A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: jobs

Career Day

Nature Boy (the 12 year old) said to me the other morning, “Oh Mom, I forgot to tell you, today is Career Day at school.”

So I did what any Stay at Home Mom/Writer/Blogger would do.

I put my coffee cup down, turned off the news, got up off the couch, and started gathering supplies. I picked up someone’s dirty socks off the floor, grabbed my laptop, and then headed to the kitchen for a scouring pad, a frying pan, a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Well you obviously want me to come to Career Day to speak to your friends about my job, so I’m gathering visual aids.”

The look.

Oh dear God in Heaven, the look of terror on this child’s face…you would have thought I had just ordered him to go to school naked, pedaling a tricycle.

“No Mom. That’s not why I’m telling you. I just need you to sign my permission slip.”

“You don’t want me to speak to your class?”

“No thanks.”

Oh crap. Cue the PTSD flashback about that time I overheard my daughter saying “When I grow up, I’m going to have a real job, not like Mommy.”

Wow.

My kids clearly have no idea that I quit a lucrative job ten years ago for the express purpose of being at home with them. And now here I am, with three kids, the paltry remnants of a long neglected 401K, a ten year gap on my resume, and a very clear message that I’m not invited to Career Day.

Move over, Self-Pity; it’s Rage’s turn to talk.

“Why not? My job is important. My job is interesting. I’m successful at what I do, you know.”

“It’s not that, Mom.”

condescending willy wonka on blogging

“I was just in The Huffington Freaking Post, dude. And so were you! They quoted us both, remember?”

“Mo-ooooooooooooom. All the Career Day speakers are already lined up. It’s too late to get on the schedule.”

“Well, ask me earlier next time, Hon. I’d love to talk to your class about my job. There are so many cool things I could discuss!”

“Really.” (Sarcasm?! He knows sarcasm?! Well played, my boy, well played.)

“Uh-YUH! Like how to remove stains, reduce photo size for faster webpage loading, cut brownies perfectly, code with HTML, auger a toilet, boost SEO, get kids to school on time, use social media for marketing, erase water marks from coffee tables, install WordPress plugins, remove a tick, burn a blog feed, finger whistle, vlog, manage a household budget, build your brand, dress a wound, understand and comply with FTC regulations, ooh – my raw kale salad recipe!….”

“Mom. I have to go. Maybe next year. Okay?”

“Well, what parent presentations have you signed up to attend?”

“Cooking and Insurance.”

“Excuse me?” (Did he just say what I think he said?)

“I said Cooking and Insurance. There’s going to be a real restaurant chef there and also a former college football player who now sells insurance.”

“THOSE ARE THE CAREERS THAT INTEREST YOU? Are. You. Frickin. Kidding. Me?”

“Mom. I have to go.”

“I was expecting you to say Paleontologist or Criminologist or Film Director.”

“MOM. I’m going to miss the bus.”

“Do you even know what I do all day? Shoot, honey, I can teach you how to cook, for Pete’s sake. Do you want to see our insurance policies after school? Geez, I had no idea you were so interested in those things.”

“Mom.”

“Hold up. You think selling insurance is more interesting than running a household, raising children, and writing comedy? I feel like I don’t even know you.”

“Mom, I have to go. Can we talk about it after school?”

“Okay. Fine. Have fun learning about those exciting careers.”

“I love you Mom. Have a good day. Oh Mom? I’m out of socks. Can you please do my laundry today?”

“We’ll see. I’m live Tweeting the Dr. Oz show. He’s doing a whole episode about gynecological mysteries and I can’t miss it.”

(There’s that look again.)

Oh snap.

*****

This one’s for all the hard working mothers and bloggers out there who never get asked to speak at Career Day. Fuck that fucking shit.


Source: Know Your Meme

Penis jokes, stray bullets, and a punch in the face.

…or, how I became a writer.

I’ve held a wide variety of jobs in my lifetime.

I’ve been a dishwasher, a waitress, a bartender, a nanny, a voiceover artist, and a motivational speaker.

I’ve worked in an ice cream shop, at a hot dog cart, in a classroom, and in an ambulance, among other places.

I have sold hand-knitted scarves out of the back of my minivan.

I was once named “Employee of the Year” at a computer training company. Four months later, I was fired.

I’ve also been bitten, pissed on, discriminated against, and sexually harassed. And that was just this morning.

What do all these experiences have in common? Just me. They are all part of the gloriously crinkled road map that has led to this exact moment and place. And today I am celebrating that crazy journey. Wanna come?

One of the best jobs I ever had was as a docent in a children’s museum. Several times a day, I had to give live demonstrations about the inner workings of Stuffee, the larger-than-life doll used to teach kids about internal organs. Parents would shift uncomfortably in their seats every time I would unzip and disembowel Stuffee, hold up his 6 foot long large intestine, and ask the kids “Anyone know what this is?” Some kid always shouted “PENIS.” Then one of the dads would make a joke like “Yeah, that’s about right.” Awesome.

Once, at the tender age of 19, on one very drunken Mardi Gras evening in New Orleans, I became a bonafide street performer. Apparently I had a knack for it too because one man who was out of beads handed me a twenty dollar bill and thanked me for sharing my gift(s).

I did data entry as a temp on the night shift for a few months in my mid twenties. All my coworkers were beautiful young black ladies with the longest fingernails I’d ever seen. They found me mildly entertaining. “What’s a white girl like you with a college degree doing down here at night? You crazy!” But I loved that job. I loved the solitude and the quiet. I loved racing against myself to do more entries and fewer errors than the night before. I made some great friends there too. One girl even took me to play bingo with her mom and grandma. And they thought I was crazy? Shoot. I tell you what – you haven’t lived until you’ve played and survived competitive bingo in Oakland California on a Saturday night. Day-yam. If the second-hand smoke didn’t kill me, a stray bullet could have. Those bitches take their bingo for serious, y’all.

One of the most promising but disappointing jobs I ever held was counting beads at a local bead shop a few years ago. Hand to God, I got paid to count out beads, put them into little baggies, and label them. It was perfect for me. The only problem was that the shop owner kept giving me more and more responsibility and all I wanted to do was count beads in peace, make a little pocket money, and get the hell away from my noisy kids. I quit after 4 weeks. 

I spent a couple years working with severely emotionally disturbed kids in their group home and classroom. That job was a heartbreak and a half. A good day was one in which I wasn’t assaulted or smeared with some kind of bodily excrement. I know…sounds like a regular day as a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), doesn’t it? But it was worse because I couldn’t drink on the job or cuddle the kids. On my worst day there, I got punched square in the face by a very angry and enormous twelve year old boy. I had recurring nightmares after that and ended up leaving that job shortly thereafter. I met my husband there, by the way. He was one of the managers, not one of the poo-smearing kids.

Leaving that job was a turning point for me, and not just because I was sleeping with my boss.

After that, I switched gears and started climbing the corporate ladder. That was fun and very lucrative for a while, until I had kids. No big surprise, but I’m a classic unitasker. I just didn’t have the skills to be a successful full time employee AND a decent mother simultaneously. Something had to give.

And that something was my career.

I’ve been a full time SAHM ever since I got knocked up with Mini-Me almost ten years ago, not including that 4 weeks as a bead counter.

Until today.

I Rock the Powder Room Today I have officially been named part of an elite team of Jedi women writers at In the Powder Room. The editors there are on an “epic journey toward world domination” and apparently feel that my penchant for bathroom humor will help them get there. Either that, or they needed someone to help class up the joint. Bless their hearts.

They’ll be featuring my writing every Tuesday, provided I can meet my deadlines and continue writing things that don’t suck. Wish me luck with both of those, would you please?

I have to say, so far, the best part about being a professional writer is that it is highly unlikely I’ll ever be punched in the face. Also, I’m the one who gets to do the penis jokes for once. I’m not sure yet about the stray bullets.

Yeah… I think I’m going to like this job.

And if not, there’s always Stuffee. I could showcase his large intestine like nobody’s beeswax.

enthusiastically yours,

-Iris

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