So when you work and parent with another parent, compromise is KING. I happen to parent with the love of my life, Mr. Mary Tyler Mom. I am lucky in that regard. He is the best and most of the time I think much more qualified than myself in certain parenting skills: patience, laid backedness, creativity, patience. Mr. Mary Tyler Mom also earns more than three times what I earn, despite my advanced degree. Thems the breaks, kids.
In my new gig I made a conscious choice to step away from the clinical social work I had been doing for ten years before I left the work force to move to Cancerville. After losing a mom and daughter to brain tumors within four years, the last thing I want to do right now is sit in a room and listen to someone detail their problems to me. Yeah, that is not in the proverbial cards right now. So I found myself a non-profit advocacy gig. “Fancy social work,” I call it. I get to work in a neat high rise with an impressive address. I am making the world safe for disease educators everywhere. It’s a living, and honestly, I am much better suited to it right now as it doesn’t require lots of empathy. ‘Know your limitations’ is one of my personal mantras.
Anyways. This week it was requested that I take a day trip to Baltimore. In and out in a day. The gig would be to fly to Baltimore to sit in a room with a government contractor and provide feedback on their analysis of a particular disease related social ill. Why that appeals to me, I can’t tell you, but Lordy, I wanted to go. Then I checked the calendar and realized I could not go. Nope. Mr. Mary Tyler Mom is scheduled to be on his own business trip that week. Thems the breaks, kids.
Aside from the disappointment of missing the jet set-edness of a day trip to Baltimore – – and for me my entire relationship to Baltimore comes from being an avid fan of The Wire – – a business trip is a symbol of a lot of things: having arrived professionally, sitting in a plane and reading without having to entertain a toddler, being alone. Really alone. Knowing that Mr. Mary Tyler Mom’s business trips are a higher priority just kind of sucks. And then there is the worry of what does it mean to have to decline a business trip because of family obligations. Sigh. Thems the breaks, kids. Right?