[Disclaimer/Apology: This is a completely self-indulgent post – more than any of my others, even. Forgive me.]
I’m having one of those days when I’m jealous of everybody else’s life: people who have booked overseas trips, people expecting a baby, people with children who are old enough to hold a conversation, people with more than one kid, stay-at-home moms who swim with their toddlers in the gym pool at lunchtime, working-from-home parents who get to eat sit-down lunches with their kids on weekdays, people whose only dependents are their dogs, people who are so fancy-free that they don’t even have pets … basically, everybody else who is not a married, working mom of a one-year-old who found out last night that they might have to cancel a much-anticipated trip to New York City in favour of a deposit on a new (well, 2nd-hand) second car and new flooring for their house.
But here’s what I keep reminding myself:
- Middle-class/first-world problems, you privileged, spoiled pillock (calling myself names is sometimes the only thing that works)
- I’ve already been to New York, so no biggie (misguided attempt at nonchalance)
- New York will always be there (*knocks on wood*)
- It’s a great place to take kids, so it will be better to go when Lil A is big enough to enjoy it with us (I am less convinced of this point)
- We really will need another car (I don’t like cars. I don’t like how much they cost all the damn time. It’s a grudge purchase. But the reality is that we can’t survive with only one – living in a pretty rural area means no public transport)
- New flooring is something I’ll be able to appreciate every day, whereas a trip to New York will be over in a fit of jet lag and credit card purchases before I even know it
But this is is the only thing that’s making me feel any better:
- At some point, I chose not to be like any of the people I’m jealous of. I chose to adopt pets and buy a house in a place that’s a bit wild and woolly (knowing that this would mean having to sacrifice other things to maintain it and keep it liveable) and have a baby and go back to work and I’ve chosen to wait another two or so years before doing it all over again, and on most days these choices sit very well with me. Except when they don’t, like today, when I think of how Lil A is learning to sing “This is the way we wash our hands” with corresponding actions, and how she hugs her cow puppet to her chest and moo’s at it, and how she clutches her little treasures (anything she finds on the floor or shelves within her reach – a button, a hair clip, the lid of a lotion bottle, and, once, a beer bottle top to which she became uncommonly attached) in her warm little hand and carries them around with her for hours. And then I think that by the time I’m ready to start freelancing, she’ll be in creche for most of the day in any case, and I think that maybe I’ve made a terrible mistake.
And in light of that thought, going or not going to New York for a week suddenly doesn’t matter anymore. But these are the things that do:
So. I buck myself up, remind myself that the grass isn’t greener on the other side: it’s greener where you water it (or, in the case of our front garden, where you pay to have new lawn “installed” with the money you’ve saved by not blowing all savings on an ill-advised and completely unnecessary trip to, oh, only the greatest city in the world).