Thursday, April 27, 2017

Working Mom and the Nitpicker

Dear World,

It’s been a busy month on the work front—which is why I haven’t been in communication.  One of the things about my job that I feel lucky about is it has been the one constant in my pre-divorce/divorce/post-divorce world.  It’s normally calm, always steadfast, and the problems that have come up at work, I’ve been lucky enough to figure out.  I’m rolling out two new program initiatives, and that in it itself makes me proud.

However, you know that saying when a person does a good job, give them more work?  Wait, that’s not a saying?  LOL.  I’ve been feeling the crunch lately, the performance crunch.  For some reason I had to give three presentations in a week, and next week I’m headed to two more official presentations, along with participation where I think I’ll be asked to speak.  To a room full of experts.  This is where I’m supposed to be happy that they trust me.  That it’s a compliment to my job skills and reputation that they’ve picked me.  LOL.  I’m getting there!  I wonder…does anyone else have imposter phenomenon at work?

One of the things that comforts me in times of stress and work insecurity, is that I step back, take a deep breath, and remember that all I can do is prepare as best as I can, do the best that I can, and my job isn’t to be “the expert” like these people see themselves, but to bring awareness, and light to the conversation at hand.  This world is a totally crappy place in some areas, and the work that we’re doing, if we can bring just a little more light, a little more aid to the most vulnerable people who need it, then that’s what this is about.  Not being the fanciest talker in the room, not having a certain degree or pedigree.  Put my best foot forward, and as long as I’m adding light and a little more peace and a little more joy and yes, a little more love into this world, then I can feel ok with the job that I do.

That’s a nice hefty statement.  Let’s hope I follow through.

By the way, I love how talking about my work is taking over this post, when it was really supposed to be about a certain nit-picking Exie of mine.  That anti-Exiety medication is sorely needed right now, over some dumb stuff, over some not so dumb stuff.

Image credit here

1)  Last night, the girls both had their girl scout meetings, and guess who forgot to have them call their dad early, in the rush of getting baths done, homework done, dinner done, in time to do their meetings.  DD2’s girl scouts were coming over, DD1 was getting picked up (thank you fellow girl scout mom!).  It was a last minute change, usually their meetings stagger, but DD1’s meeting got switched, hence, everything happening at once.  After DD2’s troop left, I was sitting down trying to relax for a few minutes, when in comes a text—Ummmmmm….so are the girls calling?   (keep in mind the girls have called me late from his house on many occasions and I never blink an eye, ugh).  So immediately I apologize that it’s been a busy evening, and DD2 has a nice phone conversation with him, but DD1 is not home just yet.

As soon as DD2 hangs up, I get a text: I hope DD1 calls per the decree.

Right, because now we’re going to throw around the decree.  /eyeroll.  So when DD1 gets home from girl scouts, I respond that every good faith effort has been made to have the girls communicate with him on a regular basis.  DD1 calls him, and they have a nice conversation, and hang up.  And in comes more nitpicking texts about how one time DD1 went to the fair with her friend and he didn’t get a call at all from her that night.  /eyeroll.  Because I had explained to him that it was a last minute situation where DD1 was invited to go to the fair, was picked up right after school, and didn’t get home until late.

Of note: on regular occasions when there has been changes in our schedule, I have given him notice.  On regular occasions when there has been changes to his schedule, he has not given me notice.  To which I always assume the best, since I know how it is busy taking care of the kids and schedules and dinner and homework and bath time.  The difference is definitely in the pudding!

Actually, I was only initially upset about the text dramas, and then I let it go, but I made the mistake of checking my email before I went to bed.  (Note to self: don’t check email before you go to bed, check it in the morning instead).

2)  The other day, I had to email him because after the dentist’s visit, it was determined that DD1 needs braces, relatively soon, a permanent tooth is growing in all jacked up and if we don’t make space for it to come down, it will require oral surgery to remove it, ick.  I knew that when I informed him I’d get a PITA response, and he did not fail me there.

His response—hey I was never informed of this new dentist (he was informed three times last year when the cavities situation happened for both kids, ugh), I haven’t been part of this process (he was invited to ask questions and/or contact the new dentist directly), and I heard the kids don’t like this dentist (wait a minute, so the kids have to “like” the dentist in order for DD1 to get braces and not go through oral surgery…?) 

I’m still formulating my response.  I want to be careful and invite him in the process, and yes, I know it’s a cost issue, but also, I have to figure out how to correct the misinformation without inviting further vitriol.  I’m almost there.  I’m not sure how to address the “feelings” part except that my experience has been the girls do not enjoy getting their teeth drilled, however when we leave, they seem fine with the dentist and have told me he’s not so bad. 

Meanwhile, hang tough all you co-parents out there in the world who deal with this shit.  Love to you and your kids!!!!


  1. Hi Jane, first congrats on your work projects! Next, this phone call arrangement is kind of crazy making're doing a good job of following through. He acts as though the phone calls to him are special necessities that the girls cannot live without. Narc? Finally---here's an idea regarding the dentist (braces): find all the communication you sent him last year, the three emails, and resend them. Include a note at the top of each one. The note could be the same for each email---i.e. "Just a reminder of the message and communication sent to you regarding the dental requirements for the girls and specifically for ______ (DD1)". This way you are showing him that he is incorrect about not being in the loop. Best of luck.

    1. That's wonderful advice, Lisa, thank you!! (and thank goodness for email providers that keep emails since the beginning of time; i totally located them) <3