I’m one of those people… you know, one of those annoying “Everything happens for a reason!” types. Now, I never use it as a means to deny the inherent suckitude of a situation, and in fact when I miscarried my first pregnancy I entertained many intricate and violent fantasies of what I’d like to do to the nosy old biddy who was our landlady at the time, every time she assured me that it was fine because “everything happens for a reason,” but on a grander scale, yes, I think things do tend to come together as they’re meant to. (Even when that means ending a sentence with a preposition, apparently.)
So that means, for example, that as much as I sometimes wonder how much less stressful my life would be if, say, a certain person I used to be married to didn’t exist, the bottom line is that I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is how my life was supposed to go. And that can be very comforting, at times.
[Digression: Without my ex, I wouldn’t have my kids. Oh, I might have SOME kids, but not THESE kids; and trust me, these are exactly the children meant for me. I’m quite certain no one else would put up with them. Also, Otto and I like to play the “what if” game where we ponder how our lives might’ve been different if we’d gotten together back in college rather than fifteen years later or whatever it was the first time ’round. The challenge is in trying to extend the musing longer than the ten seconds or so that it takes one of us to postulate that we would’ve been hot-n-heavy for a week before having a huge screaming argument which would’ve left us hating each other for the rest of our lives.]
Anyway, without the kids (and the divorce, and that whole liking to put food on the table thing), I never would’ve given freelancing a real shot. I’d probably still be an engineer, and that means that right now I’d be losing my EVER-LOVIN’ MIND.
Because, seriously, how do people with “regular” jobs manage with children? I’m asking you this in all sincerity, because I have NO IDEA. I know that lots of folks have nannies and such, but if not, I simply cannot comprehend how life works when you have two parents with conventional jobs.
Allow me to elucidate, in the form of my calendar for the next couple of weeks. (My schedule, let me show you it.)
On any given week, the children have piano lessons (once), Chickadee has Tae Kwon Do (twice), and soccer is starting up again for Monkey, which means he has both a game and a practice each week. They also both have homework every night. (And I have rehearsals two nights a week, which is totally why I married Otto, because it’s been worth it in the babysitter savings alone.) That’s… kind of a lot, but manageable, right?
This week, in addition to all of the above, Monkey has a dentist appointment. It’s in the middle of the day, because he needed an appointment before his orthodontia begins in earnest, and that was all they had. Fine. I will take him to the dentist in the middle of the day.
Chickadee has an oratorical competition this week, and they were given TONS of notice about it… by which I mean, she brought the assignment home on Friday. (Insert standard grumbling about the school here.) I sent the kids off with their dad for the weekend with instructions to please work on her speech, and she returned home on Monday with a sheet of hotel notepaper with a bunch of scribbled notes on it. Guess who stayed up late last night working on actually, you know, WRITING her speech?
So this week is turning out to be lots of fun. BUT! IT GETS BETTER.
Next week—and I am not making up one speck of this—in addition to all of the regular stuff (piano, soccer, Tae Kwon Do, homework), Monkey has an orthodontist appointment in the middle of one day, Chickadee has a dentist appointment, both kids are meeting with a new therapist (because our beloved doc is out on maternity leave, DAMN HER FOR HAVING A LIFE), the children need to finish up their project for the Invention Convention (which, praise the lord, they decided to work on together, so at least it’s one project and not two), and that school committee thing I’m on has a meeting.
That’s… ummm… carry the three… okay, that’s five days containing twelve different places we need to go IN ADDITION to tending to things like, I don’t know, eating and sleeping and learning spelling words and saying “Hello, Husband, how was YOUR day?”
If I had an office job? There would be only two options here: Either I would be having my ass FIRED because I was forever coming in late and leaving early, or I would still have a job but I would be certifiably INSANE.
This way, I’m still insane, but I’m insane from the comfort of my own home, while running my own business. See how much better that is?