Thursday, February 11, 2010

The evolving roles of motherhood

I used to work full time.  Then I worked part time.  Then I worked from home some and in the office some.  So please note that I am not judging working moms or stay at home moms.  I understand that you have to do what works for you.  For me, I am finding that what works is constantly changing.  I used to love going to the office.  I liked having a paycheck, making a difference, talking to other adults, eating OUT everyday, and dressing nice.  However, I missed my kids.  I hated dropping them off at daycare and watching them cry.   So when my son was born, I tried to work part time and from home.  My princess went to school part time and I was with her part time.  I found this arrangement was crazy for me.  Every time I passed the office in our home, I remembered some work that I needed to complete, and while working I thought about the laundry and dishes in the sink.   I always felt like whatever I did was not good enough.  I was so overwhelmed. The day the blinds fell on Gameboy’s head while I was on a conference call, I realized I was trying to do everything , but nothing well.  I thought I could have it all, but turns out I couldn’t.  

Five years ago, I quit my job to be a stay at home mom.  I was lonely at first, but quickly adjusted to my new role.  People I used to work with often asked me what I did all day.  I used to get offended by this comment.  I definitely did not have time for bon bons.  As I was adjusting to my new role, I often wondered what my job description would look like.  

Mom-  CEO of the household.  The whole deal.

The nurse, doctor , teacher, cook , baker , housekeeper, guardian, story teller, advice giver, childcare provider, laundry maid, snack maker, prayer warrior, unconditional love giver, need I go on.. Ohhh for the love of a mother.  

A quick internet search found this funny job description for a mother.

Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Ma
Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an, often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you


None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right

(This has been provided by a wonderful new mother named Anne Waehner.  Keep up the good work all you new and old Moms out there!) 

Well for me, with the birth of the twins, I feel like my on-the job- training has reached a whole new level.  Things are out of whack again, as I look around my messy house.  So as I write this, I am going to calm down and tackle one thing at a time.  Tomorrow I plan on sharing some of my new training around health.   I have become the family’s dietician “aka Food Nazi”, as a result of my sweeties latest trip to the dr.  Never a dull moment in the Swan house.

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