Thank you, Lesley Ryden

“To the Middle Season Mama in May” made me cry for an hour out of relief that it’s not just me…I think what I would add to the loneliness, worry and guilt Lesley describes is that working + parenting is a constant ebb between sail and fail. I’m doing well at parenting and work suffers, and vice versa, and there are lots of vice versas, including being present for my friends, noticing my spouse, caring for my Dad with Alzheimer’s, protesting destruction of the planet. Yet, I’m not about to give anything up. What I’m trying to do is get better at saying, “you did the best you could” and actually feeling accomplished. And sometimes, I really miss the pursuit of excellence. “Nailed it” refers to completely and utterly different standards than it once did. Also, I both read this and I am writing this behind the locked door of the bathroom, where I often hide to catch my breath on the auspices of something else…

Addendum: I perhaps maintain a little more empathy for the parents of tiny ones than the article may indicate. I somewhat believe the old adage our brains are pre-loaded to forget the pains of childbirth, recovery and the special kind of exhaustion reserved for those up all night with crying, damp, hungry bundles of sweetness. But oh, how I miss the naps.


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