Posted by Fitz

Ah, the snow day.   It was once a glorious dream come true, making me too excited to sleep with its promise of all-day sledding and reading Sweet Valley High books.  I’d wake up with a sense of joy and wonder, not thinking about how the school board would tack an extra day onto our calendar, but about how there was an entire day stretched in front of me  like a blank slate.

Today, a snow day is a pain in the ass.

I don’t know about you other moms who work outside the home, but my job isn’t one that stops for weather.  We are always working for our clients, always making things happen, and always figuring out ways to scale insurmountable obstacles to keep our schedules the way we have planned.  While a little storm never would have hindered my ability to get my job done two years ago, today is a different story.  Because daycare closes.  And then what do you do?

If you’re me, you scramble to get your mom to sleep over and be “on call” in case daycare closes…because calling out of work really isn’t an option.  When you’re me, you’re the only person in your entire region who has a kid younger than 25, and those people don’t remember what it’s like to have what they refer to as “childcare issues”.  I find myself spending far too much time explaining why I can’t be in the city today for that hour-long meeting, and apologizing for circumstances out of my control.  I find myself feeling guilty for letting my boss down, when I really should feel guilty about missing sledding opportunities with the Bean.

Normally, the balance between work and being a Mom is ok.  I’ve come to see it for what it is, although I’ve realized that it’s something that I will never truly have a handle on.  On snow days, though, the glittering white expanse of my front lawn tells me that snow angels should really take precedence over power points – despite the fact that the power points pay the mortgage.  I wonder if the career I have chosen is one that, over time, will give me the balance that I need to feel successful as a professional and a mother.  I wonder if I can ever really feel successful as both, and if I can make peace with the fact that I’d rather be successful at home than at work – even if it means being perceived differently than I would like to be at work.

When you’re pregnant and thinking about motherhood, no one tells you about the snow days.  There isn’t any book that tells you how you can make your boss truly understand how hard it is to scramble to find alternate childcare, and there’s no website devoted to making you feel better about having to miss out on an important meeting because you couldn’t find the alternate care.  What keeps me going – aside from the need to pay bills – is the realization that it is what it is, and I can either worry my head off or just deal with whatever happens today as best as I can.  The best choice is obviously the latter, so let it snow.  I can take it.

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