3:38pm. That’s the time today when we received the DCPC. Oh, you don’t know that acronym? Well that makes sense – because I just made it up. But, I feel like it needs an acronym because it’s something that I’ve been experiencing a lot these last 9 months and clearly something I’ll continue to experience moving forward. It stands for the dreaded “day care phone call”. The call you get 22 minutes before that meeting of the day that you just can’t move. The call that tugs on your heart strings before you have even answered and makes you want to burst into tears before the person on the other end even speaks … because it reminds you, yet again, that you just.can’t.do.it.all. It’s on this call, where you hear the voice on the other end gingerly tell you that your 2 ½ year old has spiked a fever of 102 and unfortunately needs to be picked up immediately. And, as they’re speaking, their voice slows and turns into the Peanuts teacher voice … “wah … wah … wah” … while your mind begins to race. After all, it was only the day before that you had to work from home because your one year old came down with a fever in the middle of the night. Clearly it wasn’t teething. So much for mother’s intuition.
So here I am, folks. Nine months into the day care experience as a working mom, with more DCPCs than I’d like to count under my belt. Without even being asked to pay a membership fee, I now reluctantly belong to the club of working mothers who came before me. Those who knowingly shake their heads together in unison when asked if being a working mother is physically, emotionally and mentally hard. After all, these club members hold the weight of the world on their shoulders as they are “in” on the secret of why so many of their peers leave the workforce. These strong women who came before us – crying the proverbial “uncle” as they handed in their ID badges and laptop bags.
I am so lucky to work for a company that “gets it” and wants to see working mothers succeed. I am surrounded by a team who supports me and, in the words of Tim Gunn, helps me “make it work”. I am not crying “uncle” yet and there’s a tiny part of me who does think I can have it all. I just wish the DCPCs would slow down a bit because, in this world, there’s no such thing as call waiting.