A quick hello from our little family at Christmas!
We’re hanging out with family, eating lots of chocolate, and trying not to think about anything but being cozy.
When I was younger, I, like most young children, played house. Well…I played “Liz and Rose” in which my little sister and I (I was Liz, she was Rose) were two independent, career-driven women who had each adopted two children. We had a toddler and a small baby each, and it seemed that more often than not, we played “disaster” rather than “happy day with children.” This was probably spurred by the fact that disasters are much more fun (in pretend-world at least) and that we read a lot of Baby Blues.
Yesterday, I felt like that mom I used to pretend to be. We were at the grocery store, doing some shopping on Andreas’s way home from work, and Theo was munching on a dried-fruit-bar-thing. Until he threw up. Lots of times. All over. Andreas and I sprang into action with the wet wipes that I had, thankfully, remembered to bring along this time, mopping up the floor, his snowsuit, gloves, boots, the cart…you get the idea. We got the mess under control, quickly finished the shopping, then went out in the dark and the rain to load the groceries and Theo onto our bikes, and biked home as fast as we could. We got home, soaking wet, sort of smelling like vomit, and late for a Skype date I had with my family back home.
I’m not pretending this is the only disaster we’ve had. I’ve had disaster moments pretty much daily for the last 16 months. But I think this was the first major disaster that was out in public and that I felt like we totally managed well. Our teamwork was top notch yesterday. My empathy unwavering, Andreas’s patience solid. Unlike most disasters where I seem to lose my temper, or at least the will to clean up the mess, it felt like when I was playing mom. If only I could take a break for hot chocolate and graham crackers…
After all my muttering about job searching, I wanted to switch gears and talk about Christmas!
Now, we are a Baha’i family, and Christmas is not a Baha’i holiday. So if you ask us if we celebrate Christmas, I’m not sure what I’d say. Christmas is not our holiday. It doesn’t hold the significance that it does for Christians, but let me tell you something. If we’re going to get through this long, dim, gray winter, we’re going to need to celebrate something in December, so Christmas, it is!
We definitely don’t go as over-the-top as some, but we’re planning on decorating this year (including a small tree), we have some lights up, and I’m going to do plenty of baking, and we’re going to get together with family, eat nice, Christmassy food (and cookies!) and have a good time together. Oh, and we’re going to listen to Christmas music and watch Elf more than Andreas wants to.
I have gone back and forth about if we should be doing Christmassy things, as a Baha’i family, but here’s the conclusion I came to: celebrating Christmas for us, is about the equivalent of celebrating Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day. It’s a big part of the culture here. It helps people keep winter depression at bay with candles and fairy lights. It makes us feel happy and together and cheerful, and that’s why we’re doing Christmas.
I open Chrome, one page to jobindex, one to jobnet, and scroll through the pages of listings. Half of me is hoping to find lots of listings today–some sign that there are jobs out there that I would be good at, am qualified for, might, possible, just maybe get hired to do. Half of me dreads the hours spent agonizing over cover letters, and sort of hopes that there just isn’t really anything that applies to me, that I can just keep staying home with my Theo-guy.
Sometimes, I don’t want to get a job. I don’t really know if that’s just because I’m scared of starting something new (which I undoubtedly am), or if it’s because I just really don’t want to leave Theo every day.
Sometimes, I’m afraid I won’t get a job. Sometimes I’m afraid I won’t get a job at the same time that I’m afraid that I will. It’s all very confusing.
Add confusing to difficult and discouraging, and the job search is less fun than a job search usually is (which is not really very fun at all). What was already like, a -2 on the fun scale is now a -9. (For comparison, cleaning the bathroom is a 0, playing Settlers of Catan a 9).
And then there’s the issue of Theo in daycare. Although we already decided to start him in January, and we have it all set up, I still am having doubts. There are reasons it’s a good idea: more time for my job search, can actually go to interviews (provided I actually getone at some point), we can choose the daycare he goes to instead of having to go with an emergency option, and he’ll be regularly exposed to Danish. But I’m just worried that this job search will be one of those that last a year and a half, and we don’t have the resources to keep him in daycare for a year and a half on one income…
I’ve thought about holding off until he’s 2, just casually job-hunting until then, but I want to have worked for a while before we have another baby, and I don’t want to have to wait on account of not having a job, etc.
It’s just one of those situations where you wish someone could tell you what to do–what is wisest…or that you could just peek into the future. Just this once! But all we can do is guess, try, and do our best, hoping that that’s enough and that it will all work out “in the end.”