Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Meet me in Naples...

I started this blog a few days ago and alas, it did not save! Err so irritated, it was high quality stuff that I had, award winning. I am going to attempt to gather my thoughts and get them down on paper, okay, cyberspace. I know you are on the tip of your chair awaiting the complicated yet ever exciting thoughts that run through my brain on a daily basis.

I am a daydreamer. Not sure if day dreamer is two words or one word. I kind of like it better as one word so while that may not be grammatically correct, I am going to write it that way. You see I daydream all the time! When I run, when I drive all over this fine metroplex on a daily basis, even when I am hard at work. I blame my lack of cooking on daydreaming because I can never pay attention long enough to actually make a decent meal. It usually ends up burned and at the bottom of the disposal because I usually begin some sort of deep thought. Now lets get this straight, for the most part these are not highly intellectual daydreams. Now you see I have been on the cover of Sports Illustrated for collegiate golf, I have been a highly sought after executive, I have had my own reality show and I have even been a famous author out in NYC on a book tour! My life is fascinating, all in my head!

So I do a lot of thinking and often I have a hard time articulating those thoughts in the form of spoken word. Written word is much easier for me. Maybe it is shyness, maybe a lack of self confidence, not sure but whatever it is, writing is always easier for me. Hence pouring out my heart in the form of blog posts.

Since the little guy has come into our lives I have morphed into a new person, in many ways. Many boring and not exciting ways but I have also learned a lot about who I am and who others are. This happens to every mom I am sure, but I do think I have had a few more transformations than most and many that I am currently struggling with.

This past weekend I had what I call a mini mid-life crisis. I know I am only 30 therefore it is not a complete meltdown. I did not go out and tan so that I look like I could fit into the new season of Jersey Shore nor did I enhance the chest area to match Pam Anderson (although tempting) but I did come to a few realizations. Things that had been in the back of my head for awhile and I just kind of put them all together. Fears that I had been suppressing finally made sense.

You see prior to the little Button arriving I was in the corporate world. Not a huge big shot by any means but I was privy to it all. I sat in board meetings, met with CFOs and CEOs and called one of the wealthiest men in Dallas my client. The fact that a million dollar error was not material to the financial statements was the norm. We were dealing with multinational billion dollar companies. It was fun, it was insane hours and it was hard work. I had daily interactions with two big shot partners in our firm and I had a staff that worked under me. I had worked through four years of undergraduate, an unbelievably hard graduate school year, a year of studying for the CPA exam, passing the CPA exam (which when I found out I passed I was driving and literally had to pull over I was crying so much) and became a licensed CPA in two states. I was promoted early in the firm, became a manager pretty fast. I was set, I was highly rated every single year and I was on the fast track. Then I became pregnant, it all changed.

I continued to work at the firm for the first nine months post baby but it was different. I realized that although the firm is touted as one of the best places for working mothers it was just different. I had to pump in the bathroom of an airport, I had to race home to see my baby for one hour and I was ridiculed for doing so. So my time with the firm ended and it was the best decision I ever made. I do not have to work but I chose to work. I know myself, I am a better mom for working, I need to be challenged, I need my time and because of that I am a better wife, a better mom. I work three days a week and I absolutely love it. I worked hard for my degree, to become a CPA. I am not going to let that go because what happens when the kids go to school full time and then to college, where is my identity. Sure I am a mom but I need something of my own as well. I need to contribute, I need to earn my keep and by gosh, I need my own 401k! ha!

So that is all fine and good right, millions of women go through the same mental battles that I just described, what is so special about that. Well, here it is. Pre-baby, I made more money than my husband. I had more financial sense and I felt I had equal decision making power to him. I invested our money, I researched our mutual funds, bonds and where we would invest. We love to buy and sell real estate and we were very equal in every sense financially and emotionally. We did not and still do not have as I like to call it a 1950's marriage. He does his thing and I do my thing. I do not wash and iron his clothes and he does not write my checks. We are equal. Sure we have a joint bank account for house expenses and mutual things but we also have our own accounts. If I want to go to Starbucks every morning then that is my decision, it is my money that I earned and equally if he wants to go to Whataburger everyday for lunch than why should I stress, why should I have to watch the account every day to see what he is doing. We each have our own "play" money and that works for us.

Alright back to the mid-life crisis. Now that I have given you a little background you will understand this dilemma a little more. This past weekend the little guy met the husband in Naples, FL. It was a fabulous weekend filled with beach time, dining at outdoor restaurants, strolls through the parks, wine at outdoor cafes, long morning runs, lots of sun and just an overall wonderfully relaxing weekend. The husband travels a lot, and I mean a lot, every single week for at least three nights so it was very special that we were able to tag along this time. It was great! His company's headquarters are in Naples, it is a small community so the company is very well known there. They spend a lot of money entertaining on the main strip, they go deep sea fishing, they play golf, they are just known around town. The husband knows a lot of people and they know him. We were treated very well. And during all this it dawned on me. This is the part of me that misses the corporate world.

The husband is definitely climbing the corporate ladder and I could not be more proud of him and happy for him. It is great for our family but I do know what I am missing out on. I know how fun the dinners, the happy hours, the outings, the team camaraderie can be. Sure it probably sounds shallow. I am not saying I would rather be at a dinner than home with my child, I would not trade that for the world. Let me put it this way, the husband travels all the time, is going to fabulous dinners, meeting with fun people, doing the corporate thing. I am home making macaroni and cheese and going to parks. I love the time with my child- love love love it but I also am jealous. My husband and I have 100% switched roles. He has a whole life in his business and I have my mom life but I feel like there is something more I need. I just need to find some sort of balance.

I really don't think there is a perfect answer. I have sought advice from many people recently, I just don't know what the right solution is. Part of me thought I was ready to have a second child but now I am scared to death. I don't want to be stuck at home while the husband travels the country and we can't join because I have two little ones. I just want to pop out a five year old, ha! Is that possible? I just don't want to become this bitter resentful wife that I see so many women become. I am not content to develop apples sauce recipes and I am also not content to work a 9-5 job and never see my child. Oh what is the answer, what is the perfect balance.

The only solution I can find is to become a famous author and travel around the country on my book tours and bring my child (and/or children someday) with me!!! ha!! Perhaps that is a daydream, perhaps potential reality.


bb and mtb said...

A few weeks ago, I was changing a diaper and got poop on my hand. I thought, "Really? This is my life?" Yes it is. I miss some of the same things you do. It never really goes away, but I think of the alternative and go shopping. That seems to help.

Lucy said...

I am just catching up. I really liked this post, a! I don't think you are a bad mom for thinking that either. I know that after I graduate, I want to be 100% mom but also have 100% of my own identity. W is totally open to the idea of me working, but I just get nervous about it. I don't want to be jealous that I don't have the flexibility to "climb the corporate ladder" like him. I know that I don't want to work 9-5, but I also want to end the day and be able to talk about things other than poopy diapers and my latest target run. I think it is so wonderful when a mom (or dad if I want to be PC) is committed to stay home and be with her kids 100% of the time and not work, but that just isn't me)... but having my kids raised by nannys just isn't me either. When I figure out the perfect balance, I will let you know!