October 25, 2007

Real Moms Get Out!

You may have read this job description for mom before (from a frequently forwarded email):

Long term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills, be willing to work variable hours which will include evenings and weekends, and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

The candidate must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets, and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars, and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute and an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills so that those in your charge(s) can ultimately surpass you.

None required. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when the offspring turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give your children whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

While there are no health insurance, no dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays, and no stock options offered, this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if the candidate play her cards right.

It might seem like only a person who has lost her mind would accept such a position. Maybe so, but there are ways to keep your sanity while in the midst of such heavy responsibility. Friends, we need them, and we need to get together with them. For working in the house moms as well as working out of the house moms, this connection is our saving grace. Even if all we talk about when we get together is our kids, there is just something about getting together with the girls. It strengthens us, rejuvenates us, blesses us, informs us, and cheers us up. We can get isolated in our homes and feel like we are the only ones experiencing the struggles of motherhood. That idea crumbles when we hear from other moms that they are going through the same frustrations as we are. Laughter is the best cure-all. Some of the biggest laughs I have had have been at Bunko night with the girls.

So, join a Bunko group, start a playgroup with some friends from the neighborhood, work or church or another organization, plan a girls night, join a book club, make a coffee date for Saturday morning, do something to get that time with your girlfriends.

Getting out with the girls at least once a month (hopefully more) will help you get real!

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