Posts tagged ‘work’

March 21, 2012

and now for something completely different

news flash: this work shit is for suckers. and, in response to the bullshit sprint we personally perform what seems like 7 days a week, i am seriously contemplating a crazy drama fuelled self-sabotaging act like arriving at work, late, in my fleece pj pants complete with stretched out shelf bra tank top and oversized cardigan (clashing, of course).

i will have showered, shaved, moisturized, and done my hair. i will be sporting lip gloss and i will smell good. otherwise, i will be unpredictable. i may be volatile.

my full to the brim coffee ( in a homemade ceramic mug, no lid) and ‘i dare you to challenge me’ attitude will be ready for the first person who so much as notices my tardiness or non adherence to dress code. and then, i walk. i know i  have grounds for working mother stress reaction syndrome and i will hapily go on extended sick leave. you’ve been warned.

i mean it. eff you hussle, you suck us dry.

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March 7, 2012

those be fighting words

i just couldn’t put my kids in a daycare / i think it’s my responsibility to parent my own children / i just don’t know how you do it / your son goes to daycare? poor baby! / how much time do you get with him? / when do you sleep? / if you have plans with friends this weekend, when will you spend time with your boy? / daycare just seems like a waste of money! / you must be a superwoman / how do you know you can trust the childcare provider? / don’t you just wish you could stay home with him? /you choose your career over you son? / i stay at home to give my children the best / i just don’t know how you do it, don’t you miss him when you’re at work? / how do you juggle it all? / my job title is mother now / i didn’t go back to work until my children were old enough to manage without me / i just don’t want to miss any of their growing up, they are only young once / it’s not just the cost of daycare, but the cost of my children not having me around / how are you okay with the fact that you don’t know what he does in a day? /  all those different priorities! for me, it’s easy: my family comes first / it just seems so unnatural to give them to someone else to take care of / i would worry too much about mine / i just can’t justify paying someone to raise my children / my family is my work now / i just find with taking care of my kids well, there isn’t enough time to work / we can’t really afford for me to be at home, but it’s the right thing to do, so we get by / i sometimes don’t want to be at home but it seems so selfish to work / i’m just not comfortable handing my children to a stranger / i’m a full time mom / i guess if i had a career it would be different, maybe. i can’t imagine anything being as important as them / does he spend more time with them then with you? / he’s so young still, he must miss you / are you sure you’re okay? you look really tired.

believe it or not, this is what you sound like. not all of you, god knows (shout out to my super cool stay at home mom friends), but some of you do. and, for the record, it’s eff’n awful.  i hear it over, and over, and over again. i keep hoping it will stop but, so far, no luck.

i was lucky, however, to once read a terrible chick lit book (that i thoroughly enjoyed, ha!) that described this phenomenon, suggesting that stay at home mothers have a certain script that they need to say to themselves (and to others, apparently) to help justify their lives and that, similarly, working mothers do too.

it resonated, and since reading said tid bit of insight i always reflect on it when stay at home mothers, or former stay at home mothers even, ask about my life as a working mom only to proceed without genuine interest and comment with a combo infusion of shock and pity, on my life, my needs, my choices, our deal.

i try to remember the concept when the dialogue inevitably shifts to why they are or were stay at home. i try to remain curious about our differences when i feel as though i am being patronized, judged, or used as an example of how not to be. i try to be patient, assume that the conversation has nothing to do with me, and hope that you are simply defending your script.  i hold my head up and try not to get rattled by what i think you might be saying about me and what kind of person and mother i am.

i try not to get worked up.  i often don’t know how to back down but in this case, i don’t even rise up. i am tired and i’m not going to waste any time or energy on debate.  i mother my business. i never ask you why you are a stay at home mom. i don’t tell you all the reasons i am not. i don’t care to find retaliations to the statements you make about me and my family’s experience. i don’t go ahead and expose what i may perceive some of the stay at home flaws to be.  i don’t play the game and compete when it comes to who had the busiest, most tiring, most stressful or demanding day. i don’t think i invite these conversations, and i can’t remember starting any of them. i know i don’t engage all that readily, and i know that i try to ignore them into submission and hope they go away.

i try to be considerate of how personal, and frankly, political, our differences are and for the sake of not offending you, i just don’t go there. i wish you would do the same. i’m happy, most of the time, and my son almost always is. i hope you and yours are too. that should be enough.

it’s hard out there in mom land and i could use your help. it would make it easier on me if you’d just drop the value interview masked in friendly conversation that i didn’t sign up for. we, as individuals, spouses, and parents, are flawed. relatedly, our life set ups are too.   i respect yours. i also respect mine.

i work and, overall, it works. that’s all.  i don’t feel pressured to stand in defence of my script… we’re cool. okay? let’s be done.


“there is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women”- madeleine k. albright.

September 12, 2011

a job well done

” Dear Ms. H,
Thank you for your recent assessment note, which I found to be thorough and astute.  I am in total agreement with the management plan and will look forward to further updates as to your patient’s progress.  Please do let me know if I can be of any assistance in her ongoing care.

Yours sincerely,

Sheila C, MD CCFP ”

big thanks to my dear dr. friend who understands my crazed sense of humour and isn’t afraid to fuel my slightly personality disordered fire. le sigh.

it’s amazing what the subtle encouragement of friends can do for the spirit, no? ohhhhh, yes. now, move over imaginary play brain. it’s back to life time. chin up, shoulders back, forward motion, go!

September 12, 2011

save her soul

reason for referral:

patient is a 30 y/o woman presenting w/ emotional instability secondary to ? clinical pms and healthcare worker burnout syndrome. quick response team to ax and refer as appropriate pls.

reason for social work involvement:

psycho emotional social assessment, therapeutic intervention, resource counselling.


patient is a 30 y/o married mother of one toddler aged child and is currently employed in healthcare, part-time. pt describes her marriage as rewarding, her partner as supportive, and significant enjoyment of her mothering role. positive hx for mild post partum depression and anxiety, no symptoms since her son was an infant. other psychological / cognitive issues unreported and hx of same unremarkable as per chart except for notation of minor ptsd, transient anxiety, and  short & long-term memory loss secondary to head trauma and resulting post concussion syndrome, all result of hvg sustained significant mva in 2004. response considered appropriate and all but memory impairment has long since resolved, as per gp. no active medical issues though pt does suffer from chronic pain and is easily fatigued post multiple #s and soft tissue injuries. additional familial and informal supports exist, are present, and offer both emotional and practical contributions. pt has, however, faced recent increase in vocational stress, having accepted a number of additional shifts as of late as well as having  embarked on a part-time direct sales venture, which pt admits is detracting from her ability to effectively manage home life. pt reports  increased sense of pressure (internalized) and that she has been experiencing sleep disturbances, both in amount and quality. pt self reports deteriorating mood and an increase in negative thoughts, specifically with regard to her employment. has thought control and does not find thoughts intrusive, however. denies suicidal ideation and denies any contemplation or interest in harming others. pt admits to some chgs in behaviour, mostly an increase in the use of expletives and a tendency towards keeping her office door closed as often as possible. no chgs in appetite, which pt finds unfortunate.


pt is a tired looking, overweight woman, who presents w/ a flat, heavy, and restricted affect and was tearful on occasion across the interview. hygiene intact, dress appropriate for season and context. some disinhibition in verbalization reported by coworkers however none displayed on contact, this date. as per spouse, pt can be histrionic at times. positive for high emotional output but continues to employ regulation skills. thought pattern organized; speech clear, coherent, and content on topic. no perceptual or cognitive distortions observed or disclosed. insight and judgement appear intact. reflective thinking capacity evidenced. future focussed and goal orientated. has established self-care and sleep hygiene routine. behavioural changes consistent w/ diagnosis and to be expected. of note, affect brightened and full range revealed when speaking of her son.

protective factors:  age, education, socioeconomic status, formal and informal support network, strong identification with mother role and obvious pleasure received from said dynamic. this woman has taken the proactive measure to remove herself from professional responsibilities, this date, so to mitigate risks to career, self, and others, which should be commended.

high risk indicators include, but are not limited to:  this woman has stopped wearing mascara to the work place.


– avoid the workplace for 24 hrs; priorize mental health.
– drink morning coffee slowly.
– mandatory morning dance party.
– pick wild blackberries with son.
– mingle with neighbours.
– for lunch: salad, salmon, and avocado.
– nap.
– tidy and feel on top of it.
– casually prepare dinner, no need to rush.
– run, baby, run.
– have an extended bath.
– read in bed or, alternatively, rent a sappy movie.
– go to sleep early.
– try again tomorrow.

should the above listed recommendations not achieve intended therapeutic results, additional recommendations include: connect via phone with soul sisters situated in tofino, nanaimo, vancouver, and halifax; add 1 glass of wine to daily self-care routine; purchase and thoroughly enjoy multiple fashion or pop smut magazines; and attend as many yoga classes as possible until feelings of doom subside. consider re-ax and referral for ongoing supportive counseling if doom persists.

thank you for inviting my participation in this woman’s care.

hh, csw ba bsw rsw.

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February 19, 2011

fabulosity, redefined

when you’re a mother and work outside of the home, there are few things as decadent as a weekend off with your family. it’s not quite brunch with the girls, but it’s pure and unadulterated goodness.  in honour of going slow, allow me to suggest beginning weekend festivities with ritual yummy breakfasts.

in our home, we are fans of whole wheat or spelt blueberry pancakes (with cooked pumpkin or yams, shredded apples or carrots, pureed beets or peaches, and always with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and yogurt inside) and, after indulging in deliciousness, we continue to celebrate our togetherness with post breaky dance parties.

give it a try, i believe this simple indulgence is a sure cure for too much time spent apart and i can almost guarantee a good time will be had by all. 

p.s.- i also recommend having ingredients for mimosas on stand by for all weekend bliss fests. i gather there is a little ‘woman about town’ left in most of us and it’s refreshing to acknowledge her and the rest of us with a sleepy toast. to our old selves, our new selves, and, my favorite, our future selves. cheers and happy weekend!

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