Tag Archives: working mom

Disney(R) Princess(TM) Castle Security

No one could ever successfully break into my apartment. I realized that this morning as I tried to quietly get ready for my day in the dark. Here’s what would happen: you’d put on your dark clothes and black knit hat like a proper robber. You’d pick the lock and enter our apartment. Immediately you’d trip over a mountain of Disney(R) Princess(TM) dolls, and land on the Disney(R) Princess(TM) piano, which would start playing “Be Our Guest” at top screeching volume. At this point my daughter will wake up, and demand you give her juice. You will look in the fridge for juice, but there will be no juice because we’re always running out of juice. So to keep her quiet you let her braid your hair. As she stabs your head with plastic Disney(R) Princess(TM) barrettes, she’ll ask you a barrage of questions designed to make you go completely insane, including things like “does my hair have bones?” and “why are you wearing all black and no pink?” and “why don’t we have any juice?” At this point you’ll run screaming from the apartment…if you can get out at all.

But it doesn’t matter, because we don’t have nice things. So we’ll never be burgled.

Unless you really want Disney(R) Princess(TM) toys and accessories, in which case you don’t need to break in – just pull up your car and honk and we’ll happily help load it up.

Life, Lately, Under Water

We had a joke at my old job, that if you ask anyone in advertising how they are, they’ll always respond with “Busy. Busy. So busy.” (Try it, it’s true.) So when I’m actually busy, busy, so busy, it feels a little overwhelming, like it’s added on to a busy that I already had. I had a dream two nights ago that water started creeping up from between the floorboards and I couldn’t stop it.

 

That’s not to say things aren’t good, because they are. VERY good in fact! I’m planning for my favorite holiday, Halloween, and have 1 of our 3 costumes all set (my husband’s costume is awesome. Mine and my daughter’s are still in production.) Depending on how the wind’s blowing, munchkin wants to either be a cowboy or a princess. I’m waffling between being a rainbow and Audrey Hepburn from the Tiffany’s scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (something about being allowed to carry a danish as a prop has this so appealing.)

 

And in between I have work and home and all the other things that have life going around. I had to fight another migraine this week, but my husband said a study just came out saying exercise can help reduce them – if that’s the case, I definitely know why I’ve been getting so many – I haven’t been exercising at all. Whoops. When I woke up in pain this morning I finally got my butt in front of an exercise video (had to blow the dust off that one.)

 

So – exercise has had to suffer, so has blogging. I promise to get a bit better about posting…….

Goodbye Balloon

Today I had to break my daughter’s heart.

We were having a fine day, and everything was wonderful. We were running errands together, but making it fun in the way you have to when you’re with a toddler. We stopped at the hardware store and I let her play with all the keys. We stopped to buy a baby gift, and I let her get a little toy car for herself. Then we met a friend for lunch, and my daughter noticed some mylar balloons with happy faces at a restaurant nearby. She’d been such a good girl that after lunch we went to the 5 & dime (yes, we now live in one of those adorable little towns that still has a 5 & dime) and requested a balloon with a happy face. The only ones they had said “get well,” but it’s not like she can read or anything. I also got her a latex balloon in blue, her favorite color.

Imagine a 2 year old with a balloon tied to each wrist. She was bursting with happiness – it was just steaming off of her. She trotted down the street in a cute little jaunt, with the two balloons whipping around above her. And that’s when it happened.

The bottom tab of the mylar balloon, the part attached to the ribbon, ripped. I only noticed when I heard a woman near us say “oh no!” and look upward. It was too late – the balloon had already floated beyond the awning of the cheese store and was climbing rapidly. I turned to my daughter, who hadn’t noticed yet and was still happily skipping down the sidewalk and singing to herself. “Oh no,” I repeated to that same woman, a young woman, who immediately saw how tragic this was going to be that she immediately turned red and started to cry. Her boyfriend put his arm around her, and they both watched as I went to her.

“Sweetheart,” I said… I stopped. She still hadn’t noticed. I was going to have to tell her. I was going to have to find a way. “Honey, your balloon flew away.” She looked around. She saw the blue balloon was still with her. She was confused that she couldn’t find the other balloon. She looked at me. “It’s gone,” I said. Her face crumpled. The jaunt was gone. The tears began to fall.

“No, honey, it’s okay, no it’s okay. Oh sweetheart – can I get you a new one?” “No,” she sobbed, “that one was mine.” I held her, feeling so acutely this loss. I knew she’d be fine, truly within minutes. But I hated that she had to be sad, if even for a moment. I hated that she had to feel loss in a time when she was so blissfully happy. I hated most of all that I had to be the one to tell her the news, when just seconds before I had been the hero of the day.

And as expected, minutes later and with a kiddie cup of ice cream in her hands, her tears were dried and the balloon was forgotten. But I haven’t forgotten.

It seems I have to break my child’s heart almost daily. Whether it’s telling her a balloon has floated away, or that she’s being naughty and needs a time out, or – truly the worst of all – when I tell her it’s time for me to go to work and we need to say goodbye, I feel like somehow I’m being the worst parent in the world. I know that isn’t the reality. But rarely in parenting do the heart and the mind work in concert.

And for some reason I can’t stop replaying the scene in my mind. My daughter’s silly little dance-walk down the street. The young woman beginning to tear up, with her hand over her mouth. The balloon already so high up in the grey sky.

ePatient Connections Day 2

On Day 2 of ePatient Connections I just can’t help thinking about being a double agent. Because I am one. But not in the cool spy sort of way. I work in the healthcare industry, and also I’m a patient. It’s two worlds that for some unexplainable reason are very separate. I don’t want to wrong my fellow patients fighting the Crohn’s fight by making it seem like I’m working for “the other side.” And yet, I am. I work, directly and indirectly, with some of the people innovating in healthcare: pharma, nonprofits, etc. So many people hate pharma. I understand that, I do, I’m a PR person after all. But because of pharma I can live my life, because of the scientific advancements they’ve made that allow me to have a normal life. And I have loved pharma for that – and always will – no matter who is responsible for my paycheck.

I’d like to say that by day I do PR for an ad agency that specializes in healthcare, and that by night I’m a mom and a wife and a patient. But I’m not. I am all of these things all of the time. Living with an incurable disease makes me better at my job, because it helps me help my colleagues understand what I really truly go through, and what my fellow fighters and survivors go through. And working for a company that understands Crohn’s disease means that I get time off when I need it to get rest when I need it or go to a doctor’s appointment or just plain find that balance that has eluded me in every other industry.

For me, not being a double agent means … well the only way I’d be able to do that would be to stop blogging. Because (thank you, stupid Crohn’s,) I need health insurance, so I can’t exactly quit my job. But not just that – I need my entire life. I need my career, it makes me feel whole. So that won’t happen. I’ll always be a double agent. I’ll always keep working to do all of these things that help fulfill my life.

But wait. Maybe one day I won’t need to be a double agent because maybe one day my two worlds will connect. ePatient makes me feel like perhaps that could happen.

My Little Girl

Having a daughter somehow makes me realize how inherently biased our world is when it comes to gender.

I think I had a different sort of childhood than most. Both of my parents worked, and both were in careers they loved. My siblings and I were encouraged to play sports and musical instruments, regardless of our gender. We all played dolls, we all played He-Man, we were not allowed to play with toy guns. And when I went to college, it was a women’s college – because that was the best school amongh those that had accepted me.

In other words, I didn’t mean to become a feminist. I was just raised to believe I was equal to men.

I do believe men and women are very different, even from birth. I arrived to the munchkin’s daycare yesterday during free play to find the 4 boys playing trucks and the 2 girls playing with the teacher’s hair. I know that I’m more emotional than my husband, and I’m also better at multitasking. I don’t mind the differences; I think it’s important to our culture. So why did it bother me so much when I learned the daycare teacher had the boys coloring baseball scenes, and the girls coloring cheerleaders?

And then this – an email today from a mommy blog I usually really like. This was a paid ad, but I was SHOCKED at the content.

So let me get this straight – they are telling mothers of little girls that they must dress a certain way to get the hottest play dates and party invites? WHAT? I understand wanting your child to look nice. But when are certain playdates hot and others not? And birthday parties? What about going to your friends’ parties? What about teaching them to be happy with who they are? I am so flustered and floored by this I can hardly type.

They could have gone so many different ways with this ad. How about: let your little girl have fun with dressing up in our new fall line? How about: we know your little one is adorable, and she’ll be even cuter in our new fall line?

I try to keep things positive in this blog, but this time around I just have to say it: shame on you, Juicy Couture.