Thoughts from a Coding Mommy

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Shaking It Up a Bit

I cracked a couple weeks ago.

I had been sleeping (and still sleep) on the floor of Son #1's room because he loves his room and his bed but "I can't sleep alone." He wasn't falling asleep until midnight for whatever cognitive development reason. But then at 3am my teething toddler would wake up screaming. Then fall back asleep at 4am which left me wide awake to try and TV myself to sleep at 6am to cat-nap before I really had to get up.

Anyway, lack of sleep put me into a deep depression and since I took myself off the Lexapro a little while back (it was making me feel worse, suicidal thoughts, more depression, etc.) I was on my own. I felt like I was failing at everything so I knew I needed a change.

Here is the list of things I did to change my life:

1. I quit my job at my company.

2. I found a new job at a smaller company.

3. I gave up trying to be a part of the Sat AM playgroup I was not attending so that I could sleep in.

4. I found new daycare for BB#2.

5. I can't decide about moving Son #1 to another school but I'm looking into other schools.

Short of moving to a new house (if I had the money I'd do that too) and getting a divorce (still in love so that wouldn't make sense), I've disrupted everything that used to be stable in my life.

#1 is going well. Meaning, I resigned and they didn't quite accept it for over a week. Companies have denial too. I sort of finally put my foot down and asked them if 10/10 can be my last day. It is freeing to leave a company that I still really like but was ready for a change/move-away from.

#2 is a much smaller place and very nice. I'm totally terrified because they aren't a Java house but we'll see how that goes. The company is great and less than 50 people so I think that will fit my work philosophies a little better.

#3 that was a disaster and I'm still traumatized over it. I sort of freaked out and hurt someone feelings and just sort of made some huge social gaffs. Basically, I'm uncomfortable around most women and this was no different. I was awkward and clumsy and I'm still stinging from all the middle school flashbacks of not being popular. Horrible, horrible. I should no better than to try and be friends with people when I know I'm a social disaster.

#4 even worse. Turns out my daycare provided didn't "love" my baby son the way I thought she did. Apparently, she just didn't "like" him. Not because he was difficult but because I took my first son out of there a year earlier than she wanted me to. Then she was surprise inspected, fined for having too many infants, kicked my BB#2 out for a couple months until some of her children turned two. And like an idiot, I still look him back there. Why didn't anyone warn me? Why did she say that she wanted him to come back? Why did she lie to me? Why? Why? Anyway, I'm still trying to recover from this. And I'm still reeling over the fact that at the age of 17 months, my baby has already received his first social slight because his mom made a choice that pissed someone off.

#5 I don't know what I'm doing. My three-year-old goes from "I hate my teachers" to saying how much he likes them and wants to see them tomorrow (tomorrow being Saturday). I just want him to be happy and successful. And I've noticed that if I sleep with him, he has GREAT days at school and as much as I would love to sleep a full night in my own bed, Son #1 having a great day in school is much more important.

ANYWAY, I need to learn a little PHP to become familiar with the technologies at this new gig that I start in a week or so. Kind of terrified but I think it will be a better fit for me. But like I said, I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to being a mom, trusting others, and just life management in general.

PS: There is a #6. I made an appointment to talk to a new therapist on Monday evening. And I'm not even sure I can afford it or not. But if she works out, it'll be worth a new pair of shoes, right?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rough Starts are Non-Starters

I want to blog more than I do. But each time I try to access this site, I have to reset my password. *sigh* I'm sure there are good reasons for this but really, if I have to do it again, I'm going to fine a different place to host my lame-ass blog.

Yes, I am lame...Lame....Lame

I don't know a mom who doesn't feel this way 20 times a day.

I've been soul searching...Well, my technical soul that is. I don't know what software I want to write. I've actually thought of writing an iPhone game in some desperate attempt to reconnect with my love of writing code. The problem is that I don't have a MAC or an iPhone. So that idea might be lamer than usual for me.

I sent out an email to a company that seemed interesting to me. I also ran into a former coworker in the parking lot of the market. Cosmically, I think I'm radiating the "I'm available" vibes. I don't know if I'm supposed to listen to the signs or if I'm creating these ripples.

Right now the most satisfying thing I'm doing at work is coaching. I'm coaching my peers, my manager, people in general. I think I'm doing a lot of this kind of work because we lost a director that I truly loved working for. And in his wake, I'm trying to fill in the pieces. But I am no manager and nor do I ever want to be one. I don't really have the stomach for it. I'd rather write code. Yes, I like helping people but I'd rather write a clever feature or an elegant algorithm.

Monday, January 07, 2008

To BlackBerry or Not to BlackBerry

The mobile product that I killed myself release went to production and I actually think it is cool. So cool that I voluntarily signed up to carry a corporate BB. To which the general consensus is "SUCKER!"

Yes, I'm plugged into work all the time. And yes, I'm still checkin' the damned thing every other minute or so. But....

I can actually leave the house now and stay on top of things!

I can sit on the floor of the kids' room and play while staying on top of things!

I can nurse and stay on top of things!

Honestly, what's not to love about this BB device? (I laugh because I am not deluded about what kind of expectations are now set because I carry this device....)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy At Work

I've been happy at work lately which seems crazy since I don't get enough sleep (pulled a couple 4am nighters for the past two weeks), had eng-on-call duty (and even volunteered for more to let a fellow eng travel for vacation, /me sucker), and been running around putting out fires. I think it's because I've been so productive. I'm a productivity junky. And I think my fu is pretty darn on lately which is scary since I'm so tired all the time.

This new project has exposed me to Spring and to Maven both of which I like and have some respect for even if I'm not a guru by any means. I've done more Ehcache stuff and feel pretty solid on Hibernate though I should really educate myself on more of the nuances.

OK, so the top 5 reasons why my career has a weird holding pattern right now:

1. I'm not curious enough to become an expert about new technologies on my own "spare" time. Granted it could also be that I have no spare time, ever.

2. I'm also not opinionated enough to champion a particular choice in technology. Even if I can participate in the discussion, I'm too passive in terms of offering up my opinions mostly because I tend to be agnostic about things (like I don't think I care about which editor or which OS; feel like I'll just deal with whatever).

3. I don't care a lot about formal titles. And I feel as though I need to work AROUND people who do care about that kind of thing. (And mostly I don't respect these folks too....) (had to parse that a couple times in case it didn't read the way I mean it)

4. Though I like to mentor and coach people, I like to be subtle and approach it more from a peer or subordinate level. It comes out more like a suggestion from a friend.

5. I put my family first. (My husband doesn't think this at times since I work too late from home.) But if I really had to decide upon what is important, it would be my babies, dog and husband. Maybe even in that order.

6. I like my current status, level of responsibility and work that I do now. My job satisfaction lately has been high.

7. I like to keep expectations low and over deliver. It is said we are promoted to our own level of incompetence. I think I'm too much of a chicken to ever know what that is. Or more like I know what I suck at so I don't want to ever have a job where I do that which I suck at.

OK, that was 7 reasons. Or are they excuses?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Career Deadends

You gotta watch out for career deadends.

I just interviewed this guy who was a steady and solid performer in the past three companies he's worked for. BUT....he was sort of permanently stuck doing things in technology that is being phased out of popularity. He had no real knowledge of the web frontend technologies which is fine. But he had no real knowledge of data modeling or database persistence which would be fine too except he was sort of permanently stuck in the middle without thinking about things with an architecture overview/design in mind. I don't know. He wasn't overtly enthusiastic but he did seem eager. But no spark of excitment that would have made me believe that I could hand him a small project and he would just run with it, do the diligence needed, find the answers on the web, whatever it took to learn like a sponge. You'll get that in a great college hire. I felt sort of sorry for the guy but at the same time I didn't have time to volunteer to coach and mentor him.

If I learned anything from meeting him it would be to NOT invest so much in one layer or one tier only and to be constantly curious about what technologies are out there even if you don't code in them for work.

I guess the other thing that I thought of is that if I ever took a break from work, it might be hard to get back into it because technologies and trends do move so quickly.

But then your kids grow up quickly too.

I guess given the choice, I'd rather have the memories of watching my sons do their "firsts" than fill my head with technologies that might lose favor before my kids are potty trained.

Not that I'm taking a break from work or from having babies. I'm in the long haul on both fronts. I've got atleast one more baby if not two more babies in me (or so I think after being caffinated) and I'm enjoying work enough that I'd go stir crazy without it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Five Month Stretch

Exhausted and often cranky, one weary coder mom is barely hanging in there. The novelty of the drugs are wearing off. Caffeine only make for paranoia. And coworkers hired during her maternity leave are getting on the very last nerve.

But here is something that made me laugh my butt off:

The title is "Exploits of a Mom" and the site is a great time waster. Enjoy!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Proud Moments

Five proud moments for my number one son who is 22 months old:

1. He sat through the entire "Ratatouille" without leaving his father's lap. Dada tried to get him to say "rats" whenever they were on screen.

2. He can do his twelve piece jigsaw puzzle of construction site trucks. He can't say "puzzle" but he can certainly put them together!

3. He took hold of two mini-muffins this morning, one in each hand, and proudly proclaimed "two cakes".

4. He can put on his sneakers all by himself. They don't always end up each on the proper foot but he does get them on.

5. He loves his baby brother and says "hold, hold" all the time. I seat him down and place the baby on his lap and he hugs the baby and presses his sweet face against his little brother.

I feel so blessed that I actually sent my husband an email agreeing to have four children in total. I'm sure I'll have my moments where I'll regret making such a promise prematurely. But if I do, I'll just reread this post to remind myself why it will all be worth it.