i just ate a chocolate cupcake for breakfast.

it’s ten am, and i’m still wandering around the house in bright red flannel pajamas dotted with snowmen, like a refugee from a tweenie slumber party in 1983. Oscar’s been asleep for half an hour, bless him, but i haven’t showered, nor have i lavished any much-needed attention on the laundry, the dishes, or the acrid kitty litter in the back corner of the porch. no, i’m not depressed. i’m just trying to deal with getting my resume in order.

this weekend an electrician came to install heat in Oscar’s room and managed to dust the entire house with nasty little remnants of wall and wiring. and summoning up the will to vacuum out – and thus confront and organize – the bulging horror that is our front closet, now home to the heating wires delivering warmth to wee O, filled me with despair. not because it’s really that much work, even in the nap-sized increments i have for working in. the despair comes because i keep wondering “if it’s this hard to keep things together now, while i’m at home with the baby, how in the name of god will i ever go back to work?!?”

i know people do it all the time. the how is the part i don’t quite get. i envision myself dragging my tail into some professional environment, wrinkled and spit-spotted, black circles under my eyes from a sleepless night spent trying to eradicate baby oatmeal splashes from my walls, pack the stuff to be carted to the sitters, wash the diapers, and hush Oscar back to sleep…not to mention shave my legs and pluck those stray hairs that have cropped up on my chinny-chin-chin. i envision myself falling asleep and drooling on my desk. in these visions, i look vaguely like a very old, washed-out Raggedy Ann doll in a power suit.

such waking nightmares of life as a supermom are the result of a fundamental contradiction in my person. i am compulsively tidy, craving organization and a sense of completedness in my environment. i am also pathologically lazy, with a deep embedded horror of work. it is, admittedly, a problematic combination.

it doesn’t mean i can’t work, or even that i don’t normally bustle about quite diligently, taking pride in my accomplishments. my abhorrence is reserved for the spectre of work, work in the abstract, the obligation to do. because once i commit to doing, my anal tendencies require me to do thoroughly, and to do well. i am doggedly loyal to my obligations, yet resentful and nervous of their claims on my time and energy…especially in my current state of constantly tired. thus, when i consider sizable or numerous tasks, a fluttering panic deep in my innards pipes up “you will never sleep again!” and, poor Pavlovian dog, i immediately lapse into grief and exhaustion and dauntedness, just considering the job(s) at hand.

i do try to hush this gut-bound voice of doom by burying it under chocolate. however, i’d need a whole Wonka factory to quell the overwhelmed feeling i get when i consider hopping back in the saddle of a full-time job. i haven’t actually had a full-time job in years, in the first place…i’ve done a lot of part-time work and sessional teaching and overseas contracts with twenty hour teaching weeks over the past few years. and juggling those things, even without kids at home, has kept me plenty busy, thank you very much. but once the Canadian government’s generously lengthy parental leave expires…well, i’ll need to bring in money, and i do kinda like the idea of doing something with all those degrees hanging in my mother’s basement. hence, the reason i’m tuning up ye olde resume. but i’m also dearly attached to the idea of someday feeling rested again…hence the reason i’m eating cupcakes for breakfast.

i’d like to find something part-time, something rewarding both professionally and financially, here in this small Maritime “city” famous for underemployment. i’d also like to win the Pulitzer for blogging, and win a Merry Maids spree. and lose twelve pounds eating all this chocolate, while we’re wishing.

in real life, i’m going to get that closet cleaned out, take a shower, and enjoy my boy. and perhaps another cupcake. and hopefully some of you can tell me how this job-parent-sleep balance thing really works out?

tell me the nice parts, mostly. i don’t want to have to go make brownies.