Four months après cancer diagnosis and I still haven't gotten used to being my strange hybrid version of a stay-at-home mom. Frances is still in daycare from 8 to 4:30 and Stella is in school from 9 to 3 and then in after-school care from 3 to 4:30. The arrangement works out for rest days, appointments and just generally getting shit done, but I've also had to keep the spots (and keep paying for them), despite being at almost half my salary, so when I do go back to work, I'm not left childcare-less.
It's like being a lady who lunches without the lady or the lunch part and there's a truckload of guilt that goes along with it all. I still find myself explaining it to the mothers of Caddy Bay, who have already established their bonds with the other stay-at-homes. In the end, I'm glad my kids have some extra socializing time so that perhaps they'll end up more normal than their mom.
I get along okay in this world most of the time and wonders of all wonders, manage to have friends and not say stupid shit most of the time. Any strangeness I feel with the planet is 99% me and just an adult extension of never feeling quite the right fit amongst humans. I need only to look at any picture from my 20s, wearing some blasted pleather shorts jumpsuit amongst the jeans and sweatshirt friends of that time to remember that I've had challenges, and fuck it, I wanted people to know!
I continue to marvel at how Pete, who's messed up in a much more charming way than me, manages to have these deep conversations with people he barely knows, opening up his heart, revealing secrets, and generally being this strange creature who is comfortable in his skin and yet would rather kick back by himself. And then me, who acts like she'd rather be alone, but actually loves being around people. It's stupid, and it's meant that my attempts at trying to explain away my cancer & me situation usually end up being about quips or untruths rather than anything authentic. But that ain't likely to change soon.
So I meet with friends, family, shop for groceries, clean my house, walk my dog, rest, read, juice and get an extra 90 minutes in the afternoon to get dinner ready while the kids are hanging with their friends. So bad?