Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What I Made for Dinner: February, 7, 2011

Lemon and rosemary roast chicken and root vegetables.

The next couple of weeks at work will be packed so I'm trying to cook a lot when I can and leave myself some leftovers for easy, super-fast dinners.  A good-sized chicken with potatoes, carrots, and onions will give us a couple of meals for about $15.

I have been so busy with work lately because this semester, I am trying out a full-time schedule.  It's an adjustment.  (Working all the time is hard, whine, sniff.)  

I have been working part-time for ten years, ever since I went back to work from my maternity leave with Josh.  Before we had kids, I was a litigator and I loved it, but I knew I would never be able to keep up with that workload after we had children.  After Josh was born, it was clear I had been right:  There was just no way I could balance full-time lawyering with full-time parenting. 

Does writing that out loud, in front of God and everybody, mark me as some entitled brat?  I hope not.  I think it marks me as sort of, well, limited.  People with kids usually hold full-time employment as well.  I will always count it as something of a personal failure that I couldn't figure out how.  But at any rate, I torpedoed a promising career and went to part-time law practice, eventually quitting entirely when Alex was born a couple of years later.

The funny thing was, when Alex was a toddler I glimpsed my future and cringed a little.  Josh was starting Kindergarten; before long, both boys would be out of the house all day and then what would I do with all that time?  Not only was I unable to balance family and law practice, I was also unable to visualize my relevance as a stay-at-home mom to kids who wouldn't stay home with me.  Damn kids, with their constant up-growing and ceaseless education-needing and continual mom-dumping. 

So I could see I would be stuck, neither here nor there.  And the economic pressure to get back to work was growing, along with my own nagging sense of urgency not to waste--what? My education, my potential, my earning power, something. (Something that doubtlessly, once articulated, would make me sound like an entitled brat.)  Clearly, I needed to go back to work.  Work outside the home, work not with my family, work I had to shower and dress for, work someone hopefully would pay me for.

The part-time teaching job I found when Alex was two, and continue in, has been just an unbelievable stroke of good fortune.  Along with our fantastic nanny, my job has allowed me to hit that balance between being present for my children and devoting myself to interesting, productive work in the wider world.  It even seamlessly accommodated the addition of Eli!  This semester, though, a colleague is on leave and so I picked up an extra class.  So now I'm busy, because working all the time is hard

All of this seems like a long way around the barn to explain why I roasted a chicken on a Monday night. Really, it was just for the leftovers.

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