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Posts Tagged ‘working’

The Grass is Not Greener in the Stay at Home Mom Pasture

October 14, 2010 13 comments

As I have lamented the last few weeks about my job, I have also started to fantasize about being a stay at home mom (SAHM).  To provide balance (or to stop my whining) my friend Sarah graciously put together the following for me (and I post it with her permission – little does she know the only payment she’ll receive is a glass of wine). 

10 Reasons the Grass is not Greener in the Stay at Home Mom Pasture

Help I’m sick!!  When I call in sick, nobody covers for me.   No matter how sick I am, kids still need to get to school; lunches still need to be made.  There is no daycare to drop them off at, no nanny to speak of, just me doing the same thing I do everyday with the exception of barfing ever 20 minutes.

The inevitable party question. “What do you do?” “I’m a stay at home mom”.   Responses range anywhere from the cliché “wow isn’t that great” to blank stares of confusion.  Insult to injury is when the response is followed by the droll discussion of things like how expensive diapers are and The Wiggles, as if those must be the only things I am interested in.  My favorite follow-up to date is still “Do you do anything else??”  NOPE!  Just stay home and stare at the baby.

Only Mom Can Help.  When you spend your day assisting in every menial task for your children from helping brush their teeth to tying shoes 3 or 4 times, your children develop a “only mom can help me” complex.  My children will walk right past their dad sitting in the kitchen, through the entryway, up a flight of stairs, and into my bedroom to ask ME to open a fruit snack package for them…?

Fun Overkill.  Yes it is possible to have too much fun.  My husband and I are on completely opposite “fun” schedules.  By the time my husband gets home I have been on mom duty for 9+ hours.  I have played 25 hands of Go Fish, read 10 books, put together 3 puzzles and even pretended to be the fairy princess locked in the tower. (ok the princess was my idea and I actually locked myself in my room to make a quick 10 minute phone call.)  However, understandably, my husband wants to spend time not only with the kids, but as a family.   I want a chance to be a grown-up and a wife, my husband wants time to be a dad.  “Let’s play soccer” “Come on mom!”……..I’m coming.

Divorce! The D word.  Hate to think about it, but it happens.   My fear as a SAHM is that if this does happen I will be an average aged, average looking, minivan driving no name with a 9 year gap in my resume. I picture my first job interview going something like this “no Mrs. SAHM we stopped running DOS 2.0 about 7 years ago.”

Quantity Does Not Equal Quality.  Some people assume that because I spend MORE time with my kids it is better.  That is NOT the case.  More time just equals more time to screw them up.  There were days when I thought my kids would be better off at day interacting with other children rather than at home with me watching me pay bills and vacuum.

Tomorrow.  The curse word of the SAHM.  Only you know the expectation that you set for yourself.  Therefore what doesn’t happen today can always happen tomorrow, and no one is the wiser.  Instructions are easy..when tomorrow comes…repeat.

Blizzards/ Tornados & Other Natural Disasters.   Being in your home with any number of children 24 hours a day and trying to keep the house clean is impossible.  It is like shoveling snow in a blizzard.  I don’t even try anymore. 

Fashionista.  NOT!  I used to be a decent dresser.  Really.  As I grew tired of washing Cheetos hand prints and baby poop/spit-up off nice clothes, I retired my nice things and adopted the SAHM “uniform”: Workout clothes and tennis shoes that rarely actually make it inside a gym.  You know you have lost your inner fashionista when you put on a pair of jeans and a necklace and your kids ask you “why are you so fancy mommy?”

I Am Out the Running for Mother of the Year.  No awards to polish around here.  No plaques to cover my walls, no raises.  You can work your fanny off at your “job” as a SAHM but no one is there to pat your back.   I would like to say that your child’s smile is payment enough but let’s be honest, when’s the last time a smile bought you a purse?  And a promotion??  The only time my husband uses the word promotion is when he wants sex, and by “promotion” he means another baby.

There are days I start to think, gosh it would be nice to have a job, one where I got to talk to people about politics or books without pictures, or dare I say an R rated movie.  Then I realize that the grass in not greener, it’s just a different shade.

Thanks Sarah for the perspective!  I’ll share the color of my pasture as a working mom tomorrow.

Seven Reasons Not to Quit

October 12, 2010 11 comments

I have two choices – write about how unhappy I am in my job or have a little fun with it.

C’mon!  You know what I picked (it was close though, boy did you get lucky)!  My goal was 10 reasons I love my job, but I am not that creative, so here’s seven.

Ten Seven Reasons I Love My Job

  1. The paycheck – I love it, I need it, it’s why my husband loves me
  2. The escape – no job = no nanny = no break from the kids
  3. The corporate credit card – nothing like sampling the best restaurants and bars on somebody else’s dime
  4. The excuse – I need this fabulous necklace and shoes and purse and coat and… for work
  5. The awards – who could give up the cheesy crystal awards that my kids try to play with 😉
  6. The distraction – if I didn’t work, I might have to actually work-out more – ugh!
  7. The miles and points – we take many vacations thanks to our frequent flier miles and hotel points

If you’re looking for me to mention the role or something deep, keep looking, I am too…

If you don’t work, why would you want to?  If you do work, what’s the best part for you?

Categories: Humor, Lists, Working Tags: ,

I Choose

October 1, 2010 1 comment
  • I choose balance
  • I choose to be kind to myself
  • I choose to hold my tongue and not try to “set somebody else straight”
  • I choose to look for the good in a day and the good in a person
  • I choose to smile at strangers and sometimes even help them
  • I choose to give an empathetic smile to a mom with a screaming child
  • I choose to work and be a mom
  • I choose to put my family first, usually
  • I choose to parent like Child Protective Services is watching
  • I choose to love

I don’t make these great choices everyday, but when I don’t, I choose to try again tomorrow.

What do you choose?

Mother’s Gone Wild

September 30, 2010 6 comments

Please do not be alarmed.  You are not about to be subjected to thirtysomething mama’s flashing video cameras.  But I have seen such an occurrence… 

I am taking about working mothers on business trips or  any mamas on a girls night out.  It is amazing how you can take your typical suburban soccer mom, remove the kids, add alcohol and see the transformation.  She goes from pony-tail, hoodie wearing mom to plunging neckline, trippin’ in her stilettos mama.

I had such an evening (minus the plunging neckline – it was a work event people!) this week while on a business trip.  A few co-workers and I went out for drinks.  I broke my two cocktail at a work function limit (okay, I more than doubled it…).  I knew it was time to switch to water when I am in a photo booth with one of MY EMPLOYEES, hamming it up for the camera.  After the photos we stop to each call our kids to say goodnight and then start researching karaoke bars…  that’s when not only did I need water, but a taxi back to the hotel!

What makes moms (and dads) go from nose wiping angels to boozin’ babes?  I will tell you:  We live to close to the brink of insanity!  When given a small break from parenting we digress.  Not only do we shed some responsibility temporarily, we shed our ‘set the example’, ‘do the right thing’ personas. And guess what – it feels great!  Well, actually it feels hazy and not as great the next morning, but still worth it!

Pictures have been omitted to protect the guilty!

My Son Has a Garden?

September 24, 2010 4 comments

I am learning so much from scaling back my career to spend more time with my family.

But let me give you some background.  I have always over-scheduled myself and wanted to be involved in everything at the same time.  I was Student Body President in middle school, Panhellenic President in college and have served on more committees since I was in the 5th grade than I can count.  So naturally, when my son started kindergarten I over-committed myself.  I signed up to be assistant room mom, field trip chaperone, classroom helper and art docent.  It ended in disaster with me having to break my commitments and be rescued by my stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) friends so I could fulfill the requirements of my day job.

This year, with my son in first grade, I didn’t sign up for ANYTHING, but did tell my son’s teacher that I would volunteer in the classroom as time permits. (See, I can learn from my mistakes!)  With my conscious decision to balance my life and devote more time to my family, I have been spending more time at my son’s school.  The trick is I am not in charge of anything, but I show up and act as a worker-bee whenever possible.  Today this worker-bee got to help teach my son’s class about bees and pollination (wanna know something interesting about bees?). 

I met the other mom in the school office and we headed for the classroom, then she continued to walk past it – where the heck was she going???  I followed her and found myself in the elementary school garden.  The garden?  Who knew?  Not me.  It was big enough to have one or two classrooms full of kids inside exploring its treasures.  But wait, there is more…  We then walked down to the “lower garden” that was even bigger.  How did I not know about this magical place?  Do other parents know this is here?  I bet the working ones don’t…

If I start a list (and I love lists) on the benefits of cutting back at work I will definitely include discovering that my son has a garden and the joy of visiting it with him!

What discoveries have you made that brought you joy?

The 7 Deadly Sins of Parenting

September 9, 2010 1 comment

MSN did a piece yesterday about the Seven Deadly Sins .  It got me to thinking about my sins as a parent:

Lust:  With our busy schedules, traditional lust is not a daily occurrence around here.  However, I will admit to lusting after shoes and purses.  My shopping budget is about as scarce as lust, so I lust after the material things I gave up when I gave birth to the products of traditional lust.

Wrath: I have shared with you the dangers of the crazy mama bear.  They say there is no greater wrath/fury than a woman scorned.  Wrong!  There is no greater wrath than me if you so much as look at my children in a threatening way.  Only I can give them that look. 

Pride: This is practically a gimme for parents.  Have I told you my six-year-old and three-year old can water ski?  Yes, I have, but I’m glad to have the opportunity to tell you brag again.  I would post pictures of my kids to show the world how stinkin’ cute they are, but it goes back to that wrath and over-protective mama thing.  So, pride – check.

Greed: If honesty compensates for greed than let me be clear: I would love to be rich, but not famous.  I want enough money to choose my activities, to only work on things I am passionate about, to work less and enjoy life more.  But it’s not just money, I want more time too.  Time with the kids, time with my husband, time for myself, time for my friends.  Call me Veruca: I want more and I want it now.

Envy:  I envy moms (and dads) who appear to have more balance in their lives than me.  I say “appear” because if they are anything like me, you shouldn’t look behind their curtain either. 

Gluttony:  Covered that with my post about Mommy’s Hierarchy of Needs.  I use sweets and cocktails to achieve balance in my slightly off-balance life.  When I really want to show my kids how much I care for them I say, “I love you more than chocolate” and sometimes I mean it.

Sloth:  I have had 7 different posts that mention my inconsistent showering habits (really, I counted).  Sloth is practically my middle name!  I dare say I envy those who have more opportunities to be lazy than me.  Do I get double points for a sin about a sin?

Bringing little angels into the world drives us to commit sin on a daily basis.  Does that make me a great parent, a bad parent or just totally normal?

Stolen Rental Cars and Naked Hotel Guests

August 24, 2010 2 comments

I am currently on business travel.  I got up at 4:00 am yesterday morning (don’t ask me how I feel about this) and was at my destination by 9:30 in the morning.  I travel approximately once per month to the same location.  My destination and itinerary have become familiar and I am typically on auto-pilot for the duration of the trip.  Herein lies the problem – as I was driving from the airport to the office, I was on auto-pilot and almost took the wrong freeway.  This reminded me of previous business trips mishaps that were more amusing than getting on the wrong freeway.  So here are three in order of mildly amusing to so funny that if you’re not laughing, there might be something wrong with you.

Mildly Amusing (though not at the time):

I did my 4:00 am wake up call and flew in, I worked all day in the office, correction, I worked until 9:30 pm in the office.  I then drove two blocks to my hotel, desperate to crash.  I gave my rental car to the valet.  I normally self-park, but was so tired, I decided not to bother.  I stumbled into the hotel blurry eyed and on fumes.  I went up to the front desk, threw my corporate card and elite card on the desk like I owned the place and hoped they could get me to my room before I slept in the lobby.  I didn’t notice at first that he was typing more than usual.  Finally, he said, “Mrs. Morgan, I am sorry, but are you sure you have a reservation?”  What?!  I physically shook my head hoping it would help me process his question.  It dawned on me that I was in town for a conference and had not made my own travel arrangements…  It turned out my hotel was 30 minutes away and it was now approaching 10:00 at night (remember, I got up at 4:00 am).  I now had to rescue my bags from the bellman, wait 15 minutes for the valet to bring my car back and head to the correct hotel.  I was tired and frustrated; so as a further poke from the universe, my GPS wasn’t working.  I got lost three times trying to find my hotel!  When I finally got into my room, sometime after 11:00, I turned on my computer to cancel my early morning call and my laptop died!

Fairly Amusing

Same trip as above (I should have stayed home!).  I checked out of the correct hotel to fly home.  I had asked the valet to have my car waiting because I was going to be cutting it close, having a morning meeting before I scurried to catch my flight home.  I ran out of my morning meeting, handed some money and my ticket to the valet, grabbed my keys and headed for the airport.  Halfway to the airport, I went to turn on the radio and thought, ‘hmm, that’s funny, I could have sworn the button was on the other side’.  I ignored the feeling for a few minutes, then on a hunch, I looked at the key chain, it said Avis, my rental company, so I kept driving.  It was still bugging me, so I grabbed the rental car agreement and flipped it over – “WHO THE HELL IS D. SMITH (name changed to protect the victim) and why do I have their tag?!!!”  I had taken the wrong rental car!  At this point, I am one mile from the airport.  If I turned around, I would certainly miss my flight.  For me that was not an option, because I wanted to get home to see my kids!  I called the hotel valet from the car and made them stay on the phone while I pulled into rental car return.  I did what I do best – I put on my biggest apologetic smile and started talking.  I explained that the valet gave me the wrong car and I was going to miss my flight and inquired if could just return the one I had.  I was in luck, because I had no personal belongs in my car and D. Smith had no belongings in the car I “stole”.  The hotel tracked him down, we made a deal and I flew home.  As a side note, I am sure you all assume it was the same car in the same color – uh, no.  Two different foreign four door cars, one was silver, the other champagne.  Oops, I now try get electric blue cars whenever possible!

The Winner

This was not my brilliance, but certainly wins.  A friend of mine was on a sales trip and had been at a big, wine-filled dinner with clients.  He stumbled into bed pie-eyed and bordering on incoherent.  In the middle of the night, nature called and he staggered out of bed, headed for the bathroom.  Still drunk, he walked through the door and then the door closed with a click.  He had gone out the door to his room!  And, he sleeps naked!  (His wife told me the story, I do not know the sleeping attire of my male friends).  He now has two problems – the urgent need to pee and he is locked out of his room in the middle of the night, naked!   Solution one: he pee’d in the drain of the ice machine.  As he is figuring out problem two, he hears the elevator door open and he throws his naked 6 foot tall, football player frame against the hallway wall in hopes of being missed…  He gets lucky and uses the house phone to call the front desk.   While waiting for security to come up, he finds an unlocked housekeeping closet and grabs a towel that is just enough to cover the ‘public display of indecency’ parts.  When the security guard comes up, he averts his eye, keeps the verbal exchange short and files workman’s comp the next day I am sure.

Whether your work brings in a paycheck or raises a family, we all have those times when auto-pilot (or too much wine) gets the best of us.  Remember that when someone steals your rental car or you see a naked guy in a hotel.

The hotel robe would have come in very handy...