Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A perfect storm

OMG its already tuesday night of the next week! When I posted last week, I had fully intended to write a very intelligent commentary about the very useful workshop I attended (and I am happy to report that a total 1/4th of the attendees were women!). It was useful not only because of the skill set I learned but because of the insight into science. But that is for another post. This post is to let you all know that I survived the perfect storm. What is a perfect storm? Well for me is to be in middle of a life altering decision (continue with grad school or not) when monkey gets sick. Monkey getting sick is manageable especially when its on the Saturday of a weekend. Yes he's a little more needy but Tylenol and sleep make for an easy to care for child. When monkey gets sick its like the clouds rolling in on a sunny day.
It started raining when we learned that his fever, drooling and lack of appetite was not due to multiple molars coming in but was due to hand, foot and mouth disease. Its probably a good thing that I took him to the doctor to find this tidbit of information, however it would've been helpful had I taken while he had the fever so that I knew not to kiss my monkeys' droolly little face. I had already planned to be home all week pondering my life decisions, so doing that with monkey home didn't seem to be to hard of an adjustment (monkey was not allowed to go back to daycare until all his sores were clear even though every health guide say there is no need to keep the child home URGHHH!!).
The storm started brewing on Monday night when I started to feel ill. I was hoping it was no biggie just a cold and fatigue from having monkey home unexpectedly. I wish. Sleep did not come that night, only weird random science dreams, sweat and pain. I woke up ill as could be on tuesday morning. Mr.SM couldn't stay home as he was scheduled in meetings and had just taken last week off to paint the house and take of monkey while I was at the workshop. I couldn't keep my eyes open, I could not sit up. I was done. The storm was unleashed.
Thank God for cartoons and grandpa. It took my dad about 2 hours to get here but he did get here just in time. Monkey knew something was wrong and stayed near me watching tv. Or maybe he was excited because he was actually allowed to watch tv and have my cell phone (anything to occupy him in my vicinity). He had sympathy for about 2 hours before he decided he needed to bounce of the walls. My dad took him all day, I took 2 extra-strength tylenols every 4 hours and went to bed.
Wednesday I tried to send him to daycare but they sent him home at lunch. I called mr.sm to come home early, he arrived at 5:30pm instead of 6pm. ScientistMother was not a happy camper. I felt alone, overwhelmed, sick, frustrated, incapable and done. How am I supposed to finish grad school in reasonable amount of time if he can't come home 2 hours early! It is crazy to think that he can work fulltime, go to school AND help with his family business AND be a 50% parent. I was ready to give up, crawl into a corner and lick my wounds. I DID NOT sign up for this. I could not understand how I could muster the strength to do grad school if I couldn't take care of my kid. If I have to do it all I can not.
Thursday I was way better and could manage the terror otherwise known as my son. But the storm wasn't done with me.

I have been looking foward to this year being over because it means Mr.SM's school is over, done finished. It would be mean that he could do more evening and weekend care, freeing me up to go into the lab or do readings. Over dinner, prior to heading to his family's Mr.SM ask how I would feel if he did his MBA, and in the ensuing discussion let me know that I would have to sacrifice my career and education goals. I could turn into his good little indian wifey. I looked at him dumbfounded. Pissed that I was being asked to do that. Pissed that it was all about him. Pissed that since my lovely monkey has been born, my entire life seems to revolve around him and the mister. Mr.SM left for the family business without the discussion finishing. I sat at home steaming mad at him, at my PI and my life choices. I sat there pissed at the idea of not finishing because of someone else. FUCK THAT. If I quit its for me and no one else.

Then realized that I have not been communicating well with the mister. I kept putting his needs before mine. I didn't vocalize when I felt that he was being unfair or unreasonable. To be honest, I am ok with making sacrifices for us as a family unit. I am not ok with making sacrifices for him to work at the family business. Friday morning I looked at the mister and said I would do my Phd with or without his support. I will not give up on my dreams. He looked at me and said the probability of him doing his MBA was low. He just wanted to know if I was really ready to give up on my dream. Obviously I wasn't. Cheeky little bastard.


Melanie said...


1) I'm so so so glad to see you back! YOu've been missed.

2) Holycrow about the HF&M. We've yet to fight that particular bug here. Being sick is awful, especially when you need to have the little one home with you too.

3)I was all geared up to write about how insensitive and jerkish the mister was! And in a way, that's a not-so-nice way of testing your resolve. But at least that's all it was. And hey, it's made you recognize the loss of good communication.

Amanda said...

Glad to hear that you're ok and survived HF&M. I saw the wikipedia entry you linked to and it does not sound like fun at all. I had the same reaction as melanie to your husband. I kept getting more and more angry as I read through your post and then I got to the end... I thought, "Well, at least he wasn't being that much of a jerk." :-)

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

ooh, if my husband pulled that little trick I'd be even madder than if he was serious!!! Initially at least. But it sounds like it might have worked...

Glad you're feeling better anyway. One of the techs in my old lab had to take time off a few years ago to look after her son, who had HF&M. She was pretty mad with the daycare people too.

ScienceGirl said...

Wow, that's a daring way for your husband to try to probe your intentions! Sheesh. Glad you have that straightened out thought! And glad you are feeling better.