The short version
Middle-aged working mother of a toddler. Also a Barefoot Books Ambassador and OBC certified teacher. Prone to cooking, ranting, fiction writing, and musing.
The much longer version
This is very long, but these attributes are listed in their order of relevance to my points of view in the things I write.
On being a mother
My favorite part of my life is being a mother. Motherhood has always been my calling, but for circumstances out of my control, I was not blessed with my bitty noodle until I was 39 years old. I am incredibly fortunate to have a husband who is truly a co-parent and tolerates my alternative views on child rearing.
On being a writer
I am an unpublished fiction writer. When my brain is not occupied with what is wrong with the world and how I would fix it, I am thinking about my characters, scenes, and dialogue. I have won National Novel Writing Month in 2011 and 2012, and have been attempting it annually ever since. I have one completed novel, which I am hesitant to share because, although it’s a story about a loving relationship, it reflects an alternative lifestyle. I fear that, if I release it, the attention would be drawn more to the alternative lifestyle than the story itself. My other novels are incomplete. I am currently working on one large set of stories that I write 100% for myself as it reflects the fantasy of my ideal life. I hope to write some short stories to share on this blog, but that may be an endeavor I undertake when I either get in the habit of waking up at 5 am or my son gets in the habit of falling asleep before 9 pm.
On being the CEO of our household
I enjoy household management. I like planning meals, figuring out how to make our finances work, organizing, and creating routines. I do not enjoy cleaning, but I have yet to meet someone who does. All my life I had hoped to be a stay-at-home mother, but… well… life happens.
On my day job
I am a full-time program manager for a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program in Boston. I have an incredible boss and amazing colleagues (with the exception of one.) I manage one full-time staff person, and I am currently developing the leadership skills to be an effective manager. (Oh, who am I kidding? My boss is my hero and I want to be the type of leader she is.) The job is exhausting yet oddly satisfying, which surprises me because in the decade I’ve been working an office job I never thought I’d end up in one that was actually satisfying.
On my side gigs
On being a Barefoot Books Ambassador
In October 2016, I became a Barefoot Books Ambassador. Barefoot Books has an amazing selection of children’s books and gifts. My business is slow going because I am an introverted mother of a toddler who has a full-time 9-5 job. Out of all of these things, introversion is the biggest challenge. Direct sales and introversion are a bad combination.
On being an OBC Certified Teacher
In April 2016, I became a certified teacher for Our Baby Class, a collection of classes developed by two Philadelphian moms, for new and expecting parents. I am currently not teaching.
On having Bipolar II disorder
I have Bipolar II disorder, which was something I struggled with my whole life but was not accurately diagnosed until my early 30’s. I am high-functioning due to appropriate medication, my full-time job, motherhood, and the ongoing knowledge that no one would take care of me if I became too ill to take care of myself.
On identifying as Unitarian Universalist
I have struggled with spirituality and faith my whole life, but it’s become worse since my mother passed away in 2014. Unitarian Universalism is one of those faiths that actively encourages spiritual exploration while maintaining its own identity through the 7 Principles. I have a safe place to take my son to allow him to learn solid values in a supportive environment, which is important to me.
On being middle-aged
Born in 1975, I am part of Generation X and the birth dearth that spanned about a decade. My generation was raised by the late Silent Generation and early Baby Boomers. As a whole, we’re pretty quiet and perpetuated the norms and values of the Baby Boomers. Some of us remember when abortion was illegal and women couldn’t have bank accounts without a male family member’s approval, but a good number of us don’t. We were the latchkey kids and because of Adam Walsh, the reason why the level of “keeping the children safe” has become absurd. Earlier Gen X raised the Millenials right alongside the Baby Boomers. The late Gen X (my crew) is now raising Generation Z (which will probably be named something else as they get older.)
Middle age is a trip. It’s about creaky joints, annoyance over how expensive things have gotten, and some complacency with the Way Things Are. Some of us are bitching about the younger generation (and I wish they would stop.) It’s also a time of freedom. I no longer carry the burden of being obsessed with having everyone like me (although I still royally suck at conflict resolution.)
On being white
We are currently in the middle of the second civil rights movement: Black Lives Matter. Tensions are high as US culture, once again, attempts to learn respect for all. The difficulty is that racism is so deeply entrenched in all aspects of our culture that we are not sure how to find our way out. It’s not difficult being a white person in the US. I recognize that I am in a position of privilege, and my thoughts and viewpoints are shaped by this privilege. I mention this here because I can only write from a white woman’s perspective, so that is what you are reading.
On being a cis-gendered woman
My whole department at work is female. Most of the blogs I come across are written by women. Although many of the issues faced by women at this point in history do not affect me directly, I am unnerved by a current administration of lawmakers who see all women as second-class citizens and I do fear that they will roll back all the rights for which women have fought unless we see a huge turnover in 2018. As I stated above, this is the perspective from which I write.
On being middle class
I am doing better financially than my mother, and we have the means (barely) of sending our son to a high-quality day care. We can afford food, shelter, and, if I were more fiscally responsible, all our bills. I graduated college with only $70k in debt, and my husband is doing fine without a college degree (this is more the mark of a generation than being middle class.) I’m also struggling with the rest of the middle class regarding lack of affordable daycare and paid parental leave, flat wages and increasing costs, and the fragility of situation (we are one job loss or long illness from bankruptcy. I am not being dramatic – this happens to those in the middle class more frequently than we all would like to admit.)