Friday, August 31, 2012

One day down, and I can't do it again.

Well, yesterday was my first day back to work.  Addie made it through the day with Daddy, and she had a great day.  I was a little sad to hear this because misery always loves company....

My day began at 3:30 in the morning.  Adelaide woke up crying, and I couldn't (notice - not Addie, but  me), I couldn't get back to sleep.  I laid awake in bed, very uncomfortable, and periodically crying until 5:45 am.   I decided to just get up and shower.  I just wanted the day to be over with.

I know some of you are thinking, "She is this torn about leaving her daughter?"  And the answer is a resounding YES, but what made this day especially difficult was returning to a job that I now completely hate.  I had no desire to sit through a day of presentations and meetings, was not looking forward to an unbearably hot working environment, and for the first time in my life, dreaded going to my job.

I was ready well before 7am, and I had to keep myself busy.  Around 7, Addie woke up, I dressed her, and off I went.  As my husband walked me to the car, I completely broke down.  I sobbed like I watched someone shoot a dog in a movie (ever watch Old Yeller?).  I have never felt that awful in my life.

When I arrived at work, I proceeded to breakdown at least three more times- each time in private - but at least three more times.  While listening to presentations, I found myself completely understanding those "cynical" people I work with who like to preach about the "Us V. Them" mentality.  They spew how "They" are just full of hot air, don't care about "Us," and will be deceptive at every moment.  Not only did I hate myself for agreeing with them, I hated knowing they were right all along.

To make matters worse, as the day progressed I became increasingly more uncomfortable and to the point of being in pain.   My baby boy twin eventually lodged himself into my hip and must have been pressing on a nerve.  By the time I left, I was in tears because I could barely walk.

When I imagined my arrival home, my daughter would be waiting by the door smiling and reaching for me.  We would hug or "squeeze" as we call it, and I would feel a little better knowing I was home.  But that did not happen.  When I arrived home, my daughter was napping, and I couldn't move without cringing. I spent the greater part of the afternoon vacillating between tears and agony.  When she awoke, she wanted little to nothing to do with me, and by the time we went to bed I was in so much pain, I couldn't move.

Last night I cried myself to sleep.

Monday, August 27, 2012

And the countdown begins...

In just three days, I will be returning to work after my year maternity leave.  I am having a difficult time with this to say the least.   Every night I look at my beautiful daughter and can't help but become upset. I know I only have to return for six weeks, but as I have stated in my previous entries, this whole transition and period in time would have been and could be so much easier if I wasn't returning to a terrible situation at work. 

As I play with my daughter in these last few days, I am just trying to enjoy every little smile, smirk, yell, and hug so I will have a bank of happy moments to go to when I am sitting at my desk and want to cry.   

This leads me to to my story for the day, which in case you are wondering, did make me cry.

I spoke to my mother this morning and was asking her about my niece and nephew.  My nephew started first grade a couple of weeks ago, and then was out sick a couple of days last week with an ear infection.  Knowing how challenging this can be for any student (or teacher), I asked how he was doing in terms of his health but also in terms of his mental state.  You see, when he started kindergarten, he had a little trouble transitioning.  I think most children do on some level, but this was a little surprising to hear (but I am his aunt, godmother, and live 3000 miles away- so don't be surprised I don't know the day-to-day happenings with my nieces and nephews).  But I was surprised because he loves to have sleepovers with Nona and Papa, loved to go to daycare a.k.a "school," and overall was great with my husband and I when we visited (considering he doesn't really know us like he knows my sister and her husband).  But after a few weeks, he was okay and made it through kindergarten with flying colors.  

So when I asked my mom about how first grade was going, I didn't know what to expect.  Unfortunately, he is having a bit of a tough transition again.  My mom explained he had a wonderful summer: played with his sister, spent a great deal of time with his mom (my sister-in-law) who was off because she is a teacher, and just enjoyed life.  So my sister-in-law had that conversation most parents have with their children who have to go to school; she explained to him that he will love school, explained all the fun things to do and learn, and explained how he will see friends and make new ones. But my nephew is smart.  He asked his mom to stay home- not realizing that she would still have to work (or maybe he did, but he probably thought he could convince her to let him stay home too), and when she said she couldn't, he asked her the most heartbreaking question: Can I cry at school when I miss you?

I wanted to cry when my mom told me the story.  But what made me breakdown was my sister-in-law's sage response.  She told him no, he couldn't cry (kids can be cruel), but every time he missed her that he should put his hand on his heart.  At the same time, she would put her hand on her heart, and they would have a special connection.  

I hate thinking about my nephew missing his mommy so much.  I hate thinking about him holding back tears because he can't cry at school.  I hate that my nephew has to feel one iota of sadness.  And I hate that I understand exactly how he feels.  I will be walking around with my hand permanently attached to my heart over the next few weeks.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Today was a lousy day....

So I went into work to set things up in my new position. This was my first day since my involuntary transfer. It was awful.

I remember when I was a kid I would often have to walk home from my friends' houses. Most days and some nights, I would go and not think twice about it. My neighborhood felt safe, and I knew almost everyone in my neighborhood. But there were some nights that I would run home. I just felt innately afraid of walking alone. During those walks the neighborhood not only felt foreign but foreboding. I was uncomfortable and unhappy with my pedestrian situation on those nights. I longed for and needed to be home.

That is how I felt today. I had a knot in my stomach on the drive over to the building. I hate the building. It is hot, out of date, and not comfortable. My room was dirty, foreign, and uncomfortable. My daughter cried most of the time we were there- another sign that this is just not the right place for me.

I have been complaining about this transfer from day one because I don't understand why it happened. The only explanation I was given is that I was on leave, so they don't need to give me an explanation. That treatment compounded by the awful treatment I have received since my unwarranted transfer makes me loathe my once beloved job.

So just standing in the building made me upset. To make matters worse, my room was about 93 degrees. I could barely stand it. After only an hour, I had to leave because both my daughter and I were drenched in sweat and her face was flushed.

Nothing about this environment feels good anymore. I am sure the staff is nice, so I don't want to imply that they will be an issue, but nothing else feels like this pairing will be a success. And after the terrible and unprecedented treatment I have received coming back from leave, I have no desire to be a part of this organization any longer.

This is such a different feeling than when I left for my maternity leave. When I left, the last imprint on my mind was a conversation I had with my former HR head. He told me how he always treated the staff with dignity and respect. He tried to be equitable and fair. He tried to be flexible when he could be and informative at all times. This wasn't just out of the kindness of his heart - it was a smart leadership move. He realized that employees who felt heard, respected, and valued will always give their employers 200 percent- no matter how difficult the task. He also realized that employees are people too and have many other responsibilities outside the scope and sequence of their positions. When there is disorder and dysfunction in an employee's personal life, then it is imperative that there is stability in his or her professional life because in the end, the professional will always suffer. He was a smart and savvy leader. He knew that by simply collaborating with and listening to employees as opposed to breaking them down, he would have happy and productive employees. If he worked to "break them," - he would. And the result would be employees who were no longer vested in the organization and contributed the minimum.

Someone forgot to tell the new leadership the secret to success.

I am mad at myself because of this morning. This two hour stint in my temporary cell ruined my spirit and my mood. It just broke me today.

My daughter cried the entire way home and after an hour of listening to her, I cried (sobbed) too. I cried for so many reasons: I felt like I failed her, I hate how I felt at work, I hate that I have to leave her to be at a place I hate, I hate that hate and anger have become the new norms in my vernacular.

I cannot wait for the day when I don't have to do this anymore. Because right now I don't think I can do it. With everything else going on, I am too tired of trying to keep it together when all I want to do is fall apart.

I pray tonight that God give me patience and strength to deal with this situation - even if it is for six weeks- because I am tired of people saying it is only six weeks. If that is the case, switch places with me. But no one would because they would despise it too.

I pray tonight that God take away and help me deal with my anger about all of this. It is not healthy for me, my daughter, my husband, or the twins. I need strength to remember that people are selfish and self-centered. I need to keep those people in my peripheral and not my forefront. I need to remember that I may lay awake at night and think about them, but they do not think of me and my family.

I pray that God help me let go of those who do not want happiness for me and my family. Let go of those who seek to harm us or are indifferent to our moments of joy and our moments of sorrow.

And finally, I pray that God help me be a good mother and wife. Nothing else matters. My family is what brings me happiness. I cannot let the outside world effect how I show my love to them each day.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Well, it has been AWHILE.....

My last blog post was in February, and for many reasons, I have not blogged since then.

In March, I began IVF treatments again and surprise! It worked on the first round this time. Our family is now adding two- yes two more to the flock!

This pregnancy has been so different than my first- but just in speed. Everything seems to be going faster and happening sooner than with Addie. I am experiencing much more pressure, back, hip, and crotch discomfort. I am also finding that standing for long periods of time is difficult even now. But ironically, even though I am carrying twins, I have gained about ten pounds less than I did with Addie at this point. I still look bigger- go figure- and the babies are healthy!

I go every three weeks for an ultrasound and check up. This will become more frequent soon. And I have high hopes that we will know both sexes in about a week!

Other personal and family matters have kept from blogging and writing, but I am hoping we are turning over a new shamrock and am ready for some great luck! I have to return to my teaching position in a couple of weeks. I am very unhappy about this for so many reasons. I never thought I would ever dread returning to work because I have always wanted to teach. But after spending a year home with Adelaide and experiencing some awful changes at work, I realized that I still may love to teach, but I do not love what is going on with my job. Without venting too much, I have had the worst experience with my job while on leave. After working in my district for ten years, I know I am not valued or respected. I know many people who read this may think: that is business lady. But education is not a business. That is the characteristic that drew me and passionate people like me into the field.

Education is about people, reflecting, collegiality, adapting, and caring. These qualities make the job demanding, ceaseless, tiring, and oh so rewarding. But unfortunately, that is not how I can describe my job any more. I am saddened, angry, and hurt. Luckily, I will only be back for six weeks at the most. The twins and my sanity and happiness come first.

Enough about that topic. Back to the first time mom talk!

I cannot believe that I will be able to be mom again. Addie will be a BIG sister. And I will have three babies under TWO.

Sometimes, I wonder how will I do it? Especially at three in the morning when Addie wakes up (that is my next blog).. I have hope I won't make the rookie mistakes with twins, but I know I will make a whole slew of mistakes as a mom of multiples. The only thing we all can wish is to have happy, healthy children who know they are loved.