Tag Archives: school

It’s a Small World After All…

25 Jun

I love those “Small World!” stories, don’t you?

While 100 miles from home today, I became chatty with a cool chick, with whom I instantly clicked. Later tonight, I sent her a friend request on Facey-Space, and learned that we both are FB friends with my cousin. Out of sheer curiosity, I called my Prima, who told me that she was super close to this girl in college. Not only did they hang out, but apparently, they even traveled together. It’s not as though we all live in a small town where this kind of shit happens regularly; we’re big city gals! Millions of people cross our paths on a daily basis!

I have two favorite “Small World” stories of my own:

1. In high school, Daisy was at my house, and I was forcing her to look through pictures of my childhood. She pointed to one particular picture and said, “How do you know Uncle ___?” She gave me pause. I corrected her: “How do you know MY Uncle ____?” It seems as though both Daisy’s parents and my folks were good friends with the same family, and we all (apparently) would attend their annual holiday parties, where the grown-ups would abandon us children with the nanny. We realized that as 2, 3, 4, 5 year olds, Daisy and I played together at these events. Unbeknownst to us, we were destined to become Heterosexual Life Partners 13 years later, and one county away. Freaky.

2. While my big brother was in his senior internship in college (and I a geeky high school Freshman, just beginning to befriend Daisy), he would often call me and tell me stories about his cool adult job. His favorite things to talk about were the old man teacher who kind of “mentored” him and the obnoxious brat in his class who seemed to enjoy making his internship more difficult. Fast forward 7 years: I’m taking my big brother to my boyfriend Buddy’s house to meet his family. Buddy and I had only been dating about 8 or 9 months at this point. When my big brother walked into Buddy’s house, he spied Buddy’s younger brother, and his eyes got wide. Buddy’s dad walked in the room and gave my brother a big hug. Turns out, that cool older teacher was BUDDY’S DAD, and the obnoxious student was BUDDY’S BROTHER! You read that right: my brother knew my in-laws 7 years before I even met my husband in the first place.

Does this shit ever happen to you? Please share your favorite “HOLY CRAP!” moments with us!

As always, thank you for reading and commenting.

-Violet

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Give me a poop-stained tee shirt any day.

7 Apr

Know how they say “the grass is always greener on the other side?

Sometimes, it really is.

I’m back to work now. My brief tenure as a stay-at-home-mother has ended, and I’m once again a government drone. Instead of cleaning the crap that comes out of my daughter’s diaper, I have to clean the crap that comes out of students’ mouths.

I know, I know: I signed up for this job. I went to school to do this, not once, but twice. I took four different certification exams for the privilege of teaching other people’s children. In this economy, I should be grateful I even have a job.

But here’s what I’ve learned from my experiences as a Working Mother and a Stay at Home Mom: the “SAHMs,” as we’ll now refer to them, have it better.

Wait! Wait! Before you condemn me and leave venomous comments on the post, read on.

Both sides of The Great Motherhood Divide have their benefits and struggles. I know this. I’m not diluted, and I lost my rose-tinted world in the pool at Frankenfurter’s house.

Mothers who stay at home have zero breaks and no days off. It is a literal 24/7 job. SAHMs exist in a veritable “Groundhog’s Day” of cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, fighting for naps, more cooking, more cleaning, erranding, routines, discipline, and then more cleaning. Staying at home often means making financial and material sacrifices. Fewer vacations, one-car families, fewer luxuries, and thinner bank accounts are realities for many SAHMs. People disparage the job and assume you just sit at home with your feet in Epsom salt. Stay at Home Mothers get little to no credit for their hard work.

Working mothers have to say goodbye to their child(ren) for the bulk of the day. They often miss milestones. They have to trust relatives or strangers at a day care to watch their kids and hope these other people don’t fuck them up. Even if they’re in a meeting where their attention is required, their minds are still on their kid’s diaper rash or slight fever, and they cannot give the same 110% to the job they were once able to.

But here’s where SAHMs win; here’s why, regardless of your personal feelings or the argument you may present, SAHMs have it better: they do for love.

As someone who spends her days serving people she does not love, I can honestly say I preferred the headaches of full-time motherhood to those of the working adult. I love my child. No matter how frustrating her nap schedule became, or how frequently I found Cheerios cemented to the ceiling, I was caring for the most important person in the world. Scrubbing the crap out of a watermelon-stained shirt may have been more difficult than explaining the nuances of Oedipus Rex to a teenager, but the results benefitted the love of my life. The vomit in my hair was lovingly placed there by my baby. The run-away poop on my arm from a diaper blow out was deposited by my favorite person. Most of the dishes I washed until my cuticles bled were a result of feeding my child. To me, that is significantly more rewarding than helping a teenager apply to college any day.

There are aspects of my job I like. When 20 year old, 200-pound young men cry upon learning I’ve returned to teach them, I melt a little. Creating that “spark;” that “epiphany” moment when the student finally understands a concept that previously eluded him is as professionally rewarding as it gets. The reality of my situation is that I’m going to be in the workforce for quite some time. I have spent a lot of money and energy on advancing my credentials, and I have to continue using them. Our financial situation requires that I remain employed. Because of my teaching assignment, I’m among the highest-paid teachers in my area; if I were to leave, there’s no way I’d be able to find another job elsewhere (or at a different time) that could match my current salary. I’m going to continue donning high heels and liquid eyeliner for quite some time. I’m at peace with this.

My only wish is for those of you who have the privilege of staying home with your children to know how truly “good” you have it.

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