Category Archives: work

Returning to work

I got a job.

By that I don’t mean “hey I got a job, you know, cause being a mom is a job”. (I will be keeping that one too, of-course). I mean a paying job, working for “the man” (or is it “the person”).

As of Tuesday morning, I will join the American work-force and contribute to society in more ways than raising two of the world’s most amazing children and possible future Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners (Nobel prize winners don’t need to be potty trained right?)

So as I sit here, enjoying my third glass of wine*, I realize that this is the end of a very important chapter in my life.

So many firsts in the past five years, so many diapers, so many things thrown at my head, so many music and little gym classes, so many healthy, nutritionally balanced meals prepared with love and thrown on the floor in fits of rage. So many hours spent with my kids.

As I look back at my life over the past few years, I can’t help but think of all the things I will miss about being a full-time mom and those that I won’t.

I will miss:

1. Spending a lot of time with my children

2. Being there for first words and first steps and comforting them whenever they get hurt and are upset

3. Cooking for them

4. My long workouts (seriously, I’m going to have to get up before 6am so that I can squeeze in a quick run in the morning!)

5. Midweek hangovers *

6. Living in skinny jeans

7. Living in UGGS in the winter (yes, I know they are ugg-ly but I love them so)

I will not miss:

1. Spending a lot of time with my children

2. Hearing any of the following:

“You’re just a mom?”
o You’re just an a**hole?

“You are doing the most important job in the world”
o Do people use this tone when saying the exact same thing to paediatric oncologists and heart surgeons?

“What do you do all day?”
o Drink, watch soaps and read cosmo. Oh, and take selfies, loads and loads of them. Not bad right?

corinacool

“Isn’t it boring being home with the kids all day?
o Sometimes yes, I imagine it’s the same for you when you’re not flying off to save the world?

“I could never do what you do, I need to work.”
o ……..

3. People thinking I can only discuss topics surrounding child rearing. Dude I’m more informed now about current affairs than ever before! Are you forgetting that I have nothing to do all day?

4. People assuming that I watch “Desperate Housewives of XXXX”

5. Being called a desperate housewife

So, as I am getting ready to re-enter the work-force, I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can still walk in heels and that I remember what appropriate office banter is.

I know that I will miss my babies, more than they will miss me, and promise to treat all full-time moms with respect and never call them lucky, privileged or bored. Even the ones in uniform.

Everything is about to change but the one thing that won’t is that I will, of-course, continue to whine over wine.

*Michael David wines have been a great friend to me lately.

Enough with the “mommy wars” already

Working moms writing open letters to stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home moms calling what they do work, former stay-at-home moms calling it a privilege and not a job.

Is anyone else tired of the mommy wars? Why are we (mothers) so desperate to convince each-other that our choices are valid; that they’re so lucky or that we’re so lucky.

mommywars
I was a man’s woman most of my life. I enjoyed the friendship of men, their protectiveness and their insights. My male friends were always honest without being judgmental and didn’t have much patience for my insecurities and my need to analyse everything.

Then I became a mother. And I discovered how wonderful female friendships can be. I liked the “sisterhood”. It was nice to talk about relationships and cry with no-one wanting to figure out who needed to be punched. It was nice to talk about how our husbands’ can be ass*&^s sometimes (because they can be) and how we hate how motherhood has changed our bodies (breastfeeding did THAT to our boobs?)

And then I became a full-time mom. Partly by choice, mostly by circumstance: a couple of international moves and then some health issues for my son and here I am, a full-time mother for five years.

And then the sisterhood was not a sisterhood anymore because it became about working mom’s Vs full-time moms.

Trying to balance it all when you are a mother is not easy. Perhaps our guilt, because we feel that we’re either failing ourselves or our children makes us think that we need to keep justifying our choices.

But in doing so, however, we have created these two “camps” and we started telling the other camp how they should feel. And the sisterhood is no more.

Working moms tell me how lucky I am to have this time with my kids. I am in many ways, no question. But there are times when it doesn’t feel like that. It’s tiring when the only way to convince the other person is by yelling at them or putting them in time-out and it hurts when kids throw things at your head, and it’s exhausting when this is your reality – a groundhog day of time-outs, spilled food, yelling and crying.

And no I didn’t feel lucky or fulfilled when my daughter asked a few months back what my job was and when I said “to take care of you and your brother” she said “but what do you do that’s important?” (can I put her in time-out for that?)

So my message to my working mom sisters is when I complain about my kids, or the frustrations of being home all day please don’t tell me I’m lucky. Just listen. The way you listen when I say my husband is an ass**&^e, though he’s really not. Also, don’t tell me “well get a job then” because maybe after taking five years off no-one wants to hire me.

On the other hand, a lot of working moms say they feel judged by us full-time moms because they don’t spend as much time with their kids.

Let me tell you categorically: we are not judging you! We are jealous of you!

We are mostly in awe of you for managing to work, have fulfilling careers and be good mothers. You get to go to meetings and be respected and rarely threaten anyone at the office with time-outs. And then you go home and sit on the floor and play with your kids. You guys are amazing.

I am not speaking for all stay at home moms but most of us envy, admire and respect you and wonder how you do it. I would like to think that you feel the same way about us.

Let’s just accept the fact that people are different. Different lives, different circumstances, different choices.

So I propose this: let’s stop talking about working moms Vs full-time moms and let’s talk about bridging the gender pay gap, better conditions for working moms, more opportunities for full-time moms to return to work, better childcare options and perhaps some work flexibilities for dads (yeah remember them?).

Let us all agree that we are all mothers working hard, making mistakes and figuring things out as we go along. Because we all love our children deeply and unconditionally.