Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Seeing the real me.

Today’s the big day where I work that bonuses and promotions are announced. There is a bonus, which is exciting, but less so for me because it will be prorated to exclude the time I was on maternity leave. Still, it’s way more than I ever got as a law firm bonus, so I can hardly complain. I also can’t complain about not getting promoted, since it’s only been a couple of years since I was promoted to corporate counsel and normally it would take at least one or two more to be considered for AGC, but it does put into relief for me that I don’t feel like quite the golden girl at work anymore. I’m worried that now that I have a baby, I am seen as unreliable or not a very hard worker. Honestly, I feel unreliable and like I don’t work hard enough, but then again I felt that way even when I was childless and promoted, so perhaps it’s all just insecurity. Being the mother of an infant just gives me new fodder for self-criticism, self-loathing, self-flagellation.

Speaking of babies, I have discovered something very new about myself in the last couple of months. If you read my old blog for the couple of years before I started this one, you know that I was pretty self-absorbed and spent a lot of time indulging myself. Why not? As a 36 year old, single lawyer with no apparent prospects for a husband or children, I might as well fill my time with whatever I enjoyed. I really didn’t mourn not having kids, because I had never had any exposure to them in my life, and really, I didn’t like them very much. So it has come as a real surprise to me that the best part of my day now is visiting my baby and all his little classmates at lunch. Of course I love seeing Eeyore, but the surprising part is that I am also happy to see all the other babies. I know them all by name, and they all recognize me now, too. Last Friday, this one tiny little girl who when I first brought Eeyore in had horrible stranger anxiety, so she would cry whenever anyone new came into the room, crawled onto my lap and held her arms up to me to be hugged. As I hugged her and stroked her nap-tangled hair, I could hardly believe I am the same person that I was before all of this.

The more I think about it, it sounds like a case of Stockholm syndrome - I’ve come to identify with my captors. My entire existence is ruled and dictated by a baby; it’s all I know now and so I’ve given in and embraced it. Cue the photo of me with drool pooling in the corner of my mouth.

I’m trying to decide if I want to make this a blog that includes pictures of me and my life beyond Eeyore. I couldn’t really do that with my old blog, and when I would post the occasional photo of myself I got comments like “you’ve jumped the shark,” as if I was a television series or something. Basically, people didn’t want to see what I looked like because it somehow spoiled the story. I don’t know if that would be the case anymore, since (1) there’s not much of a story anymore, and the things I say are unlikely to get me in much trouble if people knew who was saying them, and (2) all the people whose blogs I read currently and who seem to be reading mine all have pictures of themselves on their own sites. It’s a different kind of community – it seems friendly and homey, not something to hide behind with all my bad language and tales of Yankee Swaps. However, my husband doesn't think it's smart or safe to let the world know who you are. Part of me agrees with him, but then the other part of me notes that only about 30 people read my blog, so does it really matter if they see me?


Mel said...

i'm all for photos. i love the photos of the baby, and would love to see more if you're comfortable. i remember when you posted wedding pics on your old blog -- you and the hubby were all cute and adorable and well turned out so that was fun to see.

Cindy said...

Call me sort of naive, but I do think that people who read our blogs are nice people--just like us! My husband has been a little squeemish about my posting pictures and using names. I draw the line though at revealing last names and details like where my child goes to school, and I always get permission from other parents before posting any pictures of kids on my blog.

Funny thing about those babies, isn't it? I went through all my twenties and much of my thirties thinking I didn't want one, and several family members even agreed that they didn't think it would be the best choice for me (pretty tactful of them, no?). But now that I have a daughter, she's the center of my life and my greatest joy. I cannot imagine my life without her. And, like you, I've found I like other children as well! Funny. Those short people can really crack me up.

Being a mom has also meant that I simply don't have the drive I had at work before, but I look at it as a temporary situation. Someday, when I'm not driving kids around and running the PTA, I'll get back in the saddle, learn some new things, take some more responsibility, but for now having job I can do with a hand tied behind my back seems just right. A nice benefit is that hardly anything at work gets me upset any more. And if an author gets me a hard time, I go into "mom mode" and set them straight about where the limits are.

But the bottom line is that it's your blog. Make it what you want: a place to reflect, vent, document, etc. I'll enjoy reading it no matter what course you take.

Broady said...

Hey, I never saw any photos of you. And you posted a wedding photo? I remember the beautiful pictures of the venue and honeymoon suite, but no bride-n-groom pictures. Rats.

And I am appalled that anyone would comment about "shark jumping." I (who am admittedly a blog hermit) think that would be awesome, and that the pictures of your little family frolicking in the house and about the Colorado landscape would be fabulous-- and also such a great future "media journal" for Eyeore (and you) to have of his baby and childhood.

I have also toyed with starting to post pictures... which would also require me to start a new blog, or at least severely edit old posts. I say go for it if R would feel okay about it.

Lydia said...

You're stunning. Put up a pic once in a while if you want to. I feed the comment nazis to the sharks.