Friday, April 06, 2012

Meetings and Motherhood

I'm on the floor on my hands and knees, fully dressed for my meeting with my dress, pearl earrings, and leggings.  Off white leggings.  I can't even begin to imagine how dirty I'm getting as I clean up the pork fried rice strewn all over the floor.  My little one is watching me repeating over and over again: "made mess".  Yes, I tell her, you made a mess.  It's slightly humorous how she watches me clean up all the while reminding me how messy it is.  I glance at the clock and know my time is almost up.

It's 11:55 a.m. and I have an hour and a half before I'm supposed to be in my meeting with the CEO and Founder of my company plus a prospective client.  I'm not entirely nervous but at the same time my Founder is intimidating because he's so genius.  I always get nervous talking my projects in front of him.

I grab:  my laptop bag, Lyla's toy bag, my bag for Lyla with an emergency change of clothes, water, etc, my coat, Lyla's shoes, Lyla's coat, and start moving towards the door.

Taking a quick survey around my house and seeing the dirty dishes, random rice bits, and a haze of dusts just makes me depressed.  I really hope I get home before Jared so I can clean up.  I drop everything at the door as I have to chase Lyla around to get her shoes on.  I bring her out to the car and strap her in, go back and grab all my bags, and I think I'm ready.  I lock up the house and set the alarm.  As I sit into the drivers seat I reach for the brake and realize I'm still in my slippers.

With my boots on, I'm finally on the road and willing my girl to take a nap.  She had woken up way too early and I knew a nap would be essential.  However with the schedule I had, a proper nap was out of the question. I put on her sleep music and she finally nods off half way there.  Sadly she only gets a 25 minute nap before we pull into my friends driveway; my make shift sitter for my 2 hour meeting.  

I'm really lucky that I can work from home but when I have to be in the office and Lyla is not at school I have to do what I have to do.  My friend has a daughter the same age as Lyla and she's home. So dropping off Lyla for a few hours is okay by her.  I'm so grateful for this make shift arrangement.  Lyla easily goes into the house and settles in to play and I take off.

I screech into the office parking lot at 1:10 and panic that I'm going to be late.  I still have to power up my laptop and download a prototype before it.  I leap up the stairs and get to my desk very short of breath.  Ten minutes later my boss asks me to join the meeting room now or come in after the first part for just my part.  I gratefully opt out of going now so I can get some work done.

My sister just so happens to work with me and because I start to panic that my meeting is going to run late, I give her instructions to my friends house and my car keys. I tell her to pick up Lyla at 3 so that she's not stuck there too long. I don't want to overstay my welcome.

I'm so stressed out about Lyla being there, all the work I'm behind on, and the fact that I have this meeting to do still.  I get a stomachache.  Diarrhea?  Really?  That's all I need right now.  

I settle down and then I'm called into the meeting.  I go in, introduce myself and take a seat.  The chair I select also happens to be at the top level so my feet just dangle unable to reach the floor.  No one can see this but I can feel it.  I immediately think how can anyone take me seriously when my feet are dangling just above the floor.  But it's too late the panic and this young, handsome man starts talking to me.  All the while I'm checking to see if he's married - what?!  I'm married.  Focus.

I do my thing and it goes well. I don't know why I was so nervous.  Now as the meeting drones on and all I can think about is my sister walking into the office with my child barreling in front of her - of course you can see who walks in the main door from the conference room.  I'm already getting embarrassed as I envision Lyla putting her face on the glass windows of the door and making funny faces.  Thankfully the meeting adjourns and ten minutes later Lyla shows up with my sister.

But we're not done yet.  I pack up (have I even gotten any work done, no), get back to the car with Lyla and go to the store. I buy a plant for my friend and then run to her house to visit.  We decide to go to dinner but because of the lack of nap and Lyla's tiredness from running around all day, she's a crank and totally misbehaves.  I'm embarrassed.  We make it a quick visit and before I know it I'm on the way home yelling at Lyla.

I'm yelling at her because I'm tired.  Because she wasn't behaving,  Because she's screaming.  Because I have so much to do when I get home.  I turn off the radio, she stops yelling, and we ride in silence for a long time.  I start to quietly cry.  I'm a bad mother.  Being a working mom is tough.  

Lyla falls asleep and when we get home a whole new load of responsibilities hit me in the face.  Jared is not home until late so I have to deal with:  bath time, dishes, trash night, laundry, bed time, and clearing up all on my own.  Then I open up my computer and start to work.  I'm fried.

It was a day.  I want to be a good mom and be good at my job.  Is it possible to be good at both?  Is it possible to not be guilty every day you're not with your child teaching them and watching them?  Will I ever get over the fact that I can't be home with her every day?  

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