. I am trying to get at least six or seven hours of sleep, but I have to get up before 5:00 a.m., and we have a steady stream or crying, fussing children in and out of our room all night. The result is a painful wake up call in the morning, a steady stream of caffeine throughout the day until my belly aches, and struggling to stay awake during eight-hour training sections.

It may surprise you, but training on software is not always riveting. I have found myself nodding off virtually every day this week and last. I look around the room, and no one else seems to be having this problem. It is embarrassing and frustrating. I can't be missing pertinent information, and I notice people looking at me curiously.

Friday I got to sleep in till 6:00 a.m. because I didn't have any early morning exercise classes. I felt bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with a minimum of caffeine-support, and only yawned a few times throughout the day. It was lovely.

I need to just make sure I am in bed early and asleep quickly with a minimum of distractions, because these narcolepsy-like tendencies appear to be mine for life. But something always seems to get in the way (Facebook, American Idol, random Googling...)

And now if you will excuse me, I am going to take a nap.


Sunday, March 7, 2010


Whew. That was an exhausting week. My new job is equal parts amazing and scary as hell. As I mentioned before, the standards and expectations are very high. People seem to put in long hours and high performance is demanded of them. Everyone is Type A, and I worry I will struggle to keep up rather than stand out. On the other hand, the company is incredibly successful, the cafeteria food is insanely good while ridiculously cheap, the health insurance is wonderful, and there are two coffee shops on campus. So there are a few nice perks.

Another thing, it is a campus. Multiple big buildings with huge underground parking lots. I have been in classes all week, trooping from my office to the training rooms, to the cafeteria. I have gotten lost about a dozen times, randomly wandering around and going up and down flights of stairs until I stumble upon my destination.

I have that uneasy feeling right now like I am standing on a rickety platform in choppy seas. I can't get my bearings. I am notoriously directionally-challenged, and anyone would have a hard time on this campus. And, the volume of information and what I will have to know and what I will have to be able to teach to other people is quite daunting. I wish I was myself three months from now, comfortable and well-trained.

My strengths are writing and organization and public speaking, and that's why I was hired. But a lot of emphasis is of course on technology and my head swims when the instructor is breezing over VPN and Cache and other foreign words while the software developer hires are nodding.

So, it's scary. But also exciting. I feel a little more comfortable each day. On Friday I actually parked my car and got to my office without a problem. But then I had to have someone escort me to my boss's office. Ah well. I'll get there. I hope.


Monday, March 1, 2010

500th post!

From humble a humble present state. Ah, well. I still enjoy it so that's all that matters.

Much has changed since I started this blog in January 2007: another baby, a new home, and today, a new job. I started in my new career as a trainer along with dozens of other new recruits. I was astonished by this company's rapid hiring in turbulent economic times. It is a great company and the hiring was very competitive, so I am pretty downright proud of myself, to be honest.

I am also intimidated though. I work with very smart people, and there is much to learn, so I just hope I can keep up and meet expectations.

We began a whole new lifestyle today. I had an early morning exercise class, so I left for that at 5:20, hauling along my stuff for work. T dropped off the boys at the sitter with the diaper bag and Q's preschool bag.

I slapped a bit of makeup on my face after the class, threw a clip in my hair, and raced over to my first meeting before 8:00 a.m. After many sessions of training and mountains of paperwork, I got out early enough to pick up the boys. It was a long day without seeing their little peanut faces!

When I unloaded them back at the house, I had to haul in six bags: Q's preschool backpack, diaper bag, gym bag, work bag, toiletries bag, and purse. It was ridiculous. I need to find a way to streamline.

So, a hectic first day but a good one. It feels great to be back.