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Posts Tagged ‘special needs mother’

Monday Minute: Another West Virginia Joke, Kind Of – How Stereotypes Get Started

(walking home from the park)

Me: So, Brig might take you to music tomorrow.

Margaret: We haven’t seen Brig in a long time!

Me: She’ll come back for dinner so you can see her too. Are you excited James?

James: You know, there are no lights in West Virginia. Read more…

Top Ten: Careers Motherhood Has Prepared Me For

1. Chef: Living in NYC, ordering out 6 times a week just wouldn’t fit the bill, literally and figuratively. You know when my kids are asking me to make sushi and when I say “no,” their response is “okay, lasagna,” that I’ve cooked myself into a corner. I could shame even the busiest chef with my mad skills in the kitchen – how many of them can cook for a party of 5 with a baby on one hip and another baby “helping out?”

2. Nurse: I clean up bodily fluids of all kinds, bandage injuries, ice bumps and bruises, and dole out medications twice daily. Oh, and I give magical kisses that cure scrapes big and small.

3. Cinderella I started this one off as “Maid” but quickly changed it to Cinderella as the vision of the young girl scurrying around the house balancing food in one arm and laundry in the other while people shouted her name from various rooms shot into my mind. I don’t know too many maids around here that would be serving breakfast while tackling long lists of chores each morning (if you do send me their number). And, maybe I’m still secretly hoping for a fairy godmother.

4. Secretary: Those of you who have had the pleasure of seeing my calendar, or worse yet my email inbox know that this is no joke. Scheduling appointments, sending out correspondence, calling back teachers, doctors and delivery men are all part of the daily grind – and don’t forget the baby on the hip part.

5. Plumber: When I mentioned this jobs post I was going to do, my sister and I got a little giggly at this one. Armed with 4 Stop&Shop bags and my bare hands I can fix almost any plumbing issue, enough said (see my past post on mega-colon if you really need more info).

6. Travel Agent: It’s not just vacations anymore. When discussing my husband’s future trip to his brother’s graduation, he asked, “Did you book me some kind of way to get there?” I did, and not only saved us some cash in the process, but found the fastest trip available and worked it around his work schedule.

7. Financial Planner: Managing monthly bills, investing in IRAs, paying down student loans, taking vacations, budgeting in classes for the kids, date nights for us, medical bills, and don’t forget cash for the fruit stands – all while living in NYC. And still saving money. I would hire me.

8. Psychologist (though it doesn’t mean I couldn’t use one at the end of the day!): the day to day behavioral management of a disabled child with severe sensory issues, ASD and ADD versus two willful toddlers who compete with each other for everything and agree with me on nothing. Take your pick. Or take all 3 at once and get through the day in one piece. Do my kids count as references?

9. Event Planner: Just since we’ve moved here I’ve orchestrated and executed 2 baptisms, a first communion, a confirmation, 2 dozen meetings of  The Foorce, 7 birthday parties, 3 summers worth of special needs social group activities and half a dozen dinner parties. All with a baby on the hip, of course.

10. Storyteller: Every night I read the kids a story or two before bed. With inflection. And for the last 3 months without fail my 3 year old daughter then requests that I make up a spooky story about her and her brother and a witch and a ghost on Halloween. Every night. And even if just to save my own sanity, I come up with a slightly different spooky Halloween story about a witch, ghost, two toddlers and Halloween night each and every time. With inflection.

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What kind of jobs has motherhood prepared you for? I know I haven’t even scratched the surface – feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments section.

Tribute to Me (and you!) for Mother’s Day

Many posts I express self doubt, regret, uncertainty, exasperation or disappointment about a recent parenting decision or experience. These feelings are natural, and I personally believe it can be therapeutic to voice them in a supportive forum such as this (rather than taking it out on the kids!).

But this will not be the case today, my friends. Today I will go for the supernatural in honor of all of the mothers out there who are as awesome as I am. Today I will list all of the ways in which I am overqualified for any other position than that of Really Superbly Amazing Mother.

In other job fields, employees are recognized and receive appreciation in many ways – from their bosses or coworkers, through raises and bonuses, through Employee of the Month programs, or by having their work displayed. While out with the children I am often asked “Do you work?” “No,” I reply. “I get to stay home with my children.”

Hahahahahahahahaha. After I am done wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes, I want to defend my decision while also saying “Yes, I work – FULL time.'” But, I know that this kind of question is usually not meant in a snide or condescending way. In fact, most days I am able to reflect on how lucky I am to be able to stay home with the kids, and I do think that working outside the home right now would be unbelievably difficult (props to the moms who pull it off daily!).

It’s probably better that I don’t have a job outside of the home anyway – I mean, for one thing, who could afford me? My experience and unique skills alone overqualify me for many positions. I mean, in my “past life” I was a music teacher – at the college level, elementary/ middle school level, as a church director and privately. Add that to my current skill sets as mother, wife, maid, chef, secretary, nurse, teacher, disciplinarian, accountant, chauffeur, personal trainer, event planner, playmate, therapist and let’s not forget pooper scooper (since I devoted a whole post to it) and my resume is downright formidable. Secondly, what would my family do without me if I got a “real job?” Who would pack lunches, play games, write notes to teachers, help with homework, call doctors, make paper bag puppets,  or bake cookies, often more than one activity at a time? Even if you could find a very talented person to take over the basics, who would know when a fake yawn meant that James was upset about something, or which bribe to offer my toddler so she would wear her eye patch, or what kind of cry meant the baby was hungry versus being tired or frustrated? Who would know how to avoid possible freak outs over “leaving James in the taxi,” my toddler pouring her own cereal or my 7 month old needing to sit by the Legos to watch?

I can have a lengthy conversation with a loan officer while coloring Elmo and nursing a baby. I turn folding and putting away laundry into a racing game between James and my 2 year old daughter. I can cook a quality dinner with my baby strapped on in the Bjorn and my toddler daughter “helping” me, while calling out homework questions to James in the dining room. I often strap both babies into the Bjorn and Ergo and carry them both so that I only have to bring one umbrella outside on a rainy day. I still bake cookies with the kids as an after school treat. I can take my children into a toy store and leave without buying anything and without anyone crying about it. I make my kids think that buying Life cereal is a special treat, and that sushi is better than McDonalds. I can sleep for less than 5 hours a night for an entire week and still stay up long enough to spend time alone with my husband at least once over the weekend. I know what face means that James is about to have an accident and my toddler is about to climb something unconventional. I don’t lose my patience for the first five times repeating “get your shoes on” to James while my toddler is streaking in the hallway and my 7 month old is screaming. I can type an email with one finger while standing next to the computer rocking a crying baby and talking Margaret down from the windowsill. I read a bedtime story to the kids every night, sometimes individually when I have those extra minutes. I still feel lucky to be a SAHM and still think my kids are the greatest, even at the end of a dozen time outs, tantrums, and accidents in one day.

So to all the mothers out there who are insanely overqualified, working or at home, special needs children or not, I can’t offer you that raise or plaque or special ceremony, but I can offer you my sincere appreciation and recognition for all that you do.

Happy Mother’s Day to you! And me!