Confessions of a former Working Mom

I miss going to work. I miss getting up at 5:30 am, getting myself ready and heading out to Boston. I miss being part of a creative team and most of all, I miss doing what I really love. Please don’t misunderstand me- I love taking care of my girls. Being at home with them right now has been a blessing. But prior to March 27, I was a working mom who was doing her best to balance family and work responsibilities. 

I miss the comparing notes I would do with my husband when we would talk about our workday. I feel so unproductive right now. And as I look through job boards I get more and more anxious that I won’t be able to find something comparable to what I was doing at Eaton Vance.

I loved Eaton Vance. I loved everything about it- the people, the type of assignments and most of all my group. Betrayal doesn’t even come close to how I feel about them now. Words cannot express what I feel about my situation now. I have done my best to try to move on and be positive but it gets harder and harder each day that I don’t hear back from headhunters, companies that I have applied to or even the freelance projects that I have volunteered for. The silence is deafening. The longer it stays silent, the more I am reminded of what a mistake I made for allowing myself to get so attached.

I keep reliving the final arguments. One of the statements that sticks in my mind from my former colleague is “You don’t even know what I am going through right now- between my mom, my car and school… I am going through so much.” Really. And having a child missing a complete side of her heart isn’t stressful at ALL. Thinking about whether we will get through another month without having to rush to the ER or whether or not she will make it to be enrolled in preschool or kindergarten isn’t stressful at ALL. Or my teenager who is having a hard time or the toddler-now-preschooler demanding our attention while we try to balance that precious attention between all three- no, that isn’t stressful whatsoever. What gets me is that she is still there. Her co-consiprator is still there. They both still have their jobs while I am trying to figure out how we are going to get through the summer with one income and three kids. 

Sure, I could have said nothing and acted as if I had no idea that my colleagues were having an inappropriate relationship. I could have just stayed within my own lines. But I am me. I am Elissa. The part of me that constantly screams “But it’s not fair” won over common sense for about 5 seconds. Another way I try to make myself feel better is reminding myself that working with people who don’t want you around isn’t fun either. Better to know than to wonder if what is going on really is going on. The truth really set me free. Free and unemployed. 

My thought process throughout the day goes something like this:  “What is Isabelle’s life going to be like when she gets older? Is she going to have phantom leg pains like so many others? Will her liver give her trouble? The image I have of that adult Fontan patient haunts me. Maybe we should get rid of all the junk. Should we just eat all organic food and get rid salt altogether – oh wait- that will cause mutiny in my house. Plus, it’s more expensive so that won’t fly either. How are we going to afford groceries? Oh my god what if I can’t find anything and I will have to go back into retail and feel like I did before and I will never find anything as special as my job at EV- that will never happen again and no one will see what others at Eaton Vance saw in me- they will just see someone who knows powerpoint but I did so much more and I have so much to offer but nothing is happening- why, WHY didn’t I just leave things alone!” And then my brain switches to shall I garden or go to yoga class. ADD does work for me in circumstances like this but it can also cause me to hyper focus on things  I can’t change like the past, for example. 

Isabelle is doing awesome. She is growing and trying to crawl but her hips are still weak so her little legs ‘frog out’ behind her and she just sits there. It’s cute. It makes me smile in spite of how much I feel like a complete failure sometimes. My mom worked my whole life. She still does. She powered through my school years and made herself available as much as she could (which was amazing since she was involved in so much professionally). I admire how she took care of us while having a career that she is so highly respected in. I will never have that. I think that’s why I am having such a hard time with this because I am halfway through my life and I am back at square one. 

Today, the gratitude list of I get to enjoy my girls, Isabelle is doing great and I am not sick with any life threatening diseases isn’t working. I feel like I failed my family and mostly myself. Today isn’t a good home day. The good news is I still have most of the day to turn it around. 

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