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February 13, 2012

Forward Motion

Work used to be my biggest "problem" I thought.  It was rough there for a long time.  I dreaded getting up every morning knowing I had to go in and face the day and the people with whom I interacted.  There was a general lack of respect and trust among the group of people with whom I worked directly.  The grass was greener in any other department.  And, my manager.  Well, the best way to describe what was going on was that we were not on the same page.  At. All.  I have wondered many times why the woman hired me at all.

I had a bright spot in that I had someone to commiserate with (my dear TOOJE).  But commiserating, while good for my feelings, doesn't really do much for the work environment.  I also had some people I turned to outisde the department to voice my concerns and to share my very real desire not to return to work most days. 

My work environment changed drastically since my return from maternity leave.  Within two weeks of my return, I had a new manager.  I wasn't sure it would be perfect, but I just knew it had to be better.  I had gotten to that point of believing there was no way it could get any worse.

The new manager provides frequent and useful feedback, delivered with a communication style that puts me at ease.  It took awhile to get used to this.  I often joke with my friend that I have had to overcome (may still be overcoming in some instances) "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder."  Not to diminish what people who really do go through PTSD go through, but it was the best way to describe my knee-jerk reaction to thinking I was about to get blasted whenever the new guy brought up anything to "discuss."

I have to admit I have been on a roll at work lately.  I'm happy with the work I'm doing.  It really seems like the new manager and I are on the same page and even when we aren't, there's an open environment for sharing the disagreements, airing it all out and finding a solution where we can both feel a level of "win-win." 

It has alarmed me, though, to recognize that while I'm rollin' at work (you know, corporate version of kickin' ass and taking names), I feel like I'm struggling at home as a mother. 

My post Saturday came on the heels of an evening spent around a TON of kids, all running around and just being kids and I realized how completely uncomfortable with that I was.  Additionally, parenting has started to feel hard.  My children are getting older and I'm fearful of what lies ahead.  I am fearful mainly because it's new and now I really am hitting the part where it matters how I approach things.  I had spent quite a bit of time Friday night awake...and not because Vincent was up in the middle of the night.  I was starting to have some anxiety about whether I am repeating what I perceive as mistakes in my own upbringing.  What I often forget whenever I want to pine about what I didn't like about how my parents did things is that I turned out okay.  As a matter of fact, even though I struggled at times growing up...I still knew right from wrong (even though I chose wrong at times) and I learned how to love and how to sacrifice.

Going back to the work angle:  Even though my current manager has had to put up with a bit of my own reactions and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, I don't seem to ever feel like holding him responsible for my feelings of resentment about the two or three years previous.  And, chances are, I am performing better at work because of my new environment, but it is on my own shoulders that I didn't perform to this level even when the environment was poor.  Even though I had a manager who was not on the same wavelength as me previously, that doesn't excuse the fact that my attention and performance on the job during that period dropped off a bit. 

The same can be said for parenting.  While my parents' choices may not be my own, my reactions to my situations with my children are.  What I noticed over the weekend, after writing on Saturday was that I allowed my kids to be a little bit louder and I didn't get all uptight.  I gave a gentle reminder that the baby was sleeping and I'd prefer he get his full nap, please, but didn't scold them for playing together.  When Sarah wanted to "be her own team" in the game of Sorry! instead of being paired with a younger child, I allowed it and didn't even give her a glare over it. 

Sometimes, writing out how I feel and putting it up there to re-read and for others to see and provide feedback, gives me the jolt I need to do what I've known I should do, but didn't have the guts before.  I've been so scared of making mistakes, that I've just micro-managed my kids.  And...um, hello, I hate to be micro-managed!  I can't speak for everyone, but it tends to be something most people dislike.

I will move forward keeping all of this in mind.  I hope I can start "rollin'" at home in my role of mother the way I've been "rollin'" at work.

The only way to go is...UP.


  1. First of all, that is great that work is going better! At least it gives you more mental energy to focus on parenting... and it sounds like you know exactly what you need to do and have begun doing it, so that is something to be happy about!

    And forgive me if this is "off" but I know that it was extremely helpful for my mother when she could get a few hours away to do her own thing *in silence*. It takes a lot of stamina to deal with the constant commotion of a large family, even if your kids are wonderful! And I know, I know, easy for me to say since I don't have any children. ;-)

    So here's to you and rollin'!

  2. I can definitely relate to a negative work environment and I am glad that things are getting better from that aspect. It will help you on the homefront as Rae said, as well. As for the mothering front, I still have little children but often face the same anxiety. I think going to God with our fears and our troubles is one of the best things we can do. And you are probably doing much better than you realize! Your heart is certainly in the right place!


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