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:

  1. 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.
  2. I honestly don’t know if I can adult again.
  3. 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:facebook_1551197480122

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.

I Have an Invisible Tattoo on My Forehead

Hi friends! Did you miss me? I’ve missed you. I really need to detox from the insanity of the past few months. First Christmas and New Years, then the long slog through January, three weeks of my husband being out of town, snow days, other stupid random days off of school, apocalyptic polar vortexes of doom…If hear the sounds of 16 horse hooves galloping down the street, I’m ducking for cover.

I think all of this end-of-the world weather has completely broken the filters on some people. The other day the Warrior Princess and I stopped in at Subway for a quick bite. While we were watching the sandwich artist assemble our gourmet meal, WP got super excited and did her happy dance when we came to the big tub of tomatoes (her favorite food…yeah…if she didn’t look just like me, I’d question her DNA.)

The guy at the register thought she was a hoot and asked me, “Is she your granddaughter?” Oh yes he did, friends. Yes. He. Did.

The lady assembling the sandwich went wide-eyed, sucked in air and looked at me in horror. I blinked a few times and said, “No. She’s my daughter. I’m just old.”

The mortified lady hurriedly clobbered my sandwich together, hurled it at the guy who was still fumbling around and muttering embarrassed gibberish. (I think she may have kicked him in the shin while she gave him a really good death glare.) Just to torment him some more, I scrounged around for awhile in my purse for a crumpled up coupon and took extra long to find the Subway MyWay Rewards app on my phone. Then I paid in cash with exact change just so he had to count it all. Then I cheerfully thanked him, and WP and I made our way to find a table.

As we were sitting there, I heard a heated conversation going on in the back room. Since I don’t speak Hindi, I wasn’t sure what was being said, but I imagine it was something like this:

“What the hell?!? Why would you ask her that?!?!”

“What?? I mean did you look at her? She looked like the lettuce when it’s time to throw it away!”

“Really, dude? You’re an asshole. She looks like she needs a good night’s sleep and a new eye cream. Why don’t you just ask the next customer if she’s pregnant while you’re at it!”

When I got home and told my dear husband, he thought it was the funniest thing in the world and proceeded to pepper me with old lady jokes for the rest of the evening. Later I was rubbing his back and said, “Hey. You marry a cougar, you better expect to get scratched.”

He replied, “Hah! Try saber toothed tiger!” And then he couldn’t breathe. I don’t know if it was from laughing so hard, or me knocking the wind out of him.

A few days later, I was filling out some paperwork at a doctor’s office and the lady behind the desk asked if I had kids. I replied, “Yes. Two boys who are 10 and 7 and a 3 year old daughter.”

“Wow! You’ve got your hands full! That’s quite an age spread. Were they planned that way?”

Yes. She. Did.

I did my blinking thing for a moment and answered, “Well, my husband travels to China a lot. When his trips were three weeks or longer, he tended to miss me and we ended up having another kid 9 months after he got back. He keeps his trips to two weeks or less now.”

She blinked back at me as she processed, “Ohhhh….”

Seriously folks. What is it about me that people just completely toss away their filter whenever they talk to me lately?? I think I must have an invisible tattoo on my forehead that only clueless people can see. It must say, “Come hither and talk to me. I love a good insult. Please tell me what’s on your mind.”

I mean I get it when my kids say things that are innocently unkind. Recently WP was in the bathroom with me (because why not? I mean I need my personal toilet paper dispensing assistant and morale coach every time I’m in there you know…) “Hey Mom. Your legs look funny,” as she pointed out the hail damage on my pasty white thighs. *sigh*

And then she gave the final blow to my already brittle ego. This weekend, Dear Husband said, “Hey Warrior. How about today you try and do a really good poop and pee on the potty for Dad?” Now mind you, I’ve been begging, bribing and badgering her forever trying to get her to use the big girl potty. But nope. Not on her agenda. Not now. Not ever. She will walk across the stage and accept her diploma while wearing a Pull-Up, thank you very much. So you know what that punk did? She did four pees and a poop on the potty that day and proceeded to run around showing off her cute squishy tushy in her Paw Patrol undies the rest of the day.

Yep. I quit. Finished. If you need me, you can find me in the corner of my closet curled up in the fetal position quietly whimpering. Until someone has something nice to say to me, I’m done here…or until my phone dies and I can’t play Boggle and scroll through Facebook anymore…but then after I’m charged up again, leave me alone!