The Very Idea of Going Back to Work
First Born Male Child turned 11 over the weekend. That means I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) for 11 years. EEEEE-LEV-EN YEEEEAAARRRSSSS.
So many times I get asked, “Pretty soon Warrior Princess will be in school full time. Do you plan on going back to work then?” Uhhh…maybe? Why is this question so hard to answer? Here’s why:
- You’ve caught me here at Target randomly wandering around trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight that will not cause a revolt from the inmates, and you want to know what my future employment plans are? Go away. Now.
- I honestly don’t know if I can adult again.
- I don’t even know what I’d want to do.
Seriously. Here’s how I imagine an interview going:
Interviewer: “Tell me about a time you faced adversity and how you overcame it.”
Me: “Uhhhh…well…I was having a hard time potty training my daughter. She refused to wear big girl underwear and wanted to wear PullUps for the rest of her life. I used incentives, bribes, begging…nothing worked. I bought her dozens of pairs of fun undies — Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, pink with dinosaurs, ones with donuts and unicorns on them — Nope. She didn’t want anything to do with them. So I said, ‘Ugh! Do you want to wear your brother’s undywear?!!’ Her eyes lit up and she said, ‘YES!’ So I sent Young Son up to get her a pair of his super hero ones that were getting pinchy. He brought them down, she immediately stripped down, pulled them on and was happy as a clam. Did I freak out because she was wearing BOY’S undies? Nope. I called it a success and moved on. I mean now she even has an extra little pocket in the front for her Shopkins and Chapstick…and we all know how we women never get enough pockets. That’s a big win all-around in my book. I may have to try men’s underwear frankly.”
Interviewer: [Blink….blink…blink…] Thank you for your time. We’ll be in touch. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Or some people will suggest, “Maybe you could get something part time — like work at Starbucks or Williams-Sonoma. Think of the discount.” Okay. Good thought, but that would require me to be nice and patient, and I don’t think I have any left. I mean I am from Wisconsin, but I’ve lived in Illinois for nearly 14 years now and have three kids, so here’s what it would look like:
Starbucks customer: “You made this triple venti half caf decaf raspberry white mocha with 10 extra pumps of mocha too hot and I asked for it to be 109 degrees and I think you only put 9 pumps in.”
Me: “But did you DIE? No? Then go over and pour some skim milk in it like a normal person and cope, accept and move on. Plus, that’s a ridiculous drink and I can’t believe I’m actually talking to you right now.”
AAAAAnnndddd. I get fired.
At Williams-Sonoma it would probably go something like this:
Customer: “I want to return this 15 piece All-Clad set of pans and this 50 piece Wüsthof knife set that we got for our wedding. The first time I used them I cut my finger really badly and burned myself. I want to see a manager.”
Me: “Really? No. You need to go home to call your mother and tell her all the ways she failed you in preparing for life. In fact, give me her email address, there are a few things I want to say to her too. And then I want your husband to think long and hard about how he has thrown his life away by marrying you.”
Then the manager presses the button on her headset and whispers, “Sandy, could you send security over to escort out our new employee? We won’t be needing her services any longer.” Then plasters a smile on her face and hip checks me to the side, “Hi ma’m. I’m so sorry, please allow me to help you. What free stuff and discounts can I offer you for your inconvenience?”
If I got a job in an office setting, I can’t imagine that going much better. I don’t know if I can do meetings ever again. They would feel something like this:
And if I would get stuck in a cube farm, how would that work??
[cell phone rings] I think,”Crap! The school! Who’s sick? Who’s in trouble? What now??!” Answers phone:
Me: “Hehhehello???…Oh, hi Nurse Nightingale…his head hurts? Did he hit it on something or someone?…he doesn’t know…well…give him a drink of water ‘cuz he’s probably dehydrated and then give him an ice pack so he’ll leave you alone and send him back to class. Unless he vomits or passes out, he better not bug you again….Yeah, I’m really sorry…”
[five minutes later, cell phone rings and it’s the school again…]
Me: “Ugh! Is he back in your office again???…Oh! Hello Mrs. Principal…Sorry about that. How are you?…Wait…he said what??…well no, I really don’t think that’s the proper use of that word in a school setting… And then he tried to laminate what? Well, no…I know he’s not supposed to bring things like that to school and that is not the proper use of school equipment….Yes, we will certainly be having a very serious come to Jesus as soon as he gets home…Yes, I realize this is the 8th time this year already…I’m really sorry…”
Honestly. I would never get any work done and be fired within a week. I think my children have ruined any sort of job prospect for me within the next couple of decades. I guess I’m just going to continue to be a SAHM here and write stupid stuff on my blog. Maybe it’ll go viral and I’ll get a book deal out of it. Or maybe I’ll just drink coffee and think about cleaning my house.