Expectations v. reality

January 5, 2010 at 10:31 am | Posted in little bug, read this, the firm | 3 Comments
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My New Year has gotten off to an inauspicious start, at least work-life-balance-wise — my nanny did not return (still has not returned) from her vacation, without even a phone call. I’m pretty sure I know what happened: she was supposed to return Sunday night, via Miami, but all the flights were cancelled due to snow and a terminal evacuation in Newark. Her phone goes straight to voicemail, and her mailbox is full. I’m sure she is beside herself at not being able to contact me — she’s probably still stuck in Miami. Still, I’m worried. And am trying to be more worried than annoyed.

By 8 a.m. yesterday it was clear she wasn’t going to show up. Backup daycare at work was full. My mother-in-law graciously agreed to watch Little Buggy at her house (20 minutes away) from 10-3, but that still left a good chunk of my work day uncovered. My solution was to let my office know I”d be working from home and throw some Magic Schoolbus DVDs in my iMac (for some reason, my 2.5 year old loves these movies. Maybe she’ll be a scientist like her aunt and uncle?) and let her watch as much as she wanted. Of course, I felt super guilty about this, but a friend at work, whom I had emailed earlier in the day to vent, told me: “This is one of those days where so-called ‘good parenting’ practices meet reality.”

My work got done, and I tried, thanks to my devouring of Gretchen Rubin’s new book, The Happiness Project (about which I’ll write more when my day care crisis is over!), to act how I want to feel. I wanted to feel calm about this unplanned development and happy that I didn’t have to put on real clothes (any day that a woman who is 36 weeks pregnant can wear sweatpants is a blessing!) or go into the office in day-after-holiday-vacation traffic. And, you know what? It worked. Buggy and I had a leisurely breakfast, fun car rides to and from Grandma’s singing Christmas carols (still her favorites — she has no concept that Christmastime has come and gone!), and cooked dinner together. Sometimes you have to throw expectations completely out the window in favor of reality, and the trick to happiness, I suppose, is making the best of that reality.


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  1. How stressful! We were scrambling when our nanny had the eye problems (that orginated from our daughther gouging her eye) but at least we had contact with her! I feel like whenever I have a true emergency back up daycare is full.

  2. Ah, expectations. Our imaginary friends. Our existential cuffs. And then there is reality, that gray beast that embraces us without our asking. And often, it is all okay. Parenthood is about abdicating the control we wish we had over the little things and surprisingly enjoying it when it all goes wrong. Gretchen’s book is a beauty. But you know I think that 🙂 Happy to be here and leaving a trail of words in this brand new decade.

    • Thanks Aidan! I just left a comment for you about Mr. BigLaw — we must be doing our nightly blog check in. So glad you stopped by and hope to see more of you here (and vice versa!)

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