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Monday, August 29, 2005

Preschool by any other name...

Something happened to Toddler in Chief's playgroup last week. One of the kids was missing. Her mom was missing too. There was an eerie absence to the group. It was Halloween-esque, even though pumpkin season doesn't officially start until September 22.

Our meeting tomorrow will be even smaller as the absentee list triples as two other kids start preschool. But more than just a scheduling wrench thrown to the meeting that has taken place for more than 100 weeks, I'm fascinated by the decision to send two-year-olds to school. They're two. They're still wearing diapers.

On the other hand, I totally get it.

Marketing Manager Mom told me that she just feels maxed out on what she can provide for her daughter at home. And so often she finds that she can't wait for her daughter's next nap, so that she can get a break. I can relate to that. There are many days when I anxiously await that coveted and sacred nap time or bedtime so that I can get some of my projects accomplished, uninterrupted by a little voice and sticky hands that want, want, want. And preschool will provide a stimulating environment with all kinds of new toys and new songs and new art projects (that someone else gets to clean up).

There's also something to be said for getting kids used to being in a structured environment that is run by an adult that is not a parent or family member. That's what prompted Bay Area PR Friend to sign her son up for a once-a-week preschool program.

That, and the underlying pressure from other women signing their kids up for preschool. I can't help but feel that they know something I don't know. Or that my kid is going to fall behind socially and academically because he's not in preschool and won't be until next fall at the earliest.

Still, TIC gets tons of socialization from our weekly playgroups through the mothers club and from his play dates through our shared time with the sitter. And while hours with the sitter and hours and preschool both cost a fortune, maybe its easier to justify spending money on preschool to get the dedicated and much-needed break from your kid than it is to spend money on extra childcare. Maybe it's all a mental: childcare is frivolous, while preschool is essentially?

Then again, many of these moms who are signing up their kids for preschool are pregnant. And it might just be easier to make this transition to being away from mom before Baby No. 2 comes along. They are nesting in a way that gets the kid acclimated to a new schedule, a new experience before the sibling shocker rocks the family unit. So regardless of whether the break is for mom or for stimulating educational programs for tots, breaks--in whatever shape or form--from our 24/7 job as parents are golden.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The bra completes the woman

It took longer to wean myself off of those nursing bras--those supportive, stretchy, soft, hideous bras--than it did to wean my son off of the boob.

Actually, weaning Toddler in Chief was easy. Weaning myself off those bras was much, much harder.

At first, I tried to just ignore them in the top drawer of my dresser. I couldn’t bring myself to pack them away with all of the other maternity clothing that I accumulated during my pregnancy. They were a crutch. But instead of helping me through a transition, they prevented me growing into the next phase of parenthood. I was in limboland. I wasn’t pregnant. I wasn’t the mother of a newborn. I wasn’t even the mother of a nursing baby. My kiddo had graduated to a new level of independence, and I was hanging onto to something that had slipped away.

Every morning when I’d get dressed, I would see them and they would silently taunt me: “You know you want us!” they’d be saying as I’d slip into those tiny pre-pregnancy bras. But there was no support! There was no comfort! Wires poked me in all the wrong places!

Reluctantly, I’d stuff myself into the pre-pregnancy bras. So even though I’d start the day without those nursing bras, an hour later I’d be back in the closet, giving in to my post-nursing breasts’ needs. No one knew I was still wearing these things. But occasionally, a low-cut top would reveal those center snaps. And then the inevitable comment would follow: “Are you still wearing nursing bras??!!” And I’d follow up with some excuse: “Oh, all my regular bras were in the wash (cough, cough). This was all I had.”

It had been six months since I stopped breastfeeding and I hadn’t made any progress to wean myself into regular bras. I knew I had to do something drastic or I’d eventually end up still wearing them six years from now, in the stands of TIC’s little league games. Those bras owned me. They had me in the closet, physically and mentally.

But what really got me motivated was when I was trying on some shirts while Therapist Friend sat with me in the dressing room. “Oh hon-eey,” she said with a portion of pity in her voice. “You’ve got to get rid of those things.”

That was it. And I knew the only way I was going to break out of this habit was to go cold turkey. So I emptied the top drawer of bras—all bras. The pre-pregnancy ones didn’t fit and the nursing bras had to go. I was completely braless. I wasn’t the same person I was before I was pregnant, so I’m not sure why I’d expect to fit into the same old bras. The only way to escape this saggy situation was to buy new bras. It was going to be an expensive outing, but it had to happen.

One hundred and fifty dollars later, I’m the proud owner of several lacy, pink, frilly, sexy garments that no one sees but me. I am a woman again. These seemingly insignificant garments have changed me. I stand taller, feel more confident, think dirty thoughts. It’s wonderful to be me again...A new and improved parental me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pushing all the right (or wrong) buttons

I have been publishing slightly-altered excerpts from my blog in my local mothers' club newsletter for the past six months. It's been a great way to get exposure to some local, new readers.

Last week I got an email from the club's newsletter editor letting me know that my column for the September newsletter won't be published in the newsletter because "last month's column pushed some buttons with at least one of the other board members, and probably some moms out there, too."

I emailed the editor in an attempt to get some details as to how I pushed some buttons, but never got a reply. It's a strange feeling to get fired from a job I never really had and without a real explanation. So, I'm going to publish the said column below (the original, full-length version ran on May 23) to see if it pushes any of your buttons:
So many women around me have either brought a second baby into the world or are on their way to doing so. Then there's me and an increasingly smaller number of friends on the sidelines in our one-child families trying to figure everything out.

For me, I stress about wanting to work, but wishing I could find the perfect part-time job that would nourish my ego while not giving up the parenting-thing altogether. And because I don't have to work, I get to be a little picky about what it is I do. So I ponder, I wonder, I contemplate, I stress, I fret, I long, I pine. Ah, the luxury of choice.

And then someone made a seemingly innocent comment on my blog. It was so profound and life-altering that I have had a hard time not thinking about it. It was about making the transition from one child to two children and how that affected her thought process about going back to work:

"When I was still a mom-of-one, I often went back and forth... should I go back to work? If so, when? My husband used to ask me that question constantly. After my son came along he stopped asking because it really is too much to think about, especially with all the little things we Mommies have going on in our heads. And the only time I can stop and think is when the kids are in bed. At that point I can't even begin to raise that 'going back to work' issue. Ugh, such a tough thing!"

I know she didn't mean it this way, but this mother planted a seed in my head that has sprouted into a full-fledged possibility of postponing my predicament. Instead of trying to figure out how to find this wonderful, perfectly-customizable, part-time job, I could have another baby. If the only time to think about work is when the kids are sleeping, perhaps two babies will fully distract me from wondering, stressing, and pining for that perfect life balance. I'll be too sleepy.

In the first trimester, I'll be sick and achy and irritable. As the pregnancy progresses, there won't be time to think about work because I'll be too busy nesting. And then once a newborn is keeping me awake round the clock, there certainly will be no pining for additional work, even if it is for my poor, deprived ego.

It's the perfect solution! Or at least the perfect procrastination! Or maybe the perfect cop-out.
My guess is that the truth hurts.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

It's about where we came from

There were a couple of comments from my post last Monday called, "It's quality, not quantity people," that really got me thinking about expectations and life lessons. Where did we learn to parent? What kind of parent did we learn to become? How did we develop our expectations of ourselves?

Cynical Mom wrote that perhaps our anxiety and guilt around whether we are working moms or at-home moms came from observing our own mothers. It seems so obvious. She wrote:
The working moms who think SAHMs set a bad example...seem to often have had the experience that their moms were SAHMs and their moms were miserable...if your mother seemed unhappy, regardless of what she did or didn't do, then you may be naturally tilted away from those things....
And Jennifer followed Cynical Mom's comment with:
My mum was not so much unhappy, as clearly diminished by being a SAHM (went from being halfway through a PhD in physics to believing herself incapable of tutoring high school math) and that made me determined not to go down that path....
This got me doing quite a bit of introspection on my own childhood and my own mom. I'll need to have a good heart-to-heart with her when she gets here later this week, but I think my mom really liked being home with us. She held a variety of odd jobs when I was a kid--lunch monitor, belly dance instructor, aerobics instructor, waitress--but mostly she was around when we needed her. She was there teaching me about stuff that has come in handy in my own life. While her career was never a constant, her devotion to her kids never wavered. It might sound silly, but she taught me an appreciation for quality produce and cooking and baking pies. She also liked taking me to Artpark in the summer and the Shea's for holiday plays and concerts.

And yet, I didn't want to be her. I didn't want to be "stuck" at home raising kids. This isn't exactly what Cynical Mom was writing about; I wanted to tilt away from whatever my mom was doing, not necessarily because she hated it. Rather, I think that kids--and I'm being stereotypical here--need to distance themselves from their parents' choices in order to become their own person. And all my life I envisioned myself as a super successful (fill in the blank with successful sounding career here), not an at-home mom.

I love being a mom, and I'm grateful that I'm able to be home with my son. But I can't help but wonder if this is the source of this underlying guilt that I feel. Maybe it's not about a lack of motherly gusto or for sending Toddler in Chief off to the sitter's house. I'm just like my mom and that is exactly where I never thought I'd end up. Maybe I feel guilty for not becoming the person I thought I would become.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

One giant guilt trip

During the past year I have written about my personal journey with parental guilt.

There is guilt because I send Toddler in Chief off to the sitter's a couple of times a week. There is guilt because I'm not spending enough quality time with him. There is guilt because I haven't been able to find meaningful part-time work. There's guilt because I feel like I must not be trying hard enough. There is guilt because I'm not continuing my education. There's guilt for not doing enough dusting or laundry. No matter what part of my life I examine, there seems to be guilt sprinkled around all of my decisions, regardless how large or small they seem.

Mirium over at Playground Revolution wrote an interesting piece last month about working moms and guilt. She wrote:
Working Mothers Should Not Feel Guilty. We should feel, and rightfully, mad, frustrated, tired, torn in many directions, ambivalent, and all sorts of other emotions. But we should not feel guilty. Working dads don't feel guilty. Guilt does not help.
What about the at-home moms? Or maybe we carry enough guilt for all the moms, working or not. Maybe I need to step back and think about those comments. Does Father in Chief feel guilty about anything? Or is this guilt-thing tied strictly to motherhood? Is it just hardwired into our personas, like nurturing or a milk let-down whenever a lactating mother hears a baby cry, even if it's not her own?

Maybe my guilt is just a personal problem, something I need to endure like sharp teeth on a sore nipple? So I try and step back and determine what those underlying issues are so that I can fix them or work on them in therapy so that I can go on living my life as a parent sans guilt.

Perhaps, I'm confusing other feelings I'm experiencing with feelings of guilt. I'm definitely torn over what I should do with my life professionally and personally. But when I'm focusing on one facet--like with my freelance writing--I was feeling guilty for "neglecting" the other part of my life, aka my son. I think it's hard to feel torn without feelings of guilt.

We all know the saying: with every choice we have to give something up. TIC was not neglected when he was having a play date with the sitter, but escaping those feelings are a skill I haven't yet mastered.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

There's nothing sexy about these breasts

Using a breast pump is a truly bovine-esque experience. And there is nothing flattering about your breasts as they are systematically suctioned into cylinder-shaped plastic suckers. Nothing is less sexy.

Amy Lynwander had a humorous (although horrifying at the time) essay about her experience "expressing" herself at work in the August 14 edition of the Boston Globe.

Anyone who has expressed breast milk has dreaded someone walking in on them while in the act. Since I've been at-home with Toddler in Chief from day-one, I have not dealt with the trials, frustrations, and face-reddening situations that may arise from this potentially-humiliating experience at work.

My closest experiences happened during the extended hospital stays while TIC was recovering from his surgeries. Since I was pumping around the clock and the "pump rooms" were often full, I would often get the job done at TIC's bedside. Friends and family would occasionally witness the pumping action. I'm sure no one cared except me, but it's not how you want anyone to see you. And you definitely don't want that image of yourself seared into anyone's memory.

Monday, August 15, 2005

It's quality, not quantity, people

The Sarcastic Journalist found a letter to the editor in American Baby magazine from a self-righteous at-home mom. This mom basically said parents who work neglect their kids. This letter spawned a fantastic flurry of comments worth reading about the work vs. stay home mentality.

Granted, I didn't read the March issue's article "Juggling a Job and Baby," which this letter was responding too. It sounds like the people interviewed in the story didn't have much time to spend with their kids. And because I didn't read the article, I can't gauge whether or not those people love their kids.

And isn't that the most important thing? Kids need to feel loved and supported and encouraged and good about themselves.

It got me thinking about a comment that Babs made in June in response to my Parenting, the blissfully carefree way. She wrote, "I know my kid loves me and I know I'm a good mom, even if I don't spend every single waking moment with her."

And I've often wondered if perhaps working moms spend more quality time with their kids because they cherish the time they do get with them because they're away for many hours during the week. Sure I'm with Toddler in Chief, but he does get dragged around quite a bit while I'll running the household errands and puttering around trying to manage and minimize the household mess.

But even when I'm not totally present with him, I am here. I will hear the squeals of delight when he's found a fun new "parking lot" for all of his cars. And I will be there when he bumps his head on the table after bending over to pick up one of the cars from the floor.

That does not mean I'm a better or worse parent than someone who works a lot. Kids just need to be loved. They need to fell good about themselves and know that someone cares about that.

It seems that the "I'm right, you're wrong" negative attitudes must permeate into molecules inside parents brains. I think it must be some kind of survival mechanism. If we thought we were doing stuff wrong every day and out kid wasn't perfect, and our parenting choices were all wrong, we would never have more than one kid. It also affect our ability to get out of bed each day thinking that every day we spent with our kid was screwing them up.

I think the women who are at home perpetrating this kind of evil do it because they secretly wish they were working, or had the guts to work. And the parents who work secretly wish they were at home. But to make themselves feel better, that claim staying at home with your kids sets a bad example, especially to girls.

It's like those extremely homophoic people. I'm convinced they are so extreme with their hatred because they in fact are gay and aren't willing to be honest with themselves. So they need to lash out and try to make other people feel shitty about their decisions.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

How much is too much information?

The BIG question: Where have all the dancers gone? Out of all the super women I know, Attorney Friend (see left) is my only reliable dance partner. We have even made a pact. We are going out dancing at least every other week for the next year. After that we'll revisit the whole having-another-baby issue. For now, it's all about us.

That said, I never know what to do when we're out dancing and some guy wants to dance with me. I never know how much information is too much information to share. There are three scenario that ponder and I certainly don't have a clue which is the best way to go, especially because I have been out of the dating scene for 10 years.

First scenario: Don't say anything

Someone wants to dance with me. Fabulous! Especially if he's cute. Why not? Just because I'm married, doesn't mean I'm blind. And a good dancer gets bonus points. Then we dance, dance, dance. However, just because I've said that I'd like to dance does not mean that I'm interested in anything other than shaking my thing in his general proximity. The downside: at the end of the night he may have the impression that my interest in dancing with him means that I'm interested in more.

This happened to me and Attorney Friend one night when we were in Santa Rosa seeing Notorious. They felt misled. And I felt like I had somehow given the wrong impression.

Second scenario: Say too much

Someone wants to dance with me. I avoid him until intermission so that I can fully explain that I'm happily married. I also explain that I'd like to dance with him, but if he's interested in more than dancing he better go dance with that other chic. I explain that the reason I'm saying this is because I haven't been "out there" for a long time and I'm not sure what impression dancing with someone gives. This scenario gets everything out in the open. Probably too much information though. It's a dance and I don't want to assume that the guy was expecting me to go home with him.

This happened to me one night at the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco (again seeing Notorious). There was a guy who wanted to dance with me and I kept avoiding him. Then during intermission, I went into a 10-minute explanation that I'd like to dance with him, but I'm married. And is he looking to hook up with someone? If so, then he should probably look elsewhere because I'm just interested in a dance partner. The take-away: he thought I was insane. It was definitely an over-share.

Third scenario: Just the right amount

Someone wants to dance with me. I someone manage to convey that I'm interested in dancing, but that is that. He doesn't grope me or grind me. Rather, there is the perfect amount of space between us and there is no misunderstanding about what a dance means.

The problem is that I still haven't mastered this third scenario. I guess the way to avoid is to have Father in Chief as my manly accessory. This weekend's destination: Notorious (of course) with Mandonna (the all male, all live tribute to the Material Girl). I can hardly wait. The men are not so sure.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

You and me make "we"

My post entitled, "We are underemployed," spawned an interesting post and a lot of great comments over at Half Changed World. Elizabeth wrote:
I recognize the phenomenon that Suzanne is describing, but I don't see myself in her "we." And I know a lot of employed mothers who get nervous when they hear this kind of sweeping rhetoric, because they worry that if their bosses believe that "all women will leave when they have kids," things will get even harder for them. And some stay-at-home mothers do leave their jobs without regrets or ambivalence.
As I commented there, when I wrote my "Underemployed" post, my "we" was specifically referring to the group of women I know. My Attorney Friend who is not a practicing attorney. My therapist friend who is not a practicing therapist. My software engineering friend who is not a practicing software engineer. The list goes on. These are women who are frustrated because they wanted/want to continue building some sort of career. But instead of transitioning back into their career that they had hoped to leave behind temporarily, they are finding that they can't find a meaningful job that would enable them to work a 20-hour work week. (A mere 40-hour week is very unusual for attorney).

One, of course, could argue that people who are really dedicated to having a career would be willing to work full time. I would then argue--as I do so often--is that there should be more options. I commented:
...It's great to know that you and others have carved out a place that is comfortable in corporate America, but from where I'm standing, it isn't the norm. That said, I feel that changes should be made to improve the work-home balance for all parents. And that is what I was mostly writing about. Regardless whether you consider yourself part of the we, everyone could benefit from more flexible schedules, better maternity/paternity leave packages, more job-share options.
And in that sense, I'll take the liberty of including all people in my argument. I live by the philosophy that we should work to live, not live to work. (Okay workaholics, you're entitled to your lifestyle as well). But regardless of whether you're a parent or an artist on the side or an avid cyclist, American business encourages and nurtures a culture that believes more hours are better. That leaves less time for our personal lives, whether that's with our kids or time on the bike.

And to rip off a line from the movie Sabrina: "More isn't always better Linus. Sometimes it's just more."

Monday, August 08, 2005

Clarifying my super-quitter attitude

Anonymous Friend defended and clarified her comment after I published my recent post called, "Having a choice won't muffle my voice." She wrote:
I've followed your blog for a while now, and I've seen you descend from the high you reached in April and May, after your first freelance publication, to today's "Money Losing Venture", "Bliss to Piss", "Disillusioned, discouraged, discontinued", and "Uber Quitter".

So, when I saw "We Are Underemployed", which was in fact an edited version of something you wrote back in January, the symbolism was just too strong to ignore. It seemed as if you felt you were back at square one: searching for options that don't exist, as if your successes of the past 6 months were non-existent.
I appreciate all the support to continue down the freelancing road. I fully intent to keep writing--whether it's for freelance magazines, working on my novel, or just here, I haven't totally decided.

One thing I know for sure, and that is I won't be writing for that particular regional magazine again. I fully intend to sell my piece to an alternate publication. I don't know where that will be, but I'm going to sell that piece if it's the last freelance thing I do. I'm very determined to do that. Maybe I want to publish it out of spite. And then perhaps if I find a nice home for it, I'll feel encouraged to start on that process again.

Yes, I know I sounded harsh to just quit everything. But hey, some days are like that and I'm not apologizing for having some downer days. I think that is part of the normal (at least for me) cycle of life. I still have lots (and lots) to say and do in this life and I'm not going to give up.

I just haven't found my stride yet.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Having a choice won't muffle my voice

Women--or parents--who want to be at home some of the time raising their kids have very limited choices when it comes to continuing on the path that includes business meetings, project launches, responsibility, and kudos. Please correct me if I'm way off.

In response to a previous column about feeling underemployed, anonymous friend wrote:
I don't want to sound insensitive to your angst, but realize that there are thousands of women who would love to have the choice you have. They work not because of ambition or career, but survival. (Not to mention the millions of women throughout history who had no choice but motherhood).
Why isn't it okay to not feel fulfilled? Yes, I'm extremely grateful that I'm able to sit back and think about what I want. Isn't that what feminism is all about? Being able to make a choice about how to live and work and raise kids and do it at any pace we like? To not be held back or discriminated against if we decide to take a pit stop to have a baby or raise a family? To be able to head back into the workforce at a job that has a flexible work schedule or job-share options? Oh wait, we don't have those options. Or at least most of us don't.

Because I get to choose, I feel that there should be choices.

So why isn't it okay for me to feel frustrated by this? I know that I'm fortunate to be able to make a choice about when and where I work. But that does not disqualify me from feeling that the system needs improvements. This isn't about pitting women who want to work against women who have to work or against women elsewhere in the world who have not option but to raise their kids. This is about needing giant changes in corporate America that encourage and reward companies to make returning to a job postpartum as appealing or more appealing as learning to bake Mom's apple pie.

Should I just be silent? Should I not question the system because I don't have to work for "survival?" Pipe down because I'm I should just be grateful I'm not forced to work?

Just because I get to choose to be home with my son does not mean that my brain isn't working and I'm no longer qualified or able to manage a project, meet deadlines, collaborate, create snazzy PowerPoint presentations. I can do these things as well as--if not better than--my childless or male counterparts. Why? Because I'm extra motivated to meet my deadlines and collaborate efficiently so that my employer sees that I'm driven to make a part-time or job-share or work-from-home-some-of-the-time or flexible job a success.

Sadly, though, most mothers won't be given the part-time option to prove that she too can do these things with zeal. I understand my angst and drive to create awareness about the inequities in the workforce won't solve world hunger or end the war in Iraq so that our troops come home alive. That, however, doesn't mean it's not worth being pissed off about.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

We are underemployed

For seven years I worked a string of editorial positions--reporter, managing producer, editor, and as production assistant at a local television show in San Francisco.

Just before Toddler in Chief was born I opted (without many choices) for another career path--as an at-home mom. During my two-plus years in this new venture, I have met amazing women who also had impressive and fulfilling jobs before they became parents. We did not quit our careers. Essentially, they quit us. Companies could not merge parent and paycheck.

Instead of heading back into those high-paying, highly respected jobs, we lower our expectations. One friend has given up on her legal career for now as she turns a hobby into a flexible job. She is taking the work-from-home road as a scrapbooking consultant. It is transforming her into the host of the modern day equivalent to the Tupperware party. Another friend with a PhD in computer science recently started selling baby shoes to keep her mind moving beyond what her daughter is having for lunch. I most recently, I made a go of being a freelance writer. But then my romanticized view of that goal was pissed on.

In essence, we are underemployed. We are not under-ambitious. It is hard work to raise a baby! But mention the "B" word at work and get ready to be written off. How many times have you heard a friend dread telling her employer that she is pregnant? How many women do you know who were put on the "mommy track?" There are woman who get to scale back their responsibilities to work part-time, but it is not the norm. Moms do not fit into the corporate culture. As a result companies are missing out on the talents of driven and dedicated women.

And instead of being journalists, attorneys, accountants, early childhood specialists, paramedics, software engineers, and public relations experts, we are at home missing a part of ourselves.

A shorter version of this post was originally published on January 8, 2005.

Monday, August 01, 2005

I'm an uber quitter

When I (temporarily) quit my blog two weeks ago, I also quit my freelance job and my book club. All in one day. Thankfully my blog was willing to give me a second chance (thanks to all the encouragement!!).

But I'm no longer in a book club--hard to believe that getting together with friends once a month to talk about a book was too stressful. I never managed to read the book and I was getting stressed out about it. Rather pathetic.

I'm also no longer a freelance writer. I was so excited about signing up for a series of projects for my regional parenting magazine, but I just couldn't handle all the flakiness of my editor. I knew things were falling out of favor when I got that initial email that they wanted to temporarily shelf the story I'd written because it should be a series of stories instead of just one.

They told me that they don't stiff their writers, but they really do.

Sure I wouldn't get stiffed if eventually they take my fabulous story and have me rewrite it into three separate stories. Editor wrote that I'd "actually make more money" in the long run because my one 1,200-word story would be three 1,200-word stories or more. In the meantime, I'd get nothing. Nothing for all the work and research I did. Nothing for all the money I paid to have Toddler in Chief in daycare for many hours while I did this work. Nothing for all the ideas I gave Editor through my super fabulous piece. Nada.

I just don't think I'm cut out to deal with all that BS. When I was a salaried journalist, my editor would be flaky from time to time, but I didn't care as much because I was getting paid either way. They could change their minds as much as they wanted, it was all the same to me. This is very different and at this point in my life, I don't need the frustration. They must be accustomed to working with freelance writers who are willing to be pushed around more and who are willing to work for less money than I am.

Maybe I'll try again in the future, but for now, if I'm going to put TIC in daycare and I'm going to work, it's going to be all about me. Maybe I'll start working on my novel again (although I'm sure Bethany over at Writing Mommy will tell me that book editors are worse than freelance editors!). Or maybe I'll focus on writing here. Or maybe I'll just savor some me time.