From beginning to end, this week marked one of the most tumultuous, yet fulfilling weeks I’ve ever had.
Our guy turned 2 on Sunday. We traveled way more than we could physically handle for the sake of others. We welcomed another month of crazy, busy activities and events. I attended a lovely event, but my experience was clouded by Jack’s awful, AWFUL separation anxiety issues. I checked out some of the hottest, coolest toys EVER and connected with so many interesting people (more on this to come and lots more info. can be read on NKT!) But best of all, my guys got to bond one on one for a change.
By the middle of the week, I was so blinded by exhaustion and frustration. After the event where Jack bawled uncontrollably for practically 2 hours in a swanky restaurant that I’d been dying to try and finally had the chance, much thanks to the luncheon I was invited to, I felt so defeated. Instead of mingling with people, all of whom were just as passionate or interested in this brand of products, my job as a mom came first.
Jack, for some reason, can’t shake this separation anxiety spell. He cries his little eyes out, his nose runs, his little round face gets all red and he hyperventilates…until I come back. I know it’s a temporary phase, but it certainly doesn’t make the present any less painful.
As a family who tries to juggle life without any family nearby, surviving on one predictable salary while I build the foundation for another, when I’m invited to a media or blogger event, I have no choice but to be selective. It’s always an honor to be invited to events, though we can’t always swallow the expense of babysitters, plus the cabs and trains. (Let’s put it this way, most nannies and babysitters make just as much as I did when I was still working as an editor; hence one of the reasons why I went freelance.) So this particular event, because it was a brand that our family loves, was one event that I couldn’t wait to attend. The fact that they offered childcare was an added perk. Awesome right?
Yeah, not so much when your kid insists on being attached to your leg, for fear of being abandoned.
Is this separation anxiety my fault for choosing to work from home? Are we to blame for visiting Va. more often than our bodies and emotions can handle (and saying goodbye way too enough, thus disrupting his normal routines?)
I choose to believe that it’s just another phase that we’ll weather through…
Whatever the reason might be, Jack’s crying and outbursts made another little boy cry, too. Frickin’ fabulous, I thought. Jack’s just barely on the cusp of understanding cause and effect, but he most certainly did not grasp why mommy wanted to leave him in a strange room filled with little kids with 2 unfamiliar adults.
Jack cried loud enough for a room full of executives, members of the press and bloggers, like me to hear. I can’t say I was embarrassed—he’s my kid for crying out loud. I will say that I was annoyed at the people who rolled their eyes or mouthed snarky comments about the crying kid. MY kid. It was then that I second-guessed myself for even attending, what I thought was, an event celebrating one of the best companies that embrace greener lifestyles and raising organic kids.
It was almost surreal that my mostly organically and green-grown child was like a misfit because he couldn’t stand being away from me.
At one point, understandably, I was asked to go tend to him because he was So LOUD. Perhaps, they couldn’t hear the taping of speeches or hear the slideshow in the midst of his terror-filled cries?
And so, I spent most of my afternoon in the childcare room feeling isolated, bitter and left out.
As a friend later told me, I was being harder on myself and more critical of the situation than others were. eh…maybe. But from the glares that I felt that I was getting, it definitely felt much different.
My kid was crying a lot. I should have left altogether. Problem was, the base of our stroller was on the OTHER side of the room, like the side I couldn’t access because there was a podium and audience separating us. So, I spent most of the event in the childcare room, missing a majority of what I trekked there for in the first place.
My feelings, experiences and thoughts in NO WAY reflect the company or publicists. I’m quite appreciative for the aforementioned, but honestly, hurt by a few of my peers who made me feel uncomfortable for being a mother that day. My friends who kept me company that afternoon? Yeah, they rocked…especially when I couldn’t get our giant stroller in and out of yet another logistically impossible and stroller-unfriendly establishment.
In the end, I’m just another mom trying to make it work. I got the information we needed, enjoyed bites of a lovely lunch and made it home unscathed. This wasn’t the first stroller-schlepping and tear-filled outing. My guess is that it won’t be the last. It’s all in a day’s work of this blogging/writing/reporting mama.
Next time, I’ll rethink my choices. (Do I decline the childcare and get my own sitter? Do I figure out a way to break this separation anxiety spell?) But today, even after all the tears and stroller-schleeping, I’m glad I know how to handle (or NOT to handle) the next chaotic situation. Seriously, the thought of multiple children in this city-living, event-attending realm gives me night tremors. But that’s a whole different post.