WORK/LIFE BALANCE FROM A MOM AND NURSE PRACTITIONER

The modern mom

9/28/15
The new mom comes in all ages, forms and settings. Gone are the days of the stay at home suburban housewife, for better or for worse. I myself, had never saw myself as a stay at home mom for whatever reason. Growing up my mother was fortunate enough to have stayed at home with my brothers and I for seven some years, while intermittently teaching community college and working on her doctorate dissertation.  When I did decide to have children I never really saw staying at home as an option. For one, I always wanted to have my own money and my own career. Another reason is I worked damn hard to get an education and fully planned on using it. Though I never wanted to stay at home I never really thought about childcare or what that would look like. Even after I got pregnant I really didn't give it too much thought. It wasn't until halfway into my pregnancy when it sunk in how expensive and scary the childcare situation was. Many of my coworkers had ready-made nannies with there mother, in-laws or grandparents. My husband and I had none of that to rely on, so I had to figure out a situation. Unfortunately I was still in grad school at this time, and was determined to finish before I had to go back to work. This meant I needed childcare on the days I had school all day starting when my baby was eight weeks old. After a lot of research we found a daycare close to our house that we could afford, did not have a wait list and felt safe. I felt so guilty leaving him there. I was interning that semester and I never mentioned to anyone at my clinical site that I had just had a baby and was still waking up 3 times a nigh to breastfeed, due to the feeling I would be judged for being a bad mom. It was so hard to take him to daycare at that age due to the interruptions in his schedule, the interruptions in breastfeeding, as well as the constant stress of getting him there, labeling bottles and pumping to make sure I had enough milk to leave him with the next day.


I went back to work full-time when my son was four months. I was working 12 hour shifts in an ER. I would try to pump on my 15 minute breaks, but getting that time was not guaranteed and having to find a space to pump was not always easy. I had to drop my son off at daycare when the doors opened so I could get to work on time. He was always the first to be dropped off, which made me feel so guilty as well. I would come home and he would be asleep and I would have to pump and get ready to prep everything to go to daycare. Things are easier now. I work two days a week. He is more
self-sufficient and sleeps and eats well.
Daycare is a great socializing experience for my son, and he likes his teachers and classmates. Unfortunately this country does not make it easy on working moms. There are few employers with on-site daycare, and many states do not offer paid maternity or paternity leave. Why we are so behind other developing nations with making it easier on the working moms, I don't know. I do know that it is possible to do both. You may be a zombie and hate your life at times. I never regret being a working mom. I love my time off  with my son, and I love challenging myself and earning my own paycheck. I think everyone's situation is different, and if you want and can stay at home with your kids it can be a beneficial experience.  I do know that you should not sacrifice a career over a family or a family over a career.

808s and Heartbreaks

9/26/15
So last night my husband and I went and saw Kanye West perform at the Hollywood Bowl. I know what you're thinking....You are so lucky to have seen Kanye before he becomes our next president and no longer performs! Kidding aside, I was very excited to see Kanye perform. Although he has long since established himself as a loose cannon and a douche bag, he is one artist that has been on my bucket list to see live. The tour "808s and heartbreaks" was also exciting for me, as I am a huge fan of this album, which he had never toured since its 2008 release. This album, filled with string arrangements, autotune and melancholy heart-felt lyrics, was a step away from his previous hip-hop albums. I was also excited to see him at my first visit to the Hollywood Bowl, an outdoor venue which is known for hosting jazz festivals and classical artists.


On the ride to the concert, we were debating what song Kanye open with... would it be "Amazing?" or "Run Away" Would he have any guest appearance? I was hoping for a long-shot of Paul McCartney who he most recently collaborated with . The energy level among my husband, brother-in-law and friends was high in anticipation. Needless to say  I was let down when he came out to "Say You Will." Not that it's not a good song, it's just not a high-energy opener. He then proceeded to go one by one through each track of 808s and hearbreaks without so much as a new or throw-back song in between. Yes, I understand the tour is for this particular album, but if I wanted to hear the album in it's entirety I would have put the CD on and saved myself the $100 some bucks for the concert. The show production itself was lackluster.  There were a few special effects or visual stimulation. There were fireworks here and there in the opener and scattered throughout. Fake snow fell on the audience during "The Coldest Winter." There was what seemed to be a choir of black men in white pants and "white face" standing still on the stage. The background dancers were dressed in Kanye's drab "derelique" looking fashion pieces. At one point in the back of the arena a light emanated from a still ghost-like woman. The end of the show Kanye put a damn bag over his head, probably to hide his shame for such a crappy show.  Most of the artists featured on 808s and heartbreaks did show up: Young Jeezy, Kid Cudi and actually that was about it.


What was most disappointing about this performance, however, was Kanye's lack of respect or interest in his audience. I have been to many live shows, and I have never once seen them deny the audience an encore, which Kanye did at this concert. Furthermore, he did little to no interaction with the audience during the show. At one point during "Amazing" he restarted after a glitch happened, and then addressed the audience saying "This is the best dress rehearsal" Seriously?? You didn't do a f#cking sound check before Kanye? We did not pay our money to be here to be your "dress rehearsal" for your next show! Sadly, I think Kanye confirmed for me what most people think of him already.

Summer Book Report

9/18/15

Summer is officially at an end. I had an eventful summer, including a move, a new job and celebrating my son turning 1! I had little time to enjoy my favorite summer pastime and my primary reason for living in Southern California, laying out next to a pool, ocean or any tranquil body of water reading. I did manage to squeeze in a few books, although I did not get the pleasure of enjoying them by the pool or on the beach.

So... starting from the one that is most fresh in my mind A Piece of Cake: A Memoir

Loved it! I'd give this gem 9 stars out of 10. My favorite literary genres are autobiographies, memoirs and bibliographies. I think true life stories are more fascinating than anything fictional. I also love the stories of overcoming adversity and internal struggles often in autobiographies. I've read so
many ranging from Kurt Cobain, President Obama, Steve Jobs, Maya Angalou and Amy Tan. This memoir is the story of Cupcake Brown, a now practicing attorney who after losing her mother at age 11 was thrown into the foster care system and subsequently endures one hardship after the next. Really, your jaw will drop at the amount of trauma and shit this woman went through. However the amount of shocking events that happen in this book, Ms. Brown does not paint herself a victim, and the horrors she endures are almost understated. She becomes hooked on drugs at alcohol at a young age, and her addiction and behavior is often comical, although extremely tragic. Her transformation and ability to make peace with her past is the most powerful part of this book, naturally. I read on Her website that a motion picture is in the works based on her book with the screenwriter of American Psycho. I am not sure how I feel about all that, but I definitely recommend you read this before the movie is made so you are not tainted. My plan was to finish "Wild" before I saw the motion picture so I wouldn't think of Reese Witherspoon as the main character. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish the book because her time on the PCT just was dragging on too long for me, so I will probably just watch the movie. Has anyone read Wild and then saw the movie? What were your thoughts? Is anyone who has read "Piece of Cake" planning on seeing the movie?