Aug 10, 201208:00 AM
Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

Back To Work

Going back to work after Ruby was pretty easy. I was so overwhelmed as a new mother, so skittish and unsure of myself, that it was a huge relief to be able to leave her in the gentle hands of a woman in the suburbs who loved babies, was an expert on their care and feeding, and go back to my quiet, tidy work of changing commas to semicolons as appropriate and vice versa.

Ruby was a high-energy, high-needs baby, and I was the right combination of gullible, neurotic and naïve to fully believe those books I read that told me that if Ruby was frequently unhappy as a baby, then that would be the mood she would, as an adult, consider normal and feel most comfortable in. And so at the first whimper, I would spring to my exhausted feet to scoop her up and spend hours doing whatever pleased her tiny baby sensibilities – bouncing, shushing, driving, pacing, dancing  – so as not to doom her to a lifetime of misery.

By contrast, my job was an oasis, practically a luxurious spa, in which I could drink hot beverages without fear of spilling on the baby, use both hands to do a task and sit still for longer than 10 minutes without someone shrieking in my ear and demanding to be bounced. Even the few colleagues I didn’t like (fights over “who” versus “whom” can get heated, and no, I’m not even kidding) at least didn’t howl and claw at me and poop their pants.

With Georgia, it’s a different story. Having a baby in May in New Orleans is very different than having a baby in December in Missouri: I was able to leave the house without worrying about slipping on the ice; I never got snowed in; the daylight didn’t end at 4 p.m. Also, I am calmer. I have Ruby’s needs to attend to, as well, and so sometimes Georgia has to wait for things, and if she screams, that’s just too bad; I know it only means an unpleasant few minutes, not a lifetime spent in constant discontent. Then, too, Georgia is an easier baby. She is happy to be picked up, happy to be put down, happy to take a bath, happy to take a car ride. Whatever I have to do, as long as she’s not hungry, tired, binkyless or in a wet diaper, Georgia is pretty much happy to do, too. 

So coming back this time has been harder. I love my job. I love my colleagues. But I really miss my baby.

Any working moms want to commiserate?

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Joie d'Eve

Living, loving, laughing, and learning in the new New Orleans

about

Eve is further proof, if any is needed, that New Orleans girls can never escape the city. After living here since the age of 3 and graduating from Ben Franklin High School, Eve moved to Columbia, Mo., where she received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Missouri School of Journalism and became truly, unhealthily obsessed with grammar.

She had originally intended to strike out to New York City and work in the cutthroat magazine industry there, but after Katrina, Eve felt a strong pull to return home, to her roots, her family, her waterlogged and struggling city – and a much more forgiving work atmosphere that would allow her to skip a routine of everyday makeup and size 0 designer label business suits and enjoy the occasional cocktail or three with an absurdly fattening lunch. She moved back home in January 2008 and lives in Mid-City with her two daughters, Ruby and Georgia; her stepson, Elliot; and her husband, Robert Peyton.

Eve blogs about the joys and struggles of living in post-Katrina New Orleans, the unique problems and delights of raising a child in such a diverse and challenging city – including her experiences with the public education system – and her always entertaining and extremely colorful family.

Eve has won numerous writing awards, including the Pirates Alley Faulkner Society Gold Medal, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for column-writing and Press Club of New Orleans awards for her Editor’s Note in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles and for this blog, most recently winning the award for "Best Feature Affiliated Blog."

She welcomes comments, advice, empty flattery, recipes, drink invitations and – most especially – grammatical or linguistic debates.

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