Coming up for air…

Originally published on February 21, 2010, on my old bloggity blog.

So, three weeks ago, I started running a fever. And coughing. After five days, I finally went to see my doctor: turns out, I had pneumonia.

Isn’t pneumonia one of those things that went the way of the dinosaur? I mean, I know a small handful of people who have had it (including my daughter), but it still seems obsolete to me.

Needless to say, I was dead to the world for almost a week and a half. I missed nearly nine days of work, between caring for Sofia the week before and then my own sickness. She’s fine (it was just a virus) but I’ve been slowly coming back.

And then, this week hit: I was back to work full days, with two special events this weekend (I work for an arts non-profit, so it’s all hands on deck). Between deadlines that gathered dust while I was gone, and preparation for the events, PLUS my own life & home to care for, it’s been a very, very long week. The hubby has been great and was my backbone while I was sick, but even he’s been on his last bit of strength after carrying most of the weight for two weeks.

Thankfully, I’ve been able to both rest this weekend and catch up a bit today. The sun is shining and we opened up the curtains and cut off the heat for a few hours in the house. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

All of this to say: I feel like February sort of swallowed me alive. And that this week has been intense. Most of the time, we’re running around like crazy trying to get everyone where they need to go on time, making sure we’re keeping up with deadlines and stocking the fridge and keeping the pile of dishes from ridiculous heights. And yes: I realize this is only one kid. That we haven’t even seen anything yet.

But last week, in the middle of the whirlwind, I saw this episode of House and gosh, but it was great. So often, tv shows seem to give only the gloss of motherhood, of working motherhood. Or show the extremes: you’re either a shabby, tired housewife (this irritates me so much!) or a sharky working woman. And House hasn’t shown much of Dr. Cuddy except as a working mother; becoming a mother was an important plotline, but because the diagnoses were the point of the show, we haven’t seen more than brief mentions of her life as a mother.

And then last week’s episode was devoted entirely to Dr. Cuddy (to the point that you only saw the diagnostic team when they were asking her permission for certain tests, etc.).

See the episode on Fancast here.

If nothing else, watch the first five minutes or so: the whole time, I was like yes! That’s it! So true! Of course, she’s got a nanny, but still, it was a familiar montage. But TELL me you aren’t annoyed with her boyfriend’s insistence on a morning rendezvous, how he prances in, oblivious to everything she had to do to get to the office!

If you have time, the rest of the episode is interesting as far as gender politics. The plotlines are a bit far fetched and dramatic, but it’s also raw: she gets called a bitch & an an idiot twice. And the whole stereotype that women can’t be successful in business because “emotions” get in the way is thrown in there, too. I would assume it’s intentional that she doesn’t cry during the whole thing, which actually, almost wasn’t believeable (if it were me, I would have needed a minute in the bathroom to collect myself). But what’s great is that not only didn’t she cry, but her only display of emotion is concern for her daughter (in private) and then a moment of joy later in the episode. No tears, no drama, just calm leadership through the frenzied day.

It was a relief to see, even if it was fictional, and overwrought in its own way.

I’m curious to hear your reaction: there’s a cross section of working moms, stay-at-home-moms, and everything in between, in my collection of reader friends. Even if you don’t have time to watch the whole episode, tell me what you think of those first few minutes, and how it relates (or maybe doesn’t) to what you’re experiencing as a mother.

I hope you’re all experiencing better health that I have! And that sunshine is making is return to your corners of the world.

Here’s to keeping our heads above water! :)

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