Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Where Does a Baby Fit In? Nowhere.

Where does a baby fit into my life? Nowhere, that's where. Here is a brief summary of my day today, which is a fairly typical Wednesday:

5:45 A.M.: Wake up. Tiptoe quietly downstairs and change, brush my teeth, etc.
6:15 A.M.: Go out to run. I'm training for a half marathon. Today's run was pretty short in the scheme of things, only 3.5 miles.
7:15 A.M.: Return home and fix breakfast.
7:45 A.M.: Shower and dress for work.
8:15 A.M.: Leave for work. Read the news on the train.
8:45 A.M.: Arrive at work. Work all day long. Lunch at my desk. As my habitual readers know, I'm a lawyer, and I usually have to work at least as many hours as I did today.
7 P.M.: Leave to go home. I like to read on the train but oftentimes, I have to bring more work to do (this is the reality of big firms and billable hour targets).
7:30 P.M.: Arrive home. Dinner with my husband. Our Wednesday dinners are a sacred tradition, going back to when we first started dating nearly three and a half years ago. Even if we had a child, we would never give this up. We always have dinner together, alone, on Wednesdays. It's our weekly time for one another. Usually we go out, but tonight we're eating at home.
9 or so P.M.: Catch up on some laundry while we watch TV and grab a couple of hours to ourselves.
10:30 P.M.: Pass out -- I've got to get up at 5:30 tomorrow to train. After 7 hours of sleep, it will all begin again.

Where the heck does a child fit in here? As I try to juggle work, running and my marriage, I often feel like I don't even have time for myself, much less someone else. If I had a couple extra hours in my day I'd spend it reading in a quiet place, not taking care of a screaming baby.

So I have to conclude that the answer is: nowhere.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some Friend You Are

We have two sets of friends who have babies now. One child was born a year ago, and one was born at the end of December 2007. Both couples were fixtures in our social circle until the stork arrived. My husband has known the fathers for many years.

We have seen the couple whose daughter is now a year old a whopping three times since she was born. The other couple we have not seen at all since they had their child, although they do send us about 80 pictures of their baby every single month. No, I'm not exaggerating. "Baby's April Pics" arrive reliably in early May, and there are always between 50 and 100 to look through. But I digress. (My husband and I have considered sending out monthly pictures of our cat in response.)

I'm not heartbroken about not seeing our friends much anymore. I fully expected it. But when they no longer even feel the need to adhere to the basic tenets of common courtesy, I have a problem. That is what happened to my husband this week.

Last Monday, he emailed the father of the one-year-old, asking if his company might have a job available this summer for my husband's brother, who's a junior in college and desperately seeking an internship that might add to his resume. Guess what the response was?


It's been over a week, and nothing. Not even "sorry, man, we just don't have anything available this summer." That would have been fine. But nothing? Really, you don't have time to even type a one-sentence email to an old friend once you've procreated?

If that's the case, count me out for sure.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Moms who Let Themselves Go

I stumbled across this posting on Craigslist a while back, about mothers and wives who lose all regard for appearances. While I certainly wouldn't say I agree with all of it, there are some interesting thoughts there.

Many mothers do, in fact, let themselves go as this posting describes, particularly once they pass a certain age and have had two or three kids. I do not, and will never, condone cheating on one's spouse, as this poster sort of seems to. However, I also think that when you enter an agreement with another healthy adult to remain in a monogamous relationship for the rest of both of your lives, you each have a certain responsibility to make sure you remain reasonably attractive to the other person. This is only fair.

I take this responsibility very seriously. I stay in shape. I watch my diet. I get regular manicures and pedicures. I don't go weeks without shaving or tweezing as needed. I wear makeup, perfume, and jewelry. I make sure my hair looks good... even if we're not going anywhere. I wear cute, fitted clothes (again, even around the house I wear cute p.j.s), and good shoes.

When women have kids and begin to completely neglect all of this, it makes me wonder. And when they complain that their marriages are passionless, and their husbands have become detached, I wonder more.

Cause and effect, kids. It's not rocket science. While I certainly hope that we all love our spouses for who they are, the least you can do for someone who's pledged to sleep with only you for the rest of his life is to make it a pleasant experience for him. And vice versa.

This is a lot easier when you're childfree.