“So tell me about your work experience.” “Well, I’ve wiped butts for 7 years. Oh, and I make a mean grilled cheese! Do those count?”
Now that it’s right around the corner I often find myself trying to figure out what I’m going to do when Roman goes back to school in a year and a half. I feel this pressure to find something that’s going to make sense being away from the house ALL DAY. I mean, won’t our dog be lonely by himself all those hours? Won’t the kids need someone home for those 1-2 days a year that they’re home sick? Or when they forget their lunches I can happily bring it to them and pat myself on the back as if I’ve solved life’s problems just by being available? But lately there is an ongoing fear of what comes next since my “work” experience over the past 7 years has consisted of taking care of my family. I don’t know if I’ll be ready for the rejection when the time comes to start applying for jobs and they take one look at my résumé and say, “Dude (yes, I believe this will be the level of job I’m qualified for…where they refer to me as ‘Dude’), you realize you haven’t worked 7 out of the last 10 years we’re asking about, right?” “No, that can’t be right?! I’ve been on the go non-stop those 7 years doing….um, mom stuff.” How do you explain the duties of a stay at home mom without sounding like an idiot and feeling inferior? The duties of a stay at home mom can never truly be measured and will probably never come out well on paper because what do you say? I’ve wiped butts for 7 years. I wash clean clothes (yes, half of the laundry in the hampers I DO believe is clean clothes thrown in there by lazy hands.) I run about 500 errands in a month. Deal with backtalk without losing my cool. Exert an INSANE amount of patience with not only MY kids but other kids and their parents as well. I handle tantrums and teach manners while also trying to be a good example, which is not always easy to do. Clean up an endless amount of spills in a day along with standing next to your kid while counting as they clean up the mess they just deliberately made. Making sure my son doesn’t electrocute himself and that my daughter knows that every picture whether it’s a flower, heart or rainbow is treasured while also making my plan of ridding the house of the past weeks worth of flowers, hearts and rainbows without her knowing. Making sure my kids are not los roñosos…the kids with butter teeth, stinky butt or just plain filthy. Being creative in ways to teach lessons, but also know when it’s time to just say, “Because I said so!!” This job could go on and on…but I’ll stop here.
It is a REAL job and I do feel I get paid. Not in the cliché meaning of, “I get paid every day when I look at my child smile and they say ‘I love you mommy’.” Um, not what I’m talking about. I’m saying I get dolla bills yo. I get paid by keeping money in our account by not shelling out the cost of day care, paying for a maid and because I am there to guide my daughter right now in order to maintain a solid educational foundation which saves on the need for private school or tutor. No, those savings aren’t HUGE, but probably around what I would be making at a full-time government job, which is all I’d be able to get anyway. It took me 6 years to get that damn degree in Criminal Justice and when I received my diploma I pretty much wiped my forehead, dusted off my hands and said, “Phew, glad that’s over with!” and it has sat in a frame ever since. It will come in handy if I decide to be a substitute teacher, though…which is another option.
Then of course living in Las Vegas I think about going back to cocktailing for a supplemental income and quickly think of my age and how I’ll have to set a disclaimer on uniforms stating, “Must have a uniform that allows me to wear SPANX underneath and hides my loose and wrinkly belly skin that folds in the middle when I bend forward causing an unsightly mess.” And since it’s Las Vegas and they do their hiring based on Zed Cards, head shots and runway auditions that job opportunity is pretty much null and void. Plus, I just couldn’t picture myself in that line of work anymore anyway.
I regularly think about going back to school to pursue my dream job of being an Advertising Executive. I think about how fun it would be to make commercials and come up with fun ideas to sell products, all while dressed in a designer business suit and wearing a bluetooth. It would take me about another 4 years to get the requirements for that degree and I can start out in the mail room and work my way up to the top….just like all the others did, right? I could be that success story about the mom who lost all hope for her future and made it happen all the way to the most popular commercial during the Superbowl. Then again, I don’t think I have it in me to do what it takes to make that unrealistic dream come true so I’ll graciously leave it to someone with more drive.
And as I ponder what I’m good at, I always come back to being a mom. No, I’m absolutely not the perfect mom. I yell more than I’d like and I’m pretty sure I do damage on a daily basis, but it’s ME that’s inflicting the damage, not outside sources; that’s important to me. I picture my future and it’s pretty much me being the “Sunny D” mom who tosses her kids and their entourage of friends a beverage after school, fixes them a healthy snack and reads a book off to the side as they play basketball on our full court in the backyard, while a few other kids are enjoying a dip in our pool and say, “Thanks Mrs. H!” “It’s my pleasure, kids!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQE3jWYuGiw And then occasionally one of their friends would come to me for advice and I’d give them my thoughts in the coolest and wisest way possible making me the most awesome mom in the neighborhood. Then as our kids start driving I can follow them on a GPS tracker, do research on who they’re with and what they’re doing. This all takes work you know?! Cleaning their rooms will also be a job I embrace…in order to stumble across little tidbits of information. I mean, if I was working full time, would I be the one cleaning their rooms and finding these things and obtaining this much control? Probably not. This future is more like what I want: Kids to have me to come home to who loves them and knows the people they’re hanging out with.
So all I can say is, Tom better kick his heels in to full gear bc that pool, basketball court and GPS tracker sure isn’t happening on it’s own. 🙂