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Frugal Family Footnotes
Looking for a job . . . and my sanity
May 21, 2012
by Kristi Hiivala

It is hard to believe that I have been a stay-at-home mom now for six years.

That was never my intent, you know. I took maternity leave that conveniently lapsed into a period I consider “still too tired to get up and take a shower” time, which continued until the next child arrived, and then repeated.

As the kids get older and I find enough time to sit for a moment and contemplate the next moves in my life, I have often thought that returning to the paid workforce would be the right move for me.

Yes, it was hard to admit that I may be a better mom and wife when I am working for someone else, especially when I see my other mommy friends take on their non paid work life as a stay-at-home mom so much easier than I do. But I personally believe that coming to the realization that I have needs that aren’t met by staying home is a good first step.

The next step is finding a job that allows me to still be a rock star mom and earn the Employee of the Year award. I can hang my new, shiny award next to my finger painting from ECFE class – talk about having balance in your life.

Application for employment

Name: “That girl’s mom” on the playground, or those shocking moments when teenagers refer to you as “ma’am” and you think they couldn’t possibly be talking about you.

Address: The house with sidewalk chalk drawings and tennis balls in the gutter.

Contact: Feel free to call, but if you wake the baby from his nap, you have to take care of him.

Education: Apparently not enough, as I secretly Google the answers to my fifth-grader’s math assignment because I haven’t used the term “polynomial” during the last 20 years.

Previous jobs: Must be referring to that time in my life before kids, when I wore clean clothes every day and my purse contained money and makeup – not used tissues and member rewards cards to children’s clothing stores.

Areas of highest proficiency, special skills, or outstanding abilities: I have eyes on the back of my head; I can quickly determine if a toddler’s cry warrants a hug or a “you’ll be fine” pep talk; I can recite from memory the book “Cat in the Hat;” I can persuade a 5-year-old that she has tried green beans before and yes, she liked them – and she better eat them if she wants to play outside; I know when children do not wash their hair (no matter what they may say); and I have the amazing ability to go through the entire list of my children’s names, the dog’s name, and my husband’s before I get to the right one (but I will say it eventually, and whoever it is will still be in big trouble).

Name an example of your leadership skills: I only need to count to the number 2 before the kids magically behave.

How did you learn about this position: By reading the three-week-old newspaper while sitting in the doorway of my preschooler’s room at night, waiting for her to fall asleep.

The answers to these standard application questions are a lot different than the ones I would have offered before I became a stay-at-home mom, but I am learning to appreciate what opportunities I have been given and to make the best of them.

Now, if I can just carry that positive attitude towards the box of Jell-o sitting on my counter. I am so glad the application didn’t ask for my cooking skills.

Come on, water and prepackaged gelatin mix can’t be that hard to make . . . right?


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