I prefer this Washington, thankyouverymuch.

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This space has been a little dead lately, but I do still want to use it as a space to record and reflect on the major events in our lives right now. So, it would be silly for me not to write about “The Time Tom Went to D.C. for Three Weeks While I Was Very Pregnant”. Spoiler alert: we all survived. Even the chickens, who I completely forgot about for a week, survived. I was rather proud of myself, given how unsure I was of the entire endeavor.

DITL 6/11/12
“Bock bock, we are going to throw a brick at your leg for not feeding us.”

Due to the nature of Tom’s job, I can’t be explicit about the details, but the basic story is this: after he went to D.C. for a week last month, Tom was offered an opportunity to go back to D.C. for the entire month of June to lead a program that would not only have a national impact, but also network him with the people who could help him move up the career ladder.

Tom was excited. And I said “No.”

Because I am a horrible wife.

Solo-parenting three kids under the age of 6, while 36 weeks into a very hard pregnancy, alone? Nothankyou. I threw a tantrum, threw up a few times, cried, and then asked Tom to see if he could go for just a week again. Maybe two. I figured I could manage two weeks, since then he would be home when I was 36 weeks, and I would have a couple weeks to recover before Sam was cleared for birth. He called the head honchos, and they reluctantly agreed to two weeks.

Which, as soon as Tom got there, somehow turned into three weeks.

But we survived. We lived off frozen meals (which I spent the week prior to Tom’s leaving, frantically preparing), we ate off paper plates, we watched a lot of TV, and I had to say “I’m sorry” quite often, when I lost my temper and took my anxiety and frustration out on the kids. We talked to Tom multiple times a day (and were very thankful for Google Talk on out phones, since the girls would see their daddy), and I told Sam constantly that she was not allowed to make her entrance until after her dad was home.

36 weeks

I handled the two little girls at Ella’s (7-10pm) ballet recital alone,
Ballet Recital 2012

shuttled kids to soccer and swimming lessons alone,

Soccer! Pike swimming lessons

I even hosted a BBQ for our friends while he was gone, complete with 17 children on bikes, careening into groups of speed cyclists, alone.

Summer Parkways Summer Parkways

We celebrated Father’s Day without Tom here,

Father's day

and I slept alone on our 5th wedding anniversary.

Tom went to see the sights on his one weekend off, got a taste of what working at headquarters would be like, and he was (again) offered a job.

Proof he was really there

Tom was excited. And I said “No.”

Because I am a horrible wife.

This question of moving to D.C. has been over our head for years now – we’ve known that if Tom wants to move up in his current job, the fastest way to do this would be for him to “do his time” at headquarters. For years, we’ve been holding them off, finding ways to work remotely, making him indispensable here so they would have incentive to work with him in an unconventional manner. And that worked, for a few years. We love where we live. We love our friends, our community, our neighbors, our little home. We love that we can (frugally) afford for me to stay home with our gaggle of children. We love Ella’s homeschool-school. We love being close to family, and that we feel safe here.

But the cost of choosing all of that may end up being this career Tom somehow fell into. He never intended to have the job he does now, and while he likes it, we’re not sure it’s worth giving up all of the other invaluable things in our life for this (potential) monetary gain. In the short term, we would actually be taking a financial hit to move a family of six to the D.C. area on the salary they can offer, but long term, this move would benefit us.

Tom bought us more time to stall, for them to negotiate, for his bosses here to counter headquarters offer and make it worthwhile for him to try and work up the ladder locally. But we know it will come up again in a year, or less, this question of what our long term priorities and goals really are.

For now, I know what my goals are. Wash the baby blankets. Make a belly cast. Spend a hour reading on the couch with Becky, and reminding her that she will always be my baby, even when there is a younger sibling vying for lap space. Help Ella design a kite, paint Alice’s toenails, and welcome my husband home from work every day, gratefully. I have my priorities all in a row.

Playing bedtime

5 Responses to I prefer this Washington, thankyouverymuch.

  1. jennifer says:

    You called Sam a her. What what?

    • ivory says:

      We have no idea. I change my mind daily.

      • Leah says:

        I was about to post this same question and even went through your achieves to make sure I didn’t miss anything, lol! How fun to have a surprise :-) We aren’t finding out this time either and its been fun guessing. My hunch is boy for me due to all boy dreams and pregnancy symptoms similar to Jaxson’s.

        Can’t wait to see what yours is soon and hear your birth story!

  2. Elise says:

    I really, really love DC. I lived there for awhile in my 20s and some of my friends stayed and are raising their kids in the city. It’s an amazing place to live with all the museums, the zoo, etc. etc. and all free….. Not that I want you to go, just that if you’re gonna go that’s a pretty fine place.

  3. Pingback: Tremulous | thetrivialpursuitofhappiness.com

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