Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Win Some, Lose Some

I've gathered more blog material from my current workplace, but first I'd like to offer a quick explanation for my absence so far this month.

This clinical rotation is kicking my butt!!!

Since it's part of my degree program, I am not getting paid.
(Instead, I am still paying tuition. Sigh...)

Since I am not getting paid, we cannot yet afford for my husband to quit his job and move here to look for another one. Of course, he can look for another job while employed by his current one, but... There are only so many hours in the day and so much energy that a person can have. And that move, still 2.5 months later, took everything we had. So I am currently living here without him. We are seeing each other every other weekend, which is turning out to be a lot harder than either one of us anticipated. But we believe it will be worth it and it will all work out in the end.

But combine my lack of pay and my lack of support system in the area with being constantly out of my comfort zone at my clinical every day, and I am experiencing a type of physical, emotional, and cognitive fatigue that I've never had before. I am definitely not complaining; I just wish I had more time and energy to read and write.

So that's what's been going on with me. You are not missing much. I wake up, go to work, come home, take a nap, wake up to eat dinner, and go to bed early. On the weekends I do laundry, grocery shopping, and something fun, either by myself or with my husband (if he is in town). Some of the fun things I have done include:

  • going to a local music festival by myself, where I met another woman who doesn't have kids! We exchanged phone numbers and promised to text each other when we are going to do something fun. So far we've stayed in touch, even though we haven't met up again yet.

  • I've also been going to a monthly happy hour for women who do not have kids. I get the impression that many of them do not have kids by choice but you never know... It's been a fun time getting to know women knowing I will not be asked when I am going to have children. Plus, I know there will never be a surprise pregnancy announcement from anyone in the group. The group is designed for women who don't have kids and never will. By choice or by circumstance, we all have a certain thing in common: we live a different life compared to the friends we've known for a long time who now do have children.

  • I have also spent time exploring my new city and the restaurants and attractions it has to offer. I know so few people here, but I am so much less lonely than I was while living in my hometown. I am so glad I moved.

So. Now the two short stories I have to share...

  1. Today at lunch I was told to enjoy my free time while I had it because once I had kids everything would change. Seriously? Does it ever end?? It was said by a new co-worker who had been so nice up to that point and probably has no idea that we are near the same age. Because she has been so nice and because I was so unprepared, I said nothing and just walked away. But I'm prepared for next time! Next time (because it seems like there will always be a next time), I will say something along the lines of, "I think, kids or no kids, not having enough free time just comes with being an adult." I think that statement is non-confrontational and appropriate for the work setting, especially with someone who has been so pleasant. It lets me not allow the comment go without being contested and it offers a new perspective for the harried parent--a perspective that says hey, you're not the only one who's busy.

    (The first story was my loss. I missed a moment to reply to a rather condescending comment from a parent. The second story is a win. Because I swore next time this was said to me I would be prepared.)

  2. I stayed a little late by choice to work on something at work a couple of weeks ago. A co-worker said to go home and I said that I didn't mind spend an extra thirty minutes working because I had nothing to go home to. (Ok, that sounds a little pathetic, but it was a day where I was especially missing my husband and also my dog that passed away this past winter.) She said, "Oh, do you want my burdens?" And I asked, "What?" And she said, "Do you want my children?" And I said, "Yes." There was a pause and she just looked at me. Then she said, "Oh..." Hahaha. I swore to myself that if I was ever asked that question again I was going to answer with a simple "yes." I may sound weird, but following through with what I told myself I was going to say combined with seeing the surprised look on her face left me feeling very satisfied.

I honestly have a third story, and it is very surprising and uplifting, but I will save it for next time...

We win some, we lose some. 
Hang in there my friends and keep on rocking your own badass life. 💜


  1. It sucks that you can't have your husband there with you yet. But perhaps this time alone is helping you get out and meet people, including all those No Kidding women, which is fab!

    Yes, to you suggested response to the first woman's comment. It's such an assumption that we all have a lot of free time, when that's not necessarily the case. When I was full-time, I worked a lot longer hours than my friends who had kids, was away at weekends, etc.

    And yes, too, to answering "yes" to that woman's question. And particularly by saying "yes" with no further explanation. Good for you! And maybe, just maybe, she'll think twice about ever saying that again.

  2. I had no idea that you were on your own so much, and that clinical rotation is like student teaching in that you pay to work. That must be so hard! I am so happy that you have these connections though, when you find people with similar circumstances that is such a comfort. And a structured happy hour? Awesome! I am proud of how you Anders the second story. We had a neighbor who was always offering is her children like that, not knowing our situation, and one day Bryce just said, "yes, when can we come pick them up?" It ended that "joke" forever. I love your response you thought of for there first story, I hate when I think up a great comeback too late. That's s great one, and so true. Adults are busy. And you just never know what any person is grappling with. Sending you love and encouragement during this difficult time of work work work, no money, and separation.

  3. Dear Phoenix, I'm so proud of you that you went out to meet other childless women and also that you replied "yes" to your colleague's inconsiderate question! She may never ask it again :)
    I also love your answer to the remark of your first colleague.
    I hope your husband will soon be able to change job. I experienced this situation myself for quite a long time and it was hard. At least we tried to spend the nicest weekends we could! Xoxo

  4. "...a perspective that says hey, you're not the only one who's busy." Parents know that non-parents can be busy. But no matter how busy you are, if you were to add kids you would be... busier. It is sad and unfortunate when a person that desires to be a parent cannot do so. But expecting the rest of the world to walk on eggshells regarding all-things-parenting is not reasonable.

  5. You are a very brave woman, Phoenix! It takes courage and strength to do what your husband and you are doing right now. Also, I LOVE that you said "yes" to the lady who sees her kids as a burden. I would have liked to see her face ;-).

  6. I didn't realize your husband wasn't there with you yet... that is a tough haul! but I hope it won't be long until he's there with you, full time. I liked both your answers. :) I remember a friend from a childless message board I was on telling us about how when someone once asked her, "You want my kid?" she cheerfully responded, "OK!" & knelt down beside the kid & said, "You want to come home with me?" and started telling him about all the fun things they were going to do together. Both kid & mom were dumbfounded & made a rather hasty exit. I think that was probably the last time that woman ever offered her kid to someone else, even as a joke. ;)