#NaBloPoMo Day 19: The Sting of Halloween

Nineteen days into NaBloPoMo, and today’s theme is Injury.  I’m talking about a serious one today, folks!  By the way, if you need some help in the toddler raising department, be sure to read yesterday’s post about how I discipline my demonic two-year-old.

If there’s one thing I lack, it’s experience with bee stings.*   Or wasp or hornet stings, what have you.   Rumor has it that when I was a little kid, I was stung by a wasp on the butt while I was using a training toilet outside (as you do).  But that was the last and only time I’ve ever been stung, and I obviously don’t remember how it felt.

I do remember feeling pretty smug when, a few years back, my cousin’s family was visiting and her husband would not shut up about the wasps in our back yard.  “Katie, we CANNOT let our kids get stung,” he said to my cousin emphatically.  “That would just ruin our WHOLE DAY.”  I rolled my eyes inwardly, thinking he was being overly dramatic.  That was two years ago, but unfortunately there’s no statute of limitations on karma.

So let’s flash back to Halloween of this year.  We were at a “Boo at the Zoo” event, and K-Man was having a grumpy day.  He’s really not into dressing up in costume, but we bribed him into a fireman outfit by telling him it was just a jacket he needed to wear because it was cold outside.  Hah, sucker.

Once K-Man realized the event was an exercise in collecting candy, his mood brightened somewhat.  Nevertheless, we sighed loudly when he suddenly screamed and threw his pumpkin bucket to the ground.  Hubby made no effort to hide his annoyance as K-Man’s sobs grew.  But as I stared down at his sad little shaking body, I started to realize something was actually wrong.  Though there was no offender in sight, we thought maybe the poor little dude had been stung by a yellow jacket. I had seen them everywhere all morning, and of course his hands were covered in sugar.  When his finger turned red and started to swell, we were certain that’s what we were dealing with.

Since I had no recollection of how much a sting hurts, I didn’t know what I was in for with my injured toddler.  When the initial tears dried up after a few minutes, I figured the episode was behind us.  But no, every 2-3 minutes, K-Man would break down crying in long, morose sobs all over again.

It really was a “bless his heart” kind of moment.  Some of the attendants felt so bad for him — without even knowing why he was crying — that they gave him extra candy as he made the rounds.

Eventually we gave up and left the zoo.  K-Man’s tearful outbursts became fewer and farther between, but still lasted for several hours.  He even woke up early from his nap crying about how his “finguh huht”.

To make him feel better, I told him the story about getting stung on my butt when I was a toddler. Well, that surely left a mark. Here we are, three weeks out, and I will still hear K-Man whispering to himself in the back seat: “I got stung by a bee on my finger and Mom got stung by a bee on her BUTT!!” I guess we’re bonded now.

Until next time,

Vee

*I’m totally joking.  I am abundant with flaws.

How to Discipline Your 2-Year-Old (#NaBloPoMo Day 18)

And we’re on to NaBloPoMo Day 18!  I know it’s the weekend, but I hope you’re all behaving. Today’s theme is Discipline, and things are about to get pretty stern up in here.

Let’s talk about my son K-Man.  I love him to the end of the Earth.  But the terrible twos have struck hard, and my once sweet little boy is now a bona fide ass face.  Guys, it’s so bad, so bad that I have to wonder if everything is ok.  Is this normal two-year-old stuff? Or is he going to have major behavioral issues as he ages?

The biggest problem is violence.  His body is a weapon and he knows how to use it.  He knows how to use it on the cats, his little sister, and even his poor unsuspecting parents. It’s not so much that he’s outright hitting us — he mostly knows that’s wrong, though he’s not above it when he’s delirious with exhaustion.  Instead, he’s all about crazy, uncontrolled hyper movements that he knows are going to land on an innocent bystander.  And casually bumping his little sister out of the way when she’s already teetering on her unsteady feet.  Or hugging her and then slowly pushing her to the ground. (Rage.)  Or jumping on my knee caps when I’m sitting on the ground with my legs extended. (More rage.)  Or choking Hubby out from behind.

And then you have the epic tantrums and the never ever listening when you ask him to stop doing something destructive.  All of this without an ounce of apology or empathy behind those beautiful big blue toddler eyes.  Ugh, it’s so exhausting.  And it’s constant.  And it’s been going on since well before he turned two.  And he’s almost three now.  Relief, are you out there somewhere? Are you lost? Did you get my change of address?

So what do you do when you have an extra sociopathic toddler?  How do you discipline a two-year-old?

My knee-jerk response is to say that you don’t.  Because they’re still so dumb, you guys.  They really don’t understand anything.  I mean, I’m 32 and I still haven’t fully learned how to follow rules or do the right thing, so why should I expect my toddler to?

But deep down in my heart I know that as hard as disciplining is at this age, we have to try, right? Because if we don’t, sociopathic toddlers (normal) could turn into sociopathic adults (not normal).  Yikes.

So if your kid is about to enter this charming stage of his or her life, and you’re looking for help (because I know I still am), let me give you the low down on some of the things we’ve tried with our little butthead.  Spoiler alert: most of it doesn’t work.

  • Yelling:  Nobody likes to be yelled at, so this one should discourage your kid from doing most undesirables, right? Wrong.  Toddlers are immune to yelling.  They don’t care if you scream at them until you’re red in the face.  In fact, they enjoy watching you change colors.  There is, however, one exception.  If you’re yelling at your kid in terror out of fear for his or her life — as in, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP YOU’RE ABOUT TO RUN IN FRONT OF A MOVING VEHICLE — they listen right up.  And thank god for that.  (Hmm, maybe I need to learn how to emulate that terror in my voice even when I’m just asking K-Man to get his mother effing butt off the mother effing dining table, for the last time. Gawd!)
  • Time-in:  Time-out is getting a bit of a bad rap these days, so the new hip thing to do is sit down with your child for some “time-in” — you can discuss the transgression with your kid while also keeping them company and reinforcing how much you love them.  Aww!  For a while, time-in was our jam.  If K-Man smushed his little sister one too many times, we would buckle him in to his booster seat at the table and sit next to him to talk through it.  And once K-Man had a good idea of what time-in was, we were able to use the threat of it as a deterrent.  As in, “if you smush your sister again you’re going to have to do time-in!”  Unfortunately, in recent weeks, K-Man has learned a little self-determination, and he no longer willingly goes in to his booster seat for time-in.  And since I’m not cool with physically forcing his body in half to get him to sit down, we’ve had to retire time-in to the discipline graveyard.  Boo.
  • Bribes: K-Man loves him some choc-luht, and we’re not above luring it over his fat head to get him to do something that we need him to do.  They’re just baby teeth, right?  This tactic works well for encouraging certain immediate affirmative behaviors (e.g., “if you let me brush your teeth you can have some chocolate after”), but it is less effective for discouraging prospective actions (e.g., “if you don’t do the naughty thing that I don’t know you’re about to do, you can have some chocolate”).
  • Taking Things Away:  I can’t believe how long it took me to figure this one out.  Toys? A privilege.  TV? A privilege.  If my turd of a child is acting out, I don’t have to let him keep playing with toys or watching tv! Whaaaat? This is my current discipline of choice, because it is the most effective deterrent.  “If you don’t lay down for a diaper change, I’m going to turn Moana off!” or, “If you hit your sister with that truck again, I’m going to take it away!”  Genius! Should I write a book?
  • Telling Him He’s In Trouble:  K-Man hates being in trouble, even if it comes with no real consequence.  He just cringes at the word.  So sometimes, all I have to do is tell him that if he carries on with certain behavior, he’ll be in big trouble.  Or if he’s already done the offending act, I just let him know he’s in trouble and he immediately gets majorly uncomfortable.  “No, I not in trouble, you happy mommy.”  “No, I give you a hug and then I not in trouble.”  “No, I not in big trouble, I in small trouble!”  What a dork.

 

So there you have it, my busted up list of tips and tricks for toddler discipline.  (Side note: should they really let people be parents without first passing a course in child psychology?)

The only other piece of advice I have for those maneuvering toddler discipline — and this bit is actually genuine — is to sit down and talk through strategies with your significant other.  Make sure you have a game plan, and make sure you’re on the same page.  Ideally, you would do this before your child gets to the age where they need actual disciplining.  Because the last thing you want when you’re navigating your child’s first god awful temper tantrum is to learn that your hubby doesn’t even know what time-in is.  Yikes!

Until next time,

Vee

 

Soccer Mom In the Waiting (#NaBloPoMo Day 17)

It’s the 17th day of NaBloPoMo, yo!  Since 17 has always been my jersey number, let’s talk about Sports!  And if you missed yesterday’s gut wrenching Kardashian confession, go check it out!

Hubby and I are both former athletes.  I say former because these days we gym 1-2 times a week and rock some epic mom and dad bods.  But back in the day, I was pretty serious about soccer.  And Hubby played squash like a pro.  (If you don’t know about squash, it’s just this silly little New England sport that is the same thing as racquet ball.)

Because athletics were such an integral part of my youth, I can’t imagine my kids not sharing that same passion.  And if there’s anything I love more than my own children, it’s spectating sports, so they better be ready to put on a show!

And you know what? I don’t even care that kids suck horribly at sports for the first few years.  Trust me, I am not picky about the quality of my sport spectating.  If there’s a competition, a winner and a loser, I’m into it! And if there’s a snack bar selling nachos nearby, I’ve basically died and gone to heaven.

Since my kids are not quite at the team sports age yet, for now all I can do is watch them eagerly to try and discern where their respective talents lie.  K-Man is all about kicking the cats and body-checking his little sister, so maybe soccer is in his future?  Honestly I’d prefer he take up tennis because I really want him to turn pro and take me to Wimbledon every year, but that’s a bit of a pipe dream.  As for Ell-Bell — beautiful, 95th-percentile-in-weight Ell-Bell — she’s got sumo wrestler or shot putter written all over her.

I suppose I do need to prepare myself for the possibility that my kids won’t want to play sports.  Wow, I just broke into a cold sweat writing that.  But seriously, whatever they throw at me (figuratively speaking, in this scenario), I’ll be ok.  Right?

Until next time,

Vee

 

 

 

#NaBloPoMo Day 13: Eleven, Twelve, Fourteen

It’s the 13th of the month, so today’s NaBloPoMo theme is Superstition. Peek back at yesterday’s post for a cute photo of Ell-Bell doing some chores.

Are you superstitious? I think my son K-man might be. When he counts to twenty, he almost always skips the number thirteen. It’s probably because his two-year-old brain can’t distinguish between the words thirteen and fourteen, but still, cute.

I’ve never been an overly superstitious person.  One superstition I think all moms subscribe to, though, is that you should never ever EVER vocalize when things are going well with your kid.  It’s a classic rookie mistake. Because the moment you admit that things are going well, the literal moment, they take a turn for the worse. Sometimes it’s a full 180. Ugh. Kids are so spiteful.

And this is true in every facet of parenthood. Behavioral issues. Eating. Potty training. And of course, sleep.  Mother effing sleep. Aka the joy killer. Aka optimism’s kryptonite.  If you’re a masochist, if you really truly hate yourself, go ahead and roll over in bed one night and tell your partner that you think your child is finally sleeping better.  Go ahead, I dare you.  I guarantee you that same child will wake up crying within five minutes. And then again every hour for the rest of the night.  You done messed up.

Honestly, there’s no safe way to acknowledge a trend of sleep improvement. Ell-Bell has had some major sleep issues for the past, oh, five months or so. Multiple night wakings, every night. But lately, it seemed like we were turning over a new leaf. Gosh, a few nights in a row she didn’t even wake up for the first time until about 4 a.m! Pure heaven.

Since I’m talking in the past tense, you already know I messed it up somehow.  But if you think I’m naive enough to have uttered a word about my giddiness to another living soul, you’re not giving me enough credit.  This isn’t my first rodeo! I wouldn’t even meet Hubby’s eyes when he asked me in the mornings how things went the night before. I just gave him the usual old miserable grunt.  So here’s where I went wrong.  I dared to think about it.  How could I have been so stupid?  Obviously the sleep gods can read minds, too!

Guess I need to bone up on my occlumency, just in case my daughter ever starts sleeping through the night.

Until next time,

Vee

 

 

 

#NaBloPoMo Day 12: Life With An Almost-Toddler

Happy November 12th, more popularly known as Day 12 of NaBloPoMo.  Today’s theme is Photograph.  You can go ahead and raise your hand if you just started humming some Ed Sheeran.

When I drafted my NaBloPoMo list, I thought it might be helpful to have a few light days here and there, because blogging every day is no joke!  So after a few days of heavier posts that have nothing to do with #cutekids, I thought today I would share a photograph that is a little more true to the actual title of my blog.

As Ell-Bell narrows in on her first birthday, she is becoming much more toddler-like.  And boy, if I can’t already tell that she’s going to be trouble.  I think most parents know that once babies turn mobile, you can only do anything in 5-second increments.  But I swear, I was only looking in the bathroom mirror long enough to put a SINGLE bobby pin in my hair when I turned around to behold this:

img_5938

Mom fail!

And yes, I probably should have taken the toilet scrubber out of her hand instead of reaching for the camera.

And yes, my bathroom is disgusting and the toilet paper roll needs refilling.  Give me a break, ok? I’m busy trying to churn out a blog a day over here.

Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 10: A Former Daddy’s Girl

I’m still here blogging my way through November, NaBloPoMo style.  We’re in the double digits with Day 10, and today’s theme is Fathers.  Yesterday, I blogged about my experiences at boarding school, which my own father was nice enough to pay for.

Shout out to my dad, who is another member of the November birthday club.  When I think about it, it makes perfect sense that my dad and I would have birthdays so close together.  We’ve always been kind of in sync.

Now if you ask my dad about me, the very first thing he will tell you is that he held me first.  You see, he and my mom kept having all these babies together, and it was starting to annoy him that she always got to hold the babies first thing after they were born.  (I mean, I think she kind of earned that right, but whatever).  Anyway, when I was born, my dad allegedly insisted that he get to hold me before I was passed over to my mom.  And thus a special bond was formed.  You can guess how much my siblings love hearing that story.

My dad was amazing when we were growing up.  He devoted a lot of time and energy to raising us, and he was always around.  He encouraged our imagination, our education, our physical prowess.  He invented fun games that we played for years and years.  He made up characters and told us stories on long car rides.  He was the perfect tutor and the perfect coach.  He was a shoulder to cry on, always.

He was so good at his job as a dad that I didn’t realize how rough things were for him sometimes behind the scenes.  Not only were finances extremely tight in the early years, but he was also suffering from a dangerous depression.  I was oblivious to all of it; he was my hero and I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world.  So I really think that’s a testament to him.

Of course, as most people do, I grew up and realized my parents aren’t perfect.  As I moved away and was able to analyze our relationship with a little more objectivity, I discovered that my dad was just as flawed as everybody else.  He was emotionally manipulative, belligerently opinionated, overly critical of others.  I found myself having to take a step back from the close bond.  It was important to preserve my own independence, and I couldn’t do that if I regarded his opinions above my own.

And in the midst of all those adult realizations, my parents went through a heartbreaking divorce.  Heartbreaking for me, anyway.   It put a huge crack in the foundation of my relationship with my dad because I couldn’t help but feel like it was his fault.  You see, my parents got married really young, after only a few months of dating.  And my whole life, it was uncomfortably obvious that my mom loved my dad more than he loved her.  He was the center of her universe, but you couldn’t help but feel like he was just staying together for the kids.  So my mom walked away from the marriage heartbroken, and my dad walked away relieved.

And as I was healing my heart, trying to accept that this lifelong bedrock was gone, my dad moved to a new country and married another woman.  Someone he only knew for a few months beforehand.  It didn’t help that he married her secretly, without telling us when it happened.  And then a few months later, she was pregnant with his child.  Just in time for him to bring her to my own wedding with a full baby-bump on display.  My poor mom.

I could forgive that my dad moved on with another woman and had another kid, though I would have loved for him to wait a little longer before doing it.  What I can’t forgive, though, is that he made himself miserable all over again.  If he would have paused for a second before marrying this new woman, he would have learned that she is certifiably crazy.  Instead, he just made the same mistakes all over again.  Met a woman, fell passionately in love in a matter of months, got married, had a child, and then was stuck in another relationship he wanted out of.  He is still hurting.  Which makes me hurt.  Which makes me mad.  I know that sounds self-centered, but it’s how I feel.

So here we are in present day, working to mend a relationship that was never explicitly broken, though I think we both know we fell pretty far from the paradigm.  Luckily, our hearts are open and we both want the same thing.  And what’s really helping bring us back together is the common ground we share in my own kids.  One thing I couldn’t appreciate more is that my dad is an excellent Grandpa. Of course, he doesn’t like to be called  Grandpa, he thinks he’s too young for that.  Haha, time to face the music, old man.

Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 6: Birthday Month

Welcome to NaBloPoMo Day 6, where the theme du jour is Birthdays!  Don’t forget to read yesterday’s post, where I talk about how jealous I am of my sister-in-law’s very ripe cervix.  How’s that for a non-sequitur?

November is my Birthday Month — no wonder I love it so much.  (And yes, forget birthday weeks, I’m all about birthday months).

This year I am turning 32, which sounds just so old to me.  But then I think about the year I turned 12, when I ugly cried because I was sad about how ancient I was.  So maybe with a little perspective, I can appreciate that when I turn 52, I’ll also feel like that sounds pretty old.  And I’ll laugh back at my 32-year-old self because I was actually so young back then.

Honestly, I’m quite tempted to feel sorry for myself on my birthday this year.  Because I’m going to be spending it so very, very alone.  I’m introverted, and shy, and awkward, and most of the time, I don’t even care.  But there’s something about birthdays, at least for me.  As much as I don’t want to be noticed in general, I do secretly always hope people will make a big deal on my birthday.

But alas, I’m alone in a new city, taking my sweet introverted time making new friends.  No extended family within hundreds of miles in any direction.  So all of my birthday hopes fall on my husband.  My poor husband who is in the throes of his intern year.  My poor husband who is working six or seven days a week.  Who leaves the house every day at 5:00 a.m. and doesn’t get home until 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.  Yeah, that husband.  I don’t expect much from him, but it’s a bit of a bummer that we won’t really get to spend any time together.  Maybe I can I count on my two-year-old and my 11-month-old for some birthday love?

I guess the good news is, no adults will be around to witness my annual birthday face-stuffing.  I’m going to shot-gun an entire pizza, Liz Lemon-style.

And as I’m eating my way through my feelings, I’ll try to remember that a birthday is just one day in a year full of other days.  And that year is just one year in a lifetime full of other years.  So what if  the actual Day Of is kind of underwhelming? It’s been a good year, and it’s been a great life.

Until next time,

Vee

Birth Story Jealousy (#NaBloPoMo Day 5)

It’s Day 5 of my NaBloPoMo, which means we’re already 1/6th of the way through November, folks.  I’m having a blast exploring topics like how my husband is a doofus and how working for biglaw is like working for the devil.  Today’s NaBloPoMo theme is Jealousy, that beautiful green-eyed monster.  Ugh, why does she have to be so beautiful?

Confession time: I struggle with birth story jealousy.  Is it just me, or do people classify birth stories based only the the level of perceived bad-assery?  If you had a vaginal birth after 105 hours of drug-free, doctor-free labor, you are a warrior.  And if you had a c-section after 2 hours of laboring on the good stuff, you are a wimp.

Well I think that dichotomy is really fucking stupid, but I still can’t help but feel jealous of women whose birth stories resemble the former rather than the latter.  I guess I want to be regarded as a warrior, too?

My birth story jealousy started before I even gave birth to my first kid.  I had a “we’ll see” mentality about the epidural, and I was most definitely planning to have my son in the hospital.  But, I was surrounded by women who had the most natural of natural births.  Both my mom and my sister — six children between them — birthed at home without epidurals or doctors.  I mean, my sister freaking squat-pushed her first baby out onto her living room floor.  Even if I didn’t want to do that, I felt incredibly inadequate because I wasn’t willing to try.

As much as I yearned to tell an epic, amazonian birth story, I was actually terrified of —  and grossed out by — the idea of childbirth.  Maybe even a little bit hopeful that I would end up with a c-section? Is that awful?

So you can probably guess from the preamble that both of my children were born via c-section.  With K-Man, I developed hypertension and suspected pre-eclampsia at 37 weeks.  I was induced with pitocin, but failed to ever progress past 1 cm after about 20 hours.  So when K-Man started having decelerations, I was taken in for a somewhat emergent c-section.  With Ell-Bell, though I was hoping for a VBAC, I developed that darned hypertension again at 37 weeks.  My OBs didn’t really want to induce me for a VBAC when I was not even a little bit dilated, so back to the OR I went.

In case you were wondering, both of my c-sections were actually great.  I was awake and lucid, I experienced overwhelming love when my children came into the world, and my recovery was A+.  But I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed that I was “just” a c-section momma — like I had copped out somehow.  (Why did I feel like that? I was fricking cut in half, is that not badass?)

It didn’t help that my sister-in-law (SIL) had both of her children at the same time I had both of my children, and that both of her births were, well, warrior status.

A few weeks after after I had K-Man, SIL was overdue with her first born and developed actual eclampsia.  When her doctor prescribed her magnesium sulfate — the supposed death knell for any natural birth plan — her midwife reportedly cried.  (Major eye roll.)  But of course, SIL powered through, labored forever, refused the epidural, and had a vaginal birth.  Of course.

And a few months after I had Ell-Bell, SIL accidentally had her baby at home.  Like, she didn’t make it to the hospital. I guess her cervix was just too ripe (why even is that a thing that I am jealous of?)  But seriously, how gross is it that when I heard my precious niece was born, my first reaction was a jealous “ugh, of course.”  I’m a bad person.

 

But anyways, I know — I know — it’s time to let this jealousy go.  There is a much bigger picture here, which is that that I am so incredibly lucky to have two beautiful, healthy children.  Who cares whether they came out of my vagina, or my abdomen, or some other woman’s body?

Until next time,

Vee

#NaBloPoMo Day 4: Embarrassed at the Pediatrician

It’s Day 4 of my NaBloPoMo November, and I’m having a blast!  Speaking of fun, today’s theme is Embarrassing*.  Speaking of not fun, be sure to catch yesterday’s post about how much I hated being a lawyer.

I knew when I decided to have kids that they would embarrass me from time to time.  So far so good though, for the most part.  Ell-Bell is too young to be embarrassing (except when she’s pulling down my shirt and exposing me in public), and K-Man tends to save his truly horrifying antics for inside the home.

But I have to say, K-Man got me good at the pediatrician the other day.  You see, Hubby and I have decided not to mess around with cute names for the more private parts of the human anatomy.  We’ve taught K-Man that a butt is a butt, and a penis is a penis.  And now that Ell-Bell is in the picture, he knows all about vaginas too!  Every night during bath time, K-Man is encouraged to wash his butt and his penis, and he likes to talk about it as he does it.  “I need wash my butt and I need wash my pee-nis!”  Perfectly normal, I think.  That is, perfectly normal in the privacy of our own home!

So we were at the pediatrician the other day for flu shots, and K-Man was getting a quick check-up beforehand.  He’s a really cute patient. He told the pediatrician what the otoscope was for, and then he leaned in helpfully as she looked in his ear.

But things got weird when the pediatrician pulled out the stethoscope.  After first listening to his chest, she then leaned over him and said, “I’m just going to listen to your back now, ok?”

And for god knows what reason, Keegan responded quietly, “Tha’s my back.  Aaaand tha’s my butt, aaand tha’s my pee-nis!” And words weren’t enough, no, he also gestured with his little finger in the direction of first his butt, and then his penis.  And then he looked up at the pediatrician expectantly, with a super odd little smile on his face.  What? Why? Why did he need to identify his butt and penis for her when she merely indicated that she was going to listen to his back? What was going on in that weird little brain?

I, of course, devolved into a fit of uncontrollable giggles, and didn’t come up for air for probably half a minute.  Uncomfortable laughter, much?  The pediatrician smiled gently and kept working through the check-up.  I’m sure she hears weirder shit multiple times a day.

I don’t know why I was so embarrassed.  I mean, I should be proud, right? My son knows his anatomy! But for whatever reason, I was totally mortified, and I think my face was red for the rest of the visit.  I guess I’m not as down with potty language as I thought.

It’s ok though, K-man can embarrass me all he wants right now.  I’m going to get him back so fricking good when he’s a teenager.

 

Until next time,

Vee

*Embarrassing is spelled with two Rs? Really? Since when?

 

 

#NaBloPoMo Day 3: Will I Ever Lawyer Again?

Today’s theme in my self-designed NaBloPoMo is Career.  Don’t forget to read yesterday’s  post, where I reminisced about my stupid ex-boyfriend.

This week, I have to shell out $375 big ones to renew my biannual attorney registration in New York.  Blurgh.  It’s giving me a lot of heartburn, not just because my old firm used to cover this cost, but also because I don’t know if I’ll ever lawyer again.  Am I wasting my money?*

As much as I’m enjoying it, I don’t plan to be a stay-at-home-mom indefinitely.  I expect to re-enter the out-of-home work force again someday, probably once the kids are in school.  But that is about as solid as my plans get.  In a few years, will I be ready to return to lawyering? I’m really not sure.

Lawyering and I — we knew each other for seven years.  And after all that time, I’m still not sure I would call us friends.  Most of the time, I hated my old job at a big corporate law firm.  It really boiled down to two things:

  • They treated associates like garbage.  Partners had zero respect for personal time, a life outside of the office, family commitments, etc.  Even when I was very pregnant, I was being asked to pull unnecessary all-nighters.  And after I had K-man, I was given a talking to because my hours took a hit. That left a bad taste.
  • They treated clients like garbage.  Clients were billed by the hour, and partners went to great effort to conjure up extraneous work that needed doing so that those hours really racked up.  (And as you can imagine, associates who were creative with their billing were rewarded).  We worked for some of the least sympathetic corporate clients you could imagine, but I still felt icky when we sent them bills for shit they never asked us to do.

Maybe corporate law isn’t in my future, but does that mean I have to walk away from the legal field entirely? I invested six figures and three years into getting my JD.  That’s a lot to leave on the table, and surely there are other areas of law that aren’t as wholly demoralizing.  But will anyone want to hire me for a specialty that I’m not trained in, especially after a 3+ year hiatus?

To be fair, I have paid off all my law school loans, and I was a lawyer for longer than I was a law student, so maybe it’s okay to move on?  The real problem with moving on is, I have zero — ZERO — clue what else I could do as a career.

I like sports . . . I could do something in sports? [There’s a little George Costanza Easter egg for you.]

More seriously, when I was having a rough day at my old job, you know what I dreamed about doing instead? Being a math tutor. Weird, right?

200_s

Maybe I’ll get lucky and my dream job will fall into my lap.  Or who knows, maybe I’ll embrace the long-term SAHM-gig, go hard with the PTA, and coach the shit out of some little league.  I have a few years to figure it out.

Until next time,

Vee

*I can’t just let my registration lapse while I take some time off.  I mean, I could, but then if I ever wanted to go back to the lawyer world, I would have to apply to get reinstated with the bar, which would be a major bummer.