Occasionally I think: I need to get a job. This being a parent all the time gets a little . . . unfulfilling. Don’t shoot me. Please. The thing is, I absolutely ADORE my kids (I have two wee tykes–5 and 2), but you know, the only time they REALLY appreciate how awesome I am as a mom, is when I leave them for a few days.
And then they get all weepy and realize, “My hell, my mom is EVERYTHING to me. WHERE is my anchor? My ballast!? Where are the harboring arms that keep me safe amidst the storm of playground bullies and pecking-order battles that I always lose?! And . . . and you know, those gym-daycare ruffians who threaten to knock me down with giant fort-building cushions? Who will protect me from them?”
Those are the exact thoughts that run through their little fast-developing brains. Or so I hear.
Anyway, so the only time I’m appreciated is when I take off for a few days, like just recently, when I hopped down to Tucson to help my youngest sister (the doctor, my pride and joy) move back to the mother-land (SLC).
Leaving behind those wee faces seemed to rip my heart out. I’ve never been so messed up in my life except back in college when that bastard boyfriend broke up with me (for the fifth or sixth time). Yes, LEAVING MY KIDS, it was an experience in separation anxiety (who knew adults could have it?!) to leave them. At first.
I was certain my plane would crash. Or that a continent-shifting earthquake would ravage the Wasatch Front and an enormous rift wold open up and swallow my family in my absence.
These sorts of vain imaginings are part of the reason I’m a writer. I think.
So anyway. At first it was hard. And then when I woke up in Tucson with the clouds and monsoons and the desert mountain range outlining the horizon, and, you know, I was able to just chill with my sister, and walk around without kids hanging off my legs in some kind of hilarious (they think) grocery-store game, I was pretty damn OK. And I could Facetime with my kids, when they needed me or I needed them.
And I could feel my body kind of separating from a concept that had consumed me, from that dominating identity of MOM. No one was screaming mom or mommy 24,000 times in one day at me. And without that non-stop reminder, for a bit, I could just be: ME. Like, the writer chick, the indie-music obsessed chick. The gamer girl. And a bunch of other cool/geeky things that I am. Insert an awesome one here: the/that ______ chiquita/girl.
I’ll give you some words to choose from: curly-haired, hilarious, sci-fi-loving, easy-going, funny-as-hell, fun-as-hell-to-be-around, self-deprecating-in-a-good-way . . .
Ok, so my adjectives are getting a bit unwieldy. If you can’t think of some good ones on your own, maybe . . . maybe we shouldn’t hang out anymore?
KIDDING. I will always love you.
So anyway, as my other identities separated and got a bit more opaque, it was all kind of nice. Bittersweet. The usual fare of life, the kind of sustenance that makes it interesting and challenging and makes you feel as though you’re really SUCKING the marrow out of the bones of life.
All of this to say, I’ve been busy. Applying for jobs. And I was offered a few. And when I was applying and interviewing, I sincerely wanted the jobs. And when the offers came, I again weighed the costs of daycare and the potential emotional costs and potential collateral damage of daycare, and the possible monetary gains, and I decided to wait again, to enter the corporate world.
Where was I going with this? Oh yes. I sometimes think I’ll go get a job and go back to work just to feel like I’m accomplishing something. The end-rewards of parenting aren’t immediately visible. I mean, my kid will say “thank you!” and I’ll die a little from happiness that he’s such a polite kid. And then he’ll turn around and punch his sister (this happens very rarely) and I’ll go through a momentary crisis of “WTF AM I DOING WRONG?”
So it’s hard to experience the rewarding sense that I got the job done! Or feel like someone appreciates my awesomeness, besides me. I always appreciate it, true, when I see it. But yeah, I mean, who else does?
Wife/Mother, the most under-rated profession in the actual world. I mean, the world that’s quantifiable in hard currency. I can price out a photographer, or a software engineer, or a teacher, but can you price out a mom? No. And don’t quote Dave Ramsey at me.
Because if we could estimate the monetary worth of a wife/mother, then when I submit my resume and there’s a five-year gap in it where I wasn’t maintaining my editing/writing skill-set, no one would give a damn. They wouldn’t say, “Explain this five year gap.” Or “Hmmm. You’re obsolete.” Not that anyone said that. I managed to convince people I’m still valuable, which is a skill. A very marketable skill. Haha.
Anyway. Sometimes it would be cool to just have someone give me a freaking report card on how awesome I am as a mom. I mean, I’m sure there are areas where I could improve, duh. But I need some damn positive reinforcement occasionally! Which is why I sometimes get this itch to get a 9-5 job.
Finally, if you’ve been missing me, my friends, I’ve been missing you too! Trying to fit writing and social-mediaing into the tiny cracks of free-time in my 24-7 job (yeah, it’s not 9-5!) and while I remember to put stories up on my Patreon account and post vlog updates, sometimes I neglect the blog-updates.
Also, just released this gem [“An Unnatural Equilibrium”] for free on Patreon. Just click on the cover to check it out at Patreon. The others (the covers below it) are also available for paying patrons. Still trying to tie everything in Feed together and get that shit organized. Stay in touch. Find me on Twitter. Find me on Instagram. And don’t forget that I definitely post stuff a lot on Patreon!