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ok, leaving for the airport in 2 hours. no more panic – pretty sure i’m as organized as i’m gonna get for this trip. my sister arrived this morning, so that’s a relief – so thrilled that she’ll be staying with Elsa part of the time I’m gone.
mostly, i’m exhausted. can’t wait to sleep on the plane (you know your life is a bit lame when 11 hours in an airplane seat sounds dreamy).
I am leaving day after tomorrow. Totally unprepared, professionally and personally, and have a bajillion things to do before I go. Have no clue how I am going to pull this off.
Also not feeling good about leaving Elsa for so long.
yessiree – the mystery location is Stockholm, Schweedun.
and duh – shouldda changed the name of the photo… oh well. so much for subterfuge.
while it’s definitely a work trip, and probably an intense one, i’m committed to getting out and seeing the city at least one day or evening… and hopefully eat out somewhere terrific.
Anyone have recommendations for things to see and/or places to eat?
The good news is the imminent international work trip has been postponed indefinitely. So all the stress of doing that – childcare, etc. – has also been postponed.
The bad news is that – stressful or not – I like to travel and I was kind of looking forward to dusting off my passport.
Elsa likes routines – and her life has many of them. The whole dinner/bath/TV+hair/books/bedtime thing, for example… same just about every night of her life. Her school day is a symphony of routine. There are very few spikes of unusual activity in her world – which is a good thing.
If there is any routine in my life, I’m hard-pressed to identify it. I am constantly shifting things around in the pursuit of blending all the parts of my life. (I used to call it balance, but it is never balanced, so why call it that?)
I have my role as Mama. Then I have a role as full-time lawyer. In that context, I am a team member, I am a service provider, and I am a boss. I am a member of a masters rowing team. I’m also a daughter, and a sister, and a step-daughter. And I am a friend. I am kind-of sort-of sometimes a significant other. I am also just me.
Each of these roles has varying degrees of activity and demands. Some (Mama) trump the others by definition, but all are important. Sometimes most of these areas cook along on the back burner and don’t demand much of me – when that happens, I am happy, I am rested, and I feel like I can do anything. Sometimes the activity spikes in one area and I have to focus on that more and neglect the others a bit, and I can feel little stressed. And sometimes the activity spikes in more than one area, and then I am toast.
Right now, spikes are starting in several areas, and look like they will be there – an probably get worse – for the next month or so. Throw in some international travel for work in the next few weeks and we are in for a bumpy ride.
Batten down the hatches.
Today, for the first time since I waved goodbye to the bliss that is the full-time at-home nanny, I had to come home from work to take care of a sick kid.
Elsa woke up complaining that her ear hurt, and there was obvious swelling on her cheek. Mind you, I didn’t hear it or see it, as I was up and out before she woke up. But my fabulous morning babysitter called me at work and told me. Cue mild panic attack.
Luckily the sitter was able to stay for a while longer than usual, and then my mom was able to bring Elsa to the doctor. When she called me with the verdict (unspecified infection, with antibiotics, Tylenol, and rest for the several days), Mom also implied, quite nicely, that asking her to stay much longer with Elsa would be a bit much. (Which I already knew, but I was hoping she might volunteer.)
So, I ungracefully extracted myself from an all-day meeting at hightailed it home. Got here just in time to examine the patient and then send her off to sleep for what I am hoping is a looooong nap.
So far, I have managed to fit three (3!) business calls into this nap time, and am not now wasting valuable time blogging.
And, although today and tomorrow will likely be a pain in the ass (conf calls from home w/a 2.5 yr old in the background are not likely to be productive), I have to say I’m grateful. Because I realize I’ve gotten over six months into preschool life before having to stay home for a too-sick-for-school Elsa. Which is pretty damn good, right?
the meetings are going well. one of the best parts of this biz trip though is this fabulous bed, complete with down comforter and featherbed. too bad i had to get up and go back to meetings this morning – could have lounged around for hours…
Last week I found out that my management team’s monthly 3-day meeting (usually held in San Francisco) would be moved, for December, to take place out of town. The location is very nice (wine country, in a chic hotel), and it will include two fancy dinners which – given the big cheese’s personal tastes – will feature some big-ticket wines that are normally out of my range.
Everyone on the team was very pleased with this little announcement. Well, everyone but me.
First of all, one of the dinners will serve as our holiday dinner, to which spouses are invited. It is annoying to go to these “spouses included” dinners when I am the one unpartnered person. Makes me feel quite glaringly single. I like to keep my personal life separate from my work life, and right now the whole subject of being solo is somewhat painful, whereas it would normally just be slightly awkward.
But, more importantly, I’ll need to pay a sitter to stay with Elsa for 2 nights and 3 days – including all the hours when she is not in school, in the mornings and in the afternoon and evenings. (My mom helps with Elsa a few hours at a time, but is not up for keeping her overnight. I would not be OK with asking friends to take her at this stage – she is pretty challenging right now and very much needs her routine.)
Anyway, so about 20 extra hours of sitter time plus 2 overnights.
This is not cheap.
Everyone else on this management team has a spouse (in one case, a long-term girlfriend), and everyone who has kids has a non-working spouse (except one, who has a spouse who works part time). And everyone who has kids therefore has a built-in plan for whenever they need to travel for work – one that rarely costs anything. (It will probably not shock you to hear that everyone else on the team is also a man, except for one other woman, who has no kids…)
I would go off on a feminist rant on this, but really, it’s not the fact that I’m a woman that puts me at a disadvantage. If I had a partner at home, he could handle the overnights, and we could together more easily absorb the cost of any other additional hours needed from a sitter. Being a woman is not the problem.
In fact, being a parent is not the problem, and being single is not the problem.
Being single and a parent is the problem.
But hell if I am going to pipe up about it – like I said, I like to keep my personal life personal. And the last thing I need is for someone to perceive me as somehow less capable of being a member of a senior team because I am a single mom.
So I will pay.
This hotel better be really frickin’ nice.
this is one of those posts that say nothing, so feel free to skip it.
work has been so so busy… off-the-charts nutty. Elsa was sick, then I was sick. now she is a little bit sick again, but not too bad. we had a houseguest last weekend (Tasty!). and we’re having another houseguest this weekend (AUNT KATE!!!!). and work has been nutty.
did i mention work has been nutty? OK, just checking.
on an unrelated note, did you know that if you lived in Finland, a fast internet connection would now be one of your fundamental legal rights?
all of which is to say – sorry that i’ve had nothing to say for a while. will try to fix that soon.