the acrobatic feat that parenting is

times magazine

Originally uploaded by moyalynne

it is *leanne’s birthday* — and she and i had this exhausting (yet now run-of-the-mill) email exchange about how to manage, in general, our lives:


on march 29 …..

you have a dentist appt at 8am

lucy’s due at c5 at 9:30am — which is a bit awkward since she usually goes down for a nap at 9am so maybe we can ask on thursday if we can bring her by at 8:45am or so before she gets nap-fussy.

so i’ll be dropoff person for lucy

i’m going to oakland at 2pm to pickup otivo’s colo servers with elizabeth. lucy is due to be picked up at 3:30

would you like to be pickup person for lucy?

then, next day, march 30, you could do dropoff alone and i’ll do pickup alone?

all of this makes me nervous.


so far we’ve all done really well.
i think we’ve discussed the rest but here goes with my memory:

monday evening
?see robert and dave?
gather and prepare bottles for tuesday morning; refrigerate

tuesday march 29
i leave by 8am from home for dr N
you pack the milk i pumped monday and a couple more bottles of formula and leave the same time and we walk partway together.
you have the most emotional farewell and good luck. you write that i will be there by three to feed lucy her afternoon meal.
i go immediately from dentist to work (do i drive to dentist?) and i pump at work @ 11a.
—> one of us or both calls to see how it’s going <–
i meet with guido and other guys at 1. i leave by 2. @ around 2:45~3, i drive into the parking garage, arrive @ c5, pick her up and take her and eat at otivo or i feed her there and then take her to otivo. you arrive back from colo at 4 or something at the same time as us; we all sit down and cry together.
@ home – wash and prep bottles for the next day

wednesday march 30
i pack the milk i pumped, plus a coupla bottles. drop lucy off by 830 or so and tell them i will feed lucy for her ~ 11a meal.
i call or they call me? or i show up at 11a, using the parking pass or a meter? lucy dines after hopefully having napped, and i race to work to be able to pump again at 1:30 for an afternoon of meetings.
you pick lucy up ~ 4? 5? and i come back to ?otivo? by 5? to meet you and lucy and for a snack before we take her home and feed solids.

whew; maybe we should just make it up instead of trying to plan.

what to do when i grow up

and green rocker

Originally uploaded by moyalynne

we were asked to speak on a gracenet panel next week on motherhood and work – and i quote:
“Does motherhood need to feel like martyrdom if a woman also wants a career in high tech?”

and i hardly feel i have the time or could concentrate or say anything of value besides “my brain is jello at home and at work” or do anything but just sit there in general dread on the verge of lucy melting down at seven and then experiencing said melting down and then leaving the room without a goodbye (the event starts at 6:30 – actually, tonight she didn’t even make it that long…).

anyway — the woman running it asked for a bio.
i thought as thoughtfully as i could, or so i thought, and i came up with this:
Moya’s been working for 14 years in a number of different ways in the software industry in the Bay Area, most recently creating technical documentation for SAP. In high school, Moya was labeled a “Renaissance Woman” by her English teacher. She guesses that if you’re going to be labeled, you might as well be labeled broadly, but lately she wonders what she wants to do when she grows up. This question burns even more ironically on her mind now that her daughter, Lucy, is here. Together with her wife Leanne, Moya’s weathering postpartum depression and learning the value of her new family.

i guess it wasn’t good enough (she is in PR after all…) and she instead printed this:
Moya Watson and Leanne Wahldal [ sic! ] decided to have a daughter, Lucy, even though besides being designated bottle washer Leanne also is chief scientist and CEO at Otivo, and Moya commutes every day to SAP, where she is a product manager. Lucy likes to keep late hours, so we’ll hear how the mothers manage.

so i think i scared leanne the other day when i told her i was so tired i was hallucinating (bugs crawling across the table, etc) and then launched into how airplanes were landing over my head on 280. this actually wound up making perfect sense; there was a news report; they were flying low. anyway………….. i must be channeling lucy in all things, because lucy tends to want to ‘latch on’ to the knots in the knotty pine kitchen table.

does that look serious to you?


Originally uploaded by moyalynne

i get up every night in the middle of the night; i can’t go back to sleep sometimes, like last night, because of all the stress and implication. i have to work extra hard and pay new childcare, insurance – we can’t afford to save for college and i can’t afford to buy comforts for myself —
yet what i get is that ‘there’s something in the mother’s milk’, ‘lucy looks like you because she’s so serious’ (looking serious was never a compliment as i was growing up), ‘you should go on antidepressants not just for yourself, but because your mood is affecting her’ — in other words, i’m damaging lucy??? sheesh – some people don’t know when to Be Quiet.
Do Over! i wish *i* could adopt lucy just like leanne, so i could get all my friends around me and a court to say and prove it that i am a good mother.

rough night turns into rough day

shes a strong one...

she's a strong one...

leanne is about an hour from landing back in SF; over two hours from returning home after nearly two days away – to see the gates in NYC.  i told her on the phone today that last night was one of the ‘worst nights of my life’.  she, too, had a hard time being away.  problem is, lucy took this week as the week to flip over in her swaddle, so we immediately put her in a sleep-sack, arms free, and she immediately forgot how to sleep, freaking out with her arms waving all over the place presumably whenever she wakes up.
i had already had only 3-4 hrs sleep the previous night, big rains, lucy&i dropping lw @ sfo in wee hours, and then lucy didn’t really nap in the new sleep sacks.  then she went to sleep fairly easily, out by 8p, but woke at 9p. pacifier; sleep again; awake by 9:30, had to pick up and rock and hold to return to sleep by 10p or so.  less than two hours later, the whole thing again – this time i had to nurse her; done and asleep (me) by 1a or so.  then @ 4:30a.m. – nursed over an hour; lucy then wide awake, alert, talking. me crying, tired, thinking things are miserable. the stress is so great that when i finally climb back into bed exhausted at 6a, cold and too awake from stress, and the chills in bed again similar to postpartum, and alone with lucy, and lucy acting up getting used to her new arrangements, i could not fall back to sleep.  eventually the sun rose and at 7:30 she was chatting and awake.  the day began, without glee, for me.
when she’s asleep – such as now – i feel like this is OK.  i feel calmer with myself and my impressions of myself as a mother (i say, pouring myself a glass of whiskey for maybe the third time in over a year) are of a capable person, able to handle difficulty with compassion and remain calm.  and then it happens, i’m exhausted, i’ve gotten less sleep in the past three nights combined than i used to insist on needing in a single night, i’m awake with lucy, totally stressed, crying.


the perfect family holiday dinner

the perfect family holiday dinner

random one:

just after six a.m. and no sign of the sun yet.  it doesn’t come these days till seven thirty or so but it’s getting earlier.  it used to be pitch-dark by five as well but that’s getting later too.  i’m so sensitive to the dark and the light now; i used to like the winter early dark but now i am cheered when it is five in the evening and still the light can be traced.

random two:
i don’t think lucy slipped back to sleep yet after waking at five and feeding/diaper, but she sighs and doesn’t protest in her bassinet.  i used to feel comforted when i was in my bed and could hear noises of people up in the house.  i felt unalone when my parents had friends over in the evenings in millbrae and i would be in  bed and would hear them playing cards and socializing.  i still feel cozy when others are up first in the morning, preparing the breakfast and the day. but now it is my job to be up in the morning or throughout the night. it feels a bit lonely.  not even the sun is up when i am up.

random three:
our family’s irish heritage is a source of, i believe, unspoken pride in our family. it makes us worldly somehow or does it just make us able to leave at any given moment? i hope to raise lucy with an awareness of her irish heritage but at the same time, it is sad it is slipping away, removed.  mom was directly from there so i was _almost_ from there; lucy will i hope get to know being as close to _from there_ as she can; then there are the scandinavians from leanne; furthermore the unknown italians from biology.