Friday, October 7, 2011

Every moment captive

FMLA. Aw, sweeter letters have never tickled the ears of a post partum, bleary-eyed mother; each letter dripping with feelings of maternal bliss. 12 weeks went by though, 84 days as required by law to be exact, and my new found motherly world and the professional world that I'd lived in for 6 years collided in what at first presented to be a talespin of hormones, legalese, lactation rooms and undercaffeinated coffee.
There's a verse in II Corinthians that talks about taking every thought we have captive to Christ- not allowing even one to get by without accountability. I dare say that the life of a working mother is challenged with taking every moment captive. Not one can be wasted. Some people ask me "Jordan, why don't you clean your baseboards?" "Jordan, why don't you train for the Boston marathon?" "Jordan, why don't you make pillows out of table mats and batting?" Because, my gosh, there isn't time!
Let me give you, as an example, a day in the life of me. For dramatic emphasis, I'll revisit a day when I was nursing my son to give you a full view of why every moment must be taken captive.
5:45- wake up
5:55- pump
6:15- shower, dress, make-up
7:15- wake up my son
7:20- breastfeed my son
7:35- dress son, spend 10 minutes of bonding before the mad dash out the door
7:45- leave for the baby sitter
8:00- drop son off at baby sitter, drop off bag, exchange of food, last minute instructions
8:10- leave for work
8:30- arrive at work
10:30- pump in the super awesome lactation room that my company provides
10:45- back to work
12:00- work through lunch if I'm busy or do something productive like go the grocery store over my lunch hour
1:30- pump again; call or text my baby sitter to see how son is doing
1:45- back to work
3:30- pump yet again
3:45- back to work for the home stretch of my work day
5:30- leave work
6:30- arrive at baby sitter to pick up son
6:50- get home
7:00- feed son
7:15- make dinner if husband home, if not eat a bowl of cereal and salvage the remaining hour and half that I have of the day with my son
8:30- feed son
8:45- pajamas, bed time story and bed time for son
9:00- dishes, wash bottles and prepare diaper bag for the next day
9:45- quality time with the husband
10:30- pump one last time for the day
11:00- lights out

Whew- I'm tired just recalling all of that. But that was my life- and the life of many other working mama's. And much to my benefit and unlike a great deal of mothers, I have a very supportive and helpful husband.

If I had to think of one word to sum it all I would say "spread". I know, I know, that doesn't conjure up great images, especially for the place in life where a working mama probably was just a few short months priot. BUT that is indeed how I felt. Spread so thin that there were days that I felt I wasn't a good mama or a good employee. There were days that felt like one ill placed red light or one extra press of the snooze button could throw my whole life out of whack. And it made me realize just how sweet those beautiful four letters were; oh to be back on FMLA.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The new soapbox

It has been a while since I have posted! I am sure that I have been sorely missed. Well, wipe your teary eyes, folks, cause PolkaDot Soapbox is back! The reason for my absence has been twofold: Fold one being that life has gotten in the way…and I have spent my time posting adorable pictures of my sweet baby boy on my family blog. Fold two is that I have not known what my “schtick” is. I knew I wanted a blog that was about SOMETHING and this certainly wasn’t intended to be a picture/story blog. I also didn’t want to be the idiot with two pointless blogs.

So as the months have passed, I wondered what I was passionate about. What gets me excited to the point that it becomes a soapbox? The first thing (besides God) is my family…but I already have a blog about that. Before I had my child I thought “I won’t be that woman whose life is consumed with having her kid. I will have WAY more to talk about than poop and what cute thing he’s doing now and how much he’s eating." Well, I was wrong. Now that I’m a mom, I’m pretty much a mom. If it weren’t this pesky little thing of having to work for a living, I’d pretty much be happy hanging with my little man 24/7 with the occassional date night or girls night out to keep my sanity.

But alas I am a working mother- which made me realize another passion of mine. There are so many of us out there! And I've got to tell you- it's tough! Working mama's ain't no sissies. We have more of a day before 8:00 am then most people do by 5 pm! And what's more- if you haven't figured this out by now- the working world wasn't built around working mothers. Shocker.

So this is my new schtick. My new overriding soapbox from where all subsequent soapboxes will come forth. My soapboxes are the diaries of the "every woman", the working mother, the full time mama, wife, professional, volunteer and multi-tasking extraordinaire. Hang on to your hats, folks. Polkadot soapbox is back!

Friday, February 4, 2011


I am sitting here on this wintry afternoon staring out my window at an evergrowing blanket of snow. With more snow then this mid-western girl has ever seen in my own backyard, Day #4 of our "snow in" is looking like it won't be the last. There's no mistake about it- this is the dead middle of winter. While winter can be beautiful, whimsical and is actually necessary for other seasons to have their full effect, winter is also cold, lonely and can be filled with the despair that you will never dig out.

On the eve of mine and my husband's 6 year wedding anniversary, winter isn't just the state of affairs outside my window, but in my heart as well. Earlier this week, we just found out that a dream that we have been pursuing for 3 years will not come to fruition. A dream that we invested time and money in, but more than that, we invested hope for our future. There was no selfish ambition in this dream, no ill-intent or unrealistic expectation of things to come. I can't tell you why God, in His great wisdom chose not to allow our dream to come to pass any more than I can tell you why the snow won't stop falling. I can't tell you why God would say "no" when we felt so strongly that it would be a "yes". What I do know is that God said if He is for us, then who can be against us. He also said that His plan is to prosper us and to give us an expected end. I learned a long time ago that "prosper" doesn't always mean "give us what we want" or even "what we think we need."

The promises I clung to throughout the past year- before my little baby was even a twinkle in my eye, before we knew what the year would hold- were promises of God's faithfulness. A long time ago, God took Abraham away from his home, away from what he knew and loved to send him to a land that he had never seen and gave him the ridiculous promise that he would be given a son. God promised something that was beyond conventional thinking, beyond logic and beyond what man could ever plan- but in that promise, Abraham and Sarah "considered Him faithful." From their obedience grew a blessing that has affected generations and eventually became the Hope of all mankind. Throughout 2010 God reminded me to "hold fast to the confession of His hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23) I have to admit that with this week's blow, I am wavering a little.

As I've stated before, I'm a control freak. I like a plan and I like to stick to it. Right now I have no plan, I don't know what the next step is...and to be honest I feel too tired to make a plan. Instead of making a plan for what I don't know, I will rest in what I do know- that winter is just a season and that God is faithful.

For today, as the as the bite of the cold wind chills and the snow is coming down, I know I can't change the fact that the snow is falling. I can't wish the cold away. I can't chase away the tug at my heart that says I may never dig out. But I can choose not to waver in the wind. I can know that the One who made winter, also made the spring and that one of these days, spring has to come. It has to, right? It's a lot easier to type that than to live with the reality of it. I can be still and know that He is God...and that the God who made heaven and earth, winter and snow also made me and has a plan.