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?