Angsty, really angsty.

Torn up about a few things this week.

1 – Laptop broke.  Ouch.  It’s okay; this one was easily replaceable.

2 – Work/life balance. Want to do work.  Want to make a difference.  But can’t bear being away from my kids.  Selfish?  You bet.  Priviledged?  Of course.  I am so lucky to be able to make these choices, by the day, even.  But there’s still no easy answer.

3 – Thrilled that someone has found an answer she’s happy with.  Sarah Palin.  Kids in the office, husband on the slope, more kids at home with grandparents.  She must be happy — she’s kept on having more kids, even as her jobs have gotten more and more demanding.  Am so very proud that it’s working for one of us out there.  Am concerned too.  So many of us are having so much trouble balancing just a couple kids and (maybe) a job, or community (gasp!) organizing … does Palin’s success tell us that we’re doing it wrong?  That the struggle is over?  That we’re living in a post-feminist society, where gender truly doesn’t matter?  I only wish it were so.  But it’s not.

4 – Terrified that this Palin nomination is going to tear us apart, just when it was time for us to come together on family issues.

5 – Having trouble adjusting to abrupt menopause.  Recovering from the surgery was largely a cinch.  Waiting (still waiting) for the path report and the CT scan analysis is not.  Am grumpy.  Am grumpy and tired.  And current events are not helping any.

Sorry for the crabby post.  But if you have friends who are abruptly losing their ovaries?  You should know that they may be grumpy for a little while too.

20 Responses to Angsty

  1. thordora says:

    Gah. I’m having a rotten week with the damned things. Hang in there-I recommend double chocolate muffins and jasmine green tea. 🙂

    Enjoy the new toy at least!

  2. To quote my daughter…”I still love you…even when you’re grumpy”…

  3. Kat says:

    I hope I’m not being too political, but I have to say it’s disappointing to me that Palin has never taken a public position in favor of family leave or other work-life balance issues. But I don’t think it’s Palin that’s going to divide the country, if that’s what you’re afraid of. I think the country continues to be really divided and no one’s found a way to heal the rift. Palin is just a temporary touchstone for the madness.

  4. NYfriend says:

    Hey, you are soooo way entitled to be grumpy right now. It sucks that’s how you feel, because you deserve some peace and happiness. But geez it’s understandable to be feeling this way!

    No one has this work/family thing “solved.” The best we, mothers and fathers, can do is to find a balance that we are at peace with. It’s good to keep re-evaluating, and looking for innovative ideas to strike the balance that works for you. But I am quite sure, that if you were to really look, I mean really look, at *anyone’s* balance – you’d find something that wasn’t perfectly suited for you. You’re not doing it “wrong,” it’s a tough juggling act for everyone – including all the dads!

    Hang in there, you’re an amazing mom and an amazing contributor to our society in many, many ways. 🙂 Things will smooth out again, eventually. 🙂

  5. Krista says:

    Hi. Not trying to add more angst to your day… just wondering if you can help me out.
    I have an aquaintance/friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer this week. In both breasts it appears, and she’s 12 weeks pregnant. Going in for a double mastectomy soon.
    She’s not really an internet gal so I can’t send her to your site.
    I’m just wondering what I can do to help her. She also has an almost 1 year old daughter, but her parents live in town and I know help out a lot that way.

  6. DD says:

    I can totally relate to your post. I had no idea being an academic mom and raising a child would be so difficult. I always feel like I am cheating one or the other. That is the reason my son is over four, and we are just now starting to think about another one. I want more kids and have a great husband, but I really worry about being able to juggle everything. I have been off birth control for the past two months, and my hormones are having a terrible time adjusting. I know my situation pales in comparison to yours, but just know you are not the only one grumpy out there. I’m not sure my husband will want to reproduce with me if I continue on my current ramage! Thank you so much for your posts, they really put things in perspective for me.

  7. Robin says:

    You’re entitled to be crabby sometimes even without going through surgery and sudden menopause. No need to justify, just crab away.


  8. J. Smith says:

    Oh Susan, please stop saying Sarah Palin shows us how it can be done. First of all, she’s failed miserably with a 17 year old pregnant daughter. Secondly, she is privileged. 99% of working mothers cannot bring their child to work. If I could have had both of my kids in the office when they were toddlers every day, I’d have done it in a heartbeat.

    She believes in censorship. She believes that prayer will end our troubles in Iraq.

    This is not a woman to look up to, and thank God I checked and you are a Momocrat. I love your blog but would have had to stop reading if you were a strong Palin supporter, which would be in direct contradiction to how intelligent you are. Please don’t even mention her again…she’s no one to admire for anything.

  9. CE says:

    J. Smith – quite passionate, but not necessarily very nice. There are plenty of intelligent women who do hold advanced degrees and happen to be conservative/republican. I don’t think it’s appropriate to say someone has “failed miserably” because their daughter made a mistake and got pregnant…I think failing miserable would be kicking your child out of the house for such a mistake, or hiding the child in shame. I agree that only people with a lot of power can bring their children to work – that is certainly a perk of working hard and attaining a high office such as a governorship.

    I don’t specifically “look up” to Sarah Palin for what she has accomplished as a mother…but I certainly respect her as a politician and am happy to see her on the ticket that I was going to vote for anyway. Can’t there be some middle ground?

  10. Jsmith says:

    No, not for me, I’m afraid. Sarah is more like Bush than McCain is. She’s more of the same and worse…and frankly, as someone who is not a Christian, I am offended by her refusal..and that of the present administration…to respect the Constitution and what our nation was founded on…separation of church and state.

    And while I myself would not have an abortion, I support freedom of choice.

    Here’s an interesting article – let’s hear your rebuttal:

  11. cousin-in-law says:

    Hi Susan –
    I have been reading you blogs. First of all it is OK to be grumpy once in a while. We are human.

    Seconed of all. I have been thinkig a lot about what you have been blogging about. That constant pull of staying at home vs working. Or trying to do both. I feel as a mom who has done both, that there is a season for everything. I think as a society we want it all. The best of both worlds. As women we want to count in the work and in the mean time be the super mom and wife. When we decide to stay home we struggle with our identity and whe we are at work we are riddled with guilt that someone else is raising our children.

    I have been home going on 5 years. I have realized for that my current job is the most important job that I will ever have in my life. It is for such a brief season. They grow up so fast and as we will always be needed, but the needs change. I will soon be back to work at some capacity.

    To all that are reading this
    Your identity is not on how many things you can juggle handle or do. It is based on investing in your family. Rasing your children to be independant well adjusted kids. That someday will grow up to be adults and go out into the world. When you look back at your life you will not the important things won’t be how much you contributed to the work force. It is going to be how you invested in your family.

    If you are working don’t be riddled with guilt. Invest in the time with your children when you are home. The #1 things that kids want is time with their parents. They might not act like it, but it is true.

    If you are home full time. Take time for yourself as well as your kids and spouse. You do not have to lose your identity becasue you are home. It is for a brief moment in time !!!

    I do not feel that there is a worng choice ( to stay home or not to stay home) It is what works best for your family unit. However, whatever path you have chosen, be content with it. Do not let society tell you if it is wrong or right.

    Society does not pay your bills or put food on your table. It is a choice that is made within your four walls of your home.

    I am sure this sounds simplistic and there might be people who think I am crazy. However, for me It makes sense.

    You can have it all. Why do we have to have it all at once ?

  12. Kathy U says:

    I have nothing more to add than what has already been said here except: Crabby or not, you are awesome!

    Kathy from Washington State

  13. Susan K says:

    Must be something going around. I have been an absolute horror lately and my poor children have bourne the brunt of it. Crabby indeed!

    And by the way…. we don’t KNOW that Palin has it working. She LOOKS like she has it working, but looks and reality are two totally different things here. So let’s not beat ourselves up over her apparent ability to do it all. We have no idea if her children even like her, if her husband still loves her, and if they eat Macaroni and Cheese every night (not that there’s anything wrong with THAT!).

  14. Amelie says:

    I’m sorry you have a crabby day. I hope something to make you smile turns up soon.

  15. whymommy says:

    J. Smith, I’m not doing a politics blog here. I did mention the VP candidate, but merely as a matter of curiosity — not as a bit about her politics or anything else. (Yes, I could, and yes, I want to, but I’m going to leave that to the Momocrats for now. They’re awesome. Anyone wanna talk about these issues? Hang out over there for a bit — they’ve got it all.)

    P.S. Cousin-in-law, I love what you have to say! Thanks!

  16. kippi says:

    As my 20 year old feminist (and conservative…yes, it is an AND world, people) tells me frequently:

    “You can have it all. Just not at the same time nor in equal measure.”

    Enjoy your boys. Kids have this nasty habit of growing up. 🙂

  17. J. Smith says:

    I apologize. For real. I think I’m just in a state of shock over recent developments, took your angst post to heart as I do so many of your beautiful, honest posts, and used poor judgment.

    But thanks for turning me on to Momocrats!

  18. MummyCha says:

    Whatever our political opinions, the fact that Palin is co-listing for presidency is commendable. It is not so often that a smart woman can go on TV even if she is not blond, wears glasses, and ….oh no!…. has a few wrinkles…. she almost look like a geek but she is on the covers of most people magazines, amazing… Could this motivate Britney Spears to go to college? Like being a geek is the new cool?
    Seriously, even if I do not share most of Palin’s ideas, I was happy to point her to my kid girl as an example of a successful woman with a family, who was a Miss when she was young, but went on to do something meaningful with her life.

  19. K says:

    Honestly – it didn’t sound crabby to me! You make some very good & valid points.

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