Friday, September 13, 2013

The Ultimate Job

When I was little I had two professions in mind for my adult life: dentist or bus driver. 

This is hilarious, because I think other people’s mouths are OMG so gross.  And although I love to drive, I’m not the best at it (evidenced by the honking I got yesterday as I pulled onto the road.  What? I looked, Service Truck.  I might have miscalculated your speed of mach 50 when I exited the ramp, and hello, get into the left lane when passing a ramp, Mario), so bus driver is out. 

I definitely didn’t announce “I’m going to be a MOM!” when I was little.

And yet here I am, all grown up, and I am a mom.  A housewife.

I don’t work for money or even do full-time volunteer work.  I stay home and take care of my family and our house.

I’ve endured many “Oh, you’re so lucky you don’t have to WORK” comments.  I never know if they’re meant to be derogatory or condescending or genuine declarations of wistful admiration. 

It doesn’t bother me.  I’ve not been one to truly care about how other people judge me, because I know that we humans are fickle creatures; as we show appreciation for something, we are also examining it to find the flaws, ready to criticize the workmanship.  The person who tells me she loves my shoes whispers to her friend later that my pants were way unflattering.

However, even though I don’t care that people might look down upon me for wasting my talents by scrubbing toilets and putting babies down for naps only to wake them up and help them with their algebra homework, ohmygoodness where did those years go, I do sometimes wish that I could somehow parlay this stay-at-home-mom gig into something that has worth in the eyes of the 7 billion other people in this world outside of these four walls.  I'm not that honorable.

Being a mom was hard when every other mom I knew was filling out job applications when their babies went to school full-time or went back to school themselves, ensuring that the gaps on their resumes were easier to explain in the future.  Why wasn’t I also doing this?  Should I be doing this?  Am I making a mistake by not getting myself back out there?

The problem was that I could never think of anything I wanted to do more than what I was doing as a mom.

I wanted to be there for every minute of my children’s lives.  I wanted to put them to sleep, snuggle them when they got up, feed them hot dogs for lunch every.single.day, bathe them, let them dress themselves in hideous ensembles and take them to the park, traverse the grocery store with them while they screamed for lollipops, lie on the couch with them and watch cartoons in the middle of the day, watch them jump through the sprinkler, ride their bikes around the block, take them to the mall and the pool and the movies, see them off to school on the bus, pick them up early for a doctor visit, decorate the house for fall while they were at school just to see their delight as they walked in the door at the end of the day. I wanted to do all of this without permission, without the thoughts of what I was missing at work worrying the back of my mind. 

I wanted this to be my work, my focus.

And I’m really good at it.  And I have found through the years that it does have worth.  It’s not paid, and I won’t even offer that being paid in hugs and kisses is worth it, because it’s not the same to me.  Honestly, I’d like a chunk of cash to show for my efforts, because they are monumental.  My work makes a difference in my family’s lives and in our home, and I’d love to make money doing it.

But I don’t.  And sometimes it does bother me.  Sometimes I do feel as if I’m wasting my talents, and the ever-widening gap on my resume alarms me, and I feel woefully behind the rest of the world in marketable skills, and by the time the kids are old enough for me to go back to work, I’ll be too old to go back to work.

But I’m also smart enough to know that even if I was a bus driver or a dentist, the ultimate jobs, I would grow restless at times.  We humans are fickle creatures. 

And I am a mom, and even though it was not on my short list of ideal professions, that is what I became when I grew up.

And I love it.



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This post was inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #1: Something you wanted to be when you grew up.

30 comments:

  1. Beautiful. Just... beautiful.

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  2. congratulations--I think you chose the best job in the world. I did too and I've never regretted it. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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    1. Thank you Kelley! I have doubted that I did the right thing a lot over the years, but now that I can look back on the cumulative years of being "just a mom," I can say truly that I've never regretted it either.

      Congratulations right back to you!!

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  3. I love it, too! Although it wasn't on my shortlist, either. I have been a working mom and now I am a stay home mom - and I am so happy to be able to do all the things you mention here. (I've never secretly decorated the house for fall, though - and now I am thinking that I want to do that. :) )

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    1. Do the decorating!! Having them help decorate is fun too (they love getting out the old keepsakes), but they still love coming home from school and walking around to see all their favorites decorating the house!

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  4. I'm so glad you have found something you love and are good at. Not everyone finds that combination.

    I remember once when I was little my grandma asked me what I want to be when I grow up. I proudly said "Go Go dancer" because I had just seen that on Sesame Street. My grandmother, a proud Southern women, paled and quickly told me that there are many better jobs out there. It was a long time before she asked me that again.

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    1. Ha ha ha! Poor Grandma. Go Go dancer on Sesame Street? It WAS a progressive show, huh?

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  5. you are the cutest mom EVER! I love that you have become exactly what you were supposed to be...and not a bus driver :)

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    1. Thank you! Yeah - bus driving is a tough job. I'm not sure I would have lasted very long.

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  6. I for one, think you're an amazing Mom and a lovely person to boot. xo

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    1. Oh, thank you, Alison! Right back 'atcha. :)

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  7. I've been a stay at home mom, a working mom, a working grandma, and now a stay at home grandma (watching grandkids when my daughter works). Being a stay at home mom/grandma is the hardest job, but also always the most rewarding. At some point I'm sure I'll be "working" again outside the home. But for now I am content. And I think as long as we are content, that's all that should matter. :) I'm stopping over from the Writer's Workshop. Tinalicious.com.

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    1. You are so right! Contentment goes a long way in life. It frees us up to enjoy the moments. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. I feel so lucky that we were able to make things work with me being home. I wouldn't have it any other way either.

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    1. I've often felt lucky too, but then I look at the work we put into me staying home, and I feel accomplished. I'm sure you feel the same way.

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    1. Thank you, Joe! And for visiting, as always. :)

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  10. being a mom is the best job!

    i used to think about my job a lot and felt very consumed by having a job that wasn't "good enough" or "interesting enough" or "impressive enough" - since becoming a mom, i could not care less. i go to work simply to make money so i can take care of my kid - who cares what i'm doing for those 8 hours?! :)

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    1. The importance of everything else pales in comparison, doesn't it?

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  11. This is how I feel too. Never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up besides a mom. And I feel pretty good about being there for my family. You're right, we are fickle.

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    1. I have a friend who said once that being a mom was all she ever wanted to do, and I envied her confidence that she was doing exactly what she always wanted to. I thought there was something else out there for me. But now I know better, and I realize that she had it right all along.

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  12. I sort of had an opposite situation. I could never picture myself as a mom. I was the youngest kid, youngest cousin, never babysat, etc. But it ended up suiting me. I have four now. :)

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  13. I love it Andrea! You make ME want to be a mom when I grow up.

    Oh wait. I AM a mom and I forgot to love it.

    But I do - love it.

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    1. Being a mom means that you are free to forget just about everything. Having kids eats your brain, you know.

      Having friends to remind us that we love being a mom is what keeps us sane.

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  14. When I say you're lucky, it is a declaration of wistful admiration. But. That does NOT mean I think being a full time mom is not difficult or that were I able to make that happen I wouldn't get tired of being home all day. Each of us is different as is our family's needs, our ability to meet them, our goals, our patience levels, our willingness to figure out how the hell to fold a fitted sheet without that damn board. I admire all of us moms, all of us who do whatever we need to to make our families run.

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    1. Yes! Each one of us is different; why should we all expect to be the same kind of mom?

      You have a board to fold fitted sheets? Fancy.

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  15. I just love that. I'm sending it to a friend who is always asking if she should be going back to work. "The world" makes you feel less for just "sitting around." But we know better.:)

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    1. Thanks, Tammy! You're right, we do know better.

      I definitely do a lot more sitting around now than I used to, but how is that different than sitting around in an office all day?

      The world is weird.

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