Come on Eileen (Irene)

28 Aug

All this talk of hurricane Irene has the Dexys Midnight Runner’s song “Come on Eileen” playing in endless loop in my head (cause you know it sounds similar).


I couldn’t be more inland from the impending gale force winds being 1,500 miles from the shore. It seems unlikely I’ll ever see a hurricane despite reoccurring dreams about tidal waves swallowing me whole. Dream dictionaries tell me it’s because I’m under stress, it just reminds me of the time in Mexico I almost drowned.

There was a tweet on Thursday night I saved because it frustrated me so. Believing to a fault that everyone has good intentions I assume she did not mean to imply what she did when she said:

“I feel so sad for the working mothers who can’t attend their children’s special school events… and for their kids who get upset by this.”

I’m reading Alison Pearson’s “I don’t Know How She Does It” currently and in context that tweet just sends shivers down my spine at the plight of the working mother and the sanctimoniousness of some stay at homes. Blessed indeed they are, not all of us can be so lucky as them who spend their days with Ellen, the blogs and making organic Martha Stewart meals for their families.

Some of us have to work to pay for those things or some of us just plain want to. It gets me defensive and feeling guiltier than I already do. My current job rarely has me out of town save for a yearly week conference. I hardly ever work overtime. I have a work that when Bella is sick I can work from home and be with her. I’m lucky that way. But I’m still filled with guilt for those 40 hours I’m not there. More so work drains me so that when I come home I just want to retire to pajamas and Bravo leaving all responsibilities to fall to the H or often no one at all.

And that’s what I really feel guilty about. I’m in the interview process for an amazing career opportunity that has me envisioning Louis Vuitton suitcases, lattes and frequent flier miles. Except in reality it means half my job is travel and most likely overtime, but I will work from home everyday. I will have money to not feel stressed every time I purchase a Chipotle or a bakugan for Bear. I will have a job that will excite me and interest me not drain my soul every day. I hope that will in turn make me a better mother when I am home.

But I will miss my friends to the point where the thought of leaving them frightens me to my core. After 5 years my coworkers know me better than most of my friends. I worry the friendships won’t be transferable outside of work despite my best intentions.

And a lonely mommy will not be a good one.

There’s no winning is there?

2 Responses to “Come on Eileen (Irene)”

  1. Deborah the Closet Monster August 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    I wish I could say much more than that I’d read this, and am thinking of you.

    I’ve had similar thoughts on my mind the last couple of weeks. I went out for a rare Friday evening out and had my weight taunted by some passings teens. It got me thinking about all the times folks have called out my weight while running, and how it makes me laugh. Do they have no idea how irrelevant they are to me? Occasionally I’ll think of their comments and vow to myself that I’ll never be the person to say such things to another, because–why?

    I think when SAHMs say things like this, it sometimes comes from a place of just genuinely being horrified by the thought and wishing other moms got to experience that all the time. But I have met an occasional sanctimonious SAHM, which I’ve simply taken to mean they’re translating their personal frustrations at not getting to develop the kinds of relationship you have with your coworkers into something that has a little more bite. It’s like me with the bicycle pump in my Wednesday post: I wanted something external to focus the frustrations on, no matter how ridiculous/useless it was.

    Whichever way things are about to go for you, there’ll be some positive and some negative changes, I think. For the WFH part? My bro-in-law used to WFH with me twice a week when he was working for a British company. Having people around him–be it me or strangers at a Starbucks–helped him not feel isolated. It’s not the same as having the people you’ve grown used to having nearby there with you, but there are other joys, if you’re willing to take the risks to find them. Which it sounds like you are. :)

    • M August 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

      I can’t believe someone did that to you. Whose children are these kids that they would be so downright rude?

      I think I could deal with WFH because that would just mean that I would just go out to lunch and happy hour all the more. Except eventually I imagine I would no longer know the stories, and the jokes. When the main thing you have in common as a place you no longer work where do the conversations go?

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