Monday, 4 June 2012
I just found out I didn’t get a job in the small Ontario town where I am moving with
Sir Dick and the Guppins.
In the small Ontario town, there is only one game that suits my profession and it’s
It was a good position, one that I felt I deserved, and indeed I was short-listed.
It’s possible that, had I not been woefully sleep-deprived and vaguely depressed,
I may have had the energy to prep more for the telephone interview. Prepped at
all, really. Okay, I would say by my standards I winged it. And I blew it. I wasn’t
surprised to get the very polite, if not encouraging, rejection letter. It would have
made things easy. Things haven’t been easy, professionally. I work in the arts.
Which is what I was doing when I was pregnant — discovered I was pregnant.
I was on track to take over a fantastic position. I was being groomed. I found
out I was pregnant exactly one week after my first day covering my colleagues’
maternity leave who would soon be resigning. I had driven across the continent
with belongings and dog with the full intention of moving, forever.
It took me a while to figure out what was going on; I thought maybe it was
menopause. Not unheard of at age 40. My older, wiser friend urged a pregnancy
test. Ridiculous, I thought. It’s the flu.
But no, I was pregnant. I phoned Sir Dick, he reacted negatively, and I cut him
out of my life. How could I do this to him? 3,000 kilometres’ distance, and a lot
of ignored emails. I was experiencing an extreme sense of self-preservation- it
apparently kicks in with pregnancy. A friend described it as “the bullshit meter” in
low tolerance/ high detection mode.
While I was pregnant, I planned. I planned to get my job. I planned childcare, I
planned finances, I planned letters of reference, and I planned an amazing plan.
I made the final interview. It was down to three. It should have been a slam dunk.
I flew home to have the baby, prepared to fly back in five months to start my job,
single mother, Leader, actualized woman of the millennium.
But it didn’t happen. For some horrible terrible tragic reason it didn’t happen.
Despite the fact that I put in ten hours a day for seven months, worked my butt
off, worked my relationships, raised funds for the company, and weathered crisis
after crisis. I lived like pioneer in a cabin in the woods with a wood stove and
no electricity, chopping kindling, getting my water delivered in a garbage can.
(At this point you might be asking what is it exactly that would make her want
this job, right? I know.) I gave it my all. I did my best. But they gave the job to
What followed was devastation, pure and simple. And no one back home could
understand. Because I had done it alone. I had planned alone, and I lost alone.
I am not seven months pregnant at this interview. …no, this time my rising belly
gives no rising questions. This time I want the job less. It’s an easier job, easier
than full-time mothering. I would have Sir Dick living with me, helping. I would
have support in this small Ontario town.
But not to be.
The Guppins recently began throwing little fits. Tossing her self on the floor and
scooting away from me. Crying out.
“She’s not even two,” I question a friend.
She tells me,
“At this age, they begin to discover how they are powerless.”
I am more careful. I no longer expect The Guppins to do what I want, what is
convenient. I try to provide options. I am more careful. “She is not a sack of
potatoes,” I tell myself. “I can’t just toss her around.”
And I never leave her alone.
The tantrums are becoming less frequent.
So how do I stop tearing myself up inside? Banging my fists? Crying out?
I tell my Momma friends the advice I try so hard to give to myself:
Be gentle. Tell yourself you love yourself many, many times a day. Say it out
loud even though it feels stupid. I love you I love you I love you. We are our best
advocate and friend. We are our biggest critic.
And if my Grey Mamma can take the easy-ride seat for pregnant ladies even though she isn't pregnant anymore, but then one morning turn it around and bravely tell some lady to F off because she’s NOT pregnant, then I can deal with this. I can deal with being powerless.
I can turn it around.