Tuesday, 25 February 2014

SURE WOMEN CAN HAVE IT ALL. BUT I'LL SETTLE FOR THIS

whorrified, piggly wiggly, daughter, granddaughter, working moms,
BEHOLD, MY LITTLE PIGGLY WIGGLY,
for whom playing hooky is totally worth the risk.

I did something today that merely five years ago would have been unthinkable. I took a day off work, not because I was sick, not because I had an urgent medical appointment, but because I felt like it. Because I hadn't seen my granddaughter for more than a week and I missed her dear little face. Desperately.

In case you missed this post, I was there the moment she came into this world six weeks ago and not one full week has gone by since that I haven't held her warm little body and listened to her breathing. It's a primal thing that nothing can match except of course, the feeling of holding my own babies but that was so long ago it was practically the pioneer days. I vividly remember tucking them into their rabbit-fur papooses while I lovingly prepared pemmican for our breakfast (and lunch, and dinner; no word of a lie every one of my babies' first words were: "Jesus Christ, not PEMMICAN again!"). 

For almost my entire adult life, with a few painfully short reprieves, I have been a single working mom, driven by equal parts financial urgency and ambition. I totally bought into the "you can have it all" lie theory because I had to. I worked long hours, I worked overtime, I worked holidays, I worked nights. I went to work when I should have been home in bed nursing a cold. I went to work three days after having surgery. I went to work, and this is actually borderline insane, after a car accident that left me with a cracked sternum and two broken ribs. I went to work on crutches way too soon after damn near ripping my leg off in a moped accident. My point being that even workaholics look at me, shake their heads and mutter, "Woman, you got a problem!" 

And then along came grandchildren, and suddenly, everything changed. Suddenly, the work/life balance has been turned on its head. Suddenly, if more than a handful of days go by and I don't get a texted photo of the newborn, I start to have trouble sleeping. So today, without even the slightest pang of guilt, I took the day off and I spent it with my granddaughter and my two daughters, and my heart fairly burst with happiness at the simple thrilling joy of it. 

Oh trust me, I still love my job. I still work hard. I still stay late and work on my days off and I still want to believe women can have it all. It's just that, these days, my definition of "all" is a bundle of adorableness, her mother and her aunt.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Good lord, woman, you've gone soft! I never thought I'd see the day.
MY NOTE: *shoots editor point-blank in the face, pours martini* I find the grown-up ones much easier to resist.