Friday, October 17, 2008

Surviving and Thriving

So the the week of nightly midterms is drawing to a close; at 8:30 PM I'm still in my work clothes and drinking a cheap but tasty cabernet. Landon is asleep, JP is on campus writing something about marketing, and I'm trying to summarize a very busy past few days.

This assignment was every bit as demanding and difficult as I feared (and hoped). I was still able to get out of the office by 5 on Wednesday to go out to a lovely dinner with my uncle the pilot (and the Landon, of course, who at one point toddled his way behind the Bar and admired the rows of shiny bottles, much to the bartenders' confusion) and made it home in time to get Landon in bed before the debate and Project Runway finale. I recorded both, watched the debate until McCain's irritating use of air quotes and then switched to fashion fluffery in an attempt to keep my blood pressure stable. After cheering Leanne's win and reading a bunch of live debate blogs and commentary, I turned my attention to the large stack of contracts I needed to review by morning. I went to bed at 2 AM only to get up at 6 so I could finish before my required 7:45 AM capital markets meeting. The day never paused from there, and at 5:59 PM I found myself once again trapped on a conference call with the client and needing to get Landon from daycare before it closed at 6:30. Right as I was about to pass the partner a note (the same note I had written but avoided having to use during Tuesday's conference call) the call ended and I escaped. Landon was the last kid picked up. I planned to feel bad about that and had worked myself into a state of near guilt by the time I pulled into the parking lot, but when I opened the front door I found a fair-haired toddler running full speed down the front hallway- arms raised, face upturned with a huge open-mouth smile. His teacher knew how much he liked the lights and bats hanging from the ceiling (for Halloween) so she let him run around the main area until I got there - he looked so very pleased with himself. He gave me a hug and I decided guilt wasn't necessary, he was obviously happy so I figured I'd save it for another time.

Today was also crazy - more calls, more meetings, and more urgent research requests. When I was heading home at 5:45 (after checking to make sure no more work needed to be done before Monday) my blackberry buzzed with one last "quick research question." I called my good friend, a 5th year associate at the firm who lives near us and has a 19-month-old boy of her own, and asked if Landon and I could stop by so I could make use of their internet while Landon played with her son (I knew he would never let me work alone at our house). She said of course, and I quickly found my answer while the boys played. We headed home armed with a little plastic container of her husband's chili for me and a banana for Landon, I never did make it to the grocery store this week. Thank God for friends. Landon took a long, splashy, laughy bath and snuggled right into my neck for our goodnight song. It was actually a very nice evening.

While writing about this crazy week of work and mothering I was tempted to whine and say it was terrible and overwhelming, but the truth is, it was fine. Sure I'm tired, but I wouldn't be if I postponed watching the debate and Project Runway on Wednesday night or if JP and I went to bed when he got home instead of staying up and talking and watching the Daily Show. Landon got to play with his daddy every morning and seems no worse for the extra few hours he spent in daycare. I think the Universe was actually trying to work with us - the two days I was stuck on those calls and had to pick him up later than usual were the same two days JP usually gets him at 4 (Tues and Thurs). And while I have a bunch of company this weekend and I've done nothing for either gathering, I have time to get the grocery shopping and cooking done for the big Sunday shindig.

It's nice to feel at the end of my toughest week so far at the firm (and at home) that I didn't just survive it, I enjoyed it. That deal was the most fun thing I've worked on yet, and dinner with my uncle and Landon's bathtub shenanigans added to the fun at home. It'll be nice to have JP back in the evenings, and I'm definitely looking forward to a weekend of family, U.T. football, and parties, but this crazy, busy week was actually pretty great.


  1. Another great post about how you balance it all and make it all work for you! Congrats on making it to the weekend! :)

  2. ll,

    i cannot tell you how happy i am to read this...whenever i read about mothers having it a all, there is always an undertone of/overt guilt associated with time sacrificed for either work or children...and as someone who thrives on/loves (in a sadistic way i guess :P )crazy busy weeks like the ones you've described, i have thus far hesitated at the thought of having children even after three years of marriage for this very reason...but your post and the ones preceding this have been heartening to read and show that while maybe you can't have it all, you can come pretty damn near close...thank you!


  3. That's great that you're enjoying work and staying busy! I love the feeling of ending a productive work week with a whole weekend of rest/play ahead of me.

    Enjoy your weekend!!!

  4. three cheers for making it through a tough week!

  5. I totally get the last minute daycare dash. I've done it myself a few times and I'm still worried they'll give her to an orphanage if I'm late to pick her up.

  6. Perhaps you should consider this:

    I am all about outsourcing. :) Don't be too hard on yourself. Sounds like you juggled pretty darn well this week!

  7. I WISH I could have some of your good attitude on my most harried days. Well done!

  8. Glad you survived a crazy week!! You seem to be doing a good job at balancing it all. I know there will be "those days and weeks", but I must say that you seem to be keeping it all together nicely.

  9. glad you made it through your busy week and still had a smile on your face. That's definitely a feat in itself (at least for my household..ha ha).