February 9, 2010

today, I'm a mommy blogger...

I didn't go to college
~gasp~
~~
even while I was in high school
all I ever wanted to do was be a mom
~
so when my counselor mentioned dental assisting
I heard
"only a year of schooling"
and
I was hooked
~~
I went
I conquered
I specialized in orthodontics
I worked
and
then I became a mom
~at 23 and again at 27~
who stayed home
~
granted
throughout the years
I worked a little bit
a day or two
here and there
as
a pediatric receptionist for my daughter's doctor
~having an on call doctor who is your boss is a huge perk~
a freelance interior designer
~did you know black is a neutral~
a dental receptionist
~because the office was right down the road and of course I was trained~
a cashier at old navy
~for the discount of course~
and
then fell in love
with children in foster care
for three whole years
while
volunteering as a casa
which
left my heart forever unbalanced
since I left little bits of it behind
with all of the children I worked with
~
but
my real title all these years
has been
a
a stay at home mom
a
SAHM
~~
on another blog
this topic was brought up as she felt herself cringing when someone asked
"do you work"
and
she reluctantly replied
"no"
~~
there isn't one mom I know that doesn't work
~~
chances are
she worked hard to get pregnant in the first place
and
I know she worked hard for 9 months carrying what felt like a moving bowling ball
and
then even harder
delivering that bowling ball
or
bowling balls
and
when those kids
learned to walk
into everything head first
~
vomited on every clean blanket in the house in the middle of the night
~
ran at lightening speed toward traffic glowing like a neon sign saying "see me"
~
screamed loud enough to crack small windows
~
used a toilet {almost}
~
hid under a clothing rack in a department store
which caused your heart to stop more than once
~
went through puberty
testing how tightly your hair actually is attached to your head
~
drove
~
rode in cars with kids who looked suspiciously like members from kiss
~
dated
and
god only knows what else
SHE WAS WORKING
~~
full on
24 hours a day
~~
so to moms everywhere
if anyone asks
"do you work"
hope instead
they ask
"so, umm, and what do you do"
so
you can reply
"anything I want to"
because
really
you can do anything you want to
~~
if that surprise afternoon vomit
from your
"but she looked totally healthy"
child
doesn't get cleaned up until
after you've watched
the one episode of ellen you've been waiting for all week
who's going to know
or
if you want to walk right by
your toddler
~that has become one with the grocery store floor~
acting as if you don't know him
because
you said "no" to a box of hot tamales
and
now everyone within a mile radius has heard about it
and
those close by
are wide eyed while watching the gymnastic like temper tantrum
you can
and
if you hide the car keys from your 16 year old
and
pull off a full fledged
"I have no idea where you left them, I guess you'll have to stay home with us tonight"
straight faced
you get extra points
~~
so
moms everywhere
go now
and
do whatever you want to do
because
really
you can
::
and
for moms who work outside the house
especially full time
I bow to you
*



51 comments:

  1. BRILLIANT, Beth! Absolutely Brilliant!

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  2. i know how you feel. i have been asked that question the last 25 years and always felt slightly lazy that i didn't have an outside job. but we have two great kids and now i don't care if someone thinks i am lazy! i love being at home and won't trade my "job" for all the expense accounts, and degrees in the world...oh and now i take pictures...

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  3. this is so great - i, too, used to cringe at that question, but not any more.

    now, if i'm asked if i work, i simply reply...

    24/7.

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  4. i have been a stay at home mom for 15 years now wouldn't trade it, so happy that we have chosen this, and were able to, feeling lucky 24/7
    kt

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  5. So true, Beth! So darned true.

    I became a dental assistant, too, and that was not an easy year of school!

    I just want to share something...no matter how much you love your family & being a SAHM, nothing prepares you for the day that you come home from visiting your mother & you see your husband has the back of the van filled with his clothes & his pillows and he's leaving you, for someone else, and you're 43 years old & your youngest kid is 9, and you haven't worked since a month before he was born. You have no savings of your own, no career contacts & the house is about to go into foreclosure because (surprise!) you were too stupid to pay attention & notice that he wasn't paying the mortgage anymore. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I thought my marriage was forever. My son & I are trying to pick up the pieces. I hope that he doesn't see me as a failure...and I hope I can raise him to be a better man than his father is.

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  6. Thank you so much for this post! I feel like I am working all the time and my husband seems to think I have the cushiest job in all the land.

    So thank you for saying all this and more.

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  7. Brava, Beth ! Brava to Moms !

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  8. Oh Amen to all that. I work two days a week and those are by far my easiest days out of the seven. And at the same time they are my least favorite days. One thing that has stood out for me this last week as I've been very sick ("just" a bad cold) is that mom's don't get sick days. We still have to cook, clean, clean up, drive, take care of everything we normally do WHILE we are barely able to put one foot in front of the other or lift our head off the pillow. We have to call up that one grey cell to function so that we don't maim or poison our kids while feeling totally incoherent and incapable. I bow to any woman who is a SAHM.

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  9. Whoa Beth, you could have been talking about me! Thanks for this! As you know I just became a SAHM (LOVE the term) about 1-1/2 yr ago. Worked full time before that for 18 yrs and this has taken some getting used to. I cringe when someone asks what I do. My latest response is reconnecting with my kid and the artist I squashed. Or sometimes I response "Play". By the way, yes, let's go away to somewhere warm. If you ride on back you can take lots of cool shots of things I wish I could as I speed by.

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  10. Oh Beth soooo true. I was a 'total'stayathomemom for the first 5 years. And it seemed like I was coming from Mars...duh!!! Like I couldn't talk about anything else anymore than prices of diapers....yuk. I always needed to kind of proof myself. Then I started to work a couple of hours a week and still do so.

    It's great to hear about the tantrums etc etc etc. I wouldn't have wanting to miss them in the world. And still today I will be home when the kids come home from school, they will be cold from the freezing weather and I will be in a warm home waiting for them with hot coco and home made apple cinamon cake....those are the best days of there lives. And this is what they always always and always will remember (not how much money I bring home).
    So again thanks for talking about it.

    Sweet hugs to a MOM from a MOM.

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  11. i am a happy empty-nester now, but i was a SAHM for 13 years and then only started working one day a week...being a SAHM was the best job i ever had! i feel blessed to have had the opporrtunity! at first when someone would ask "what do you do?", i would reply "i'm JUST a mom." later i realized the "JUST" word was ridiculous, and started saying "i'm a mom with two full time jobs, named ash and ian."

    great post!
    erin

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  12. Well said my friend.....same at home mom is the hardest job. There is no lunch break or 10 minute break and the pay well sometimes it stinks!!

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  13. Me too--on many levels!

    And bless you Cindy in comment #5. My heart goes out to you.

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  14. It's not true feminism or 'liberation' when any one of our Sistahs feels she's 'less than' any other, for ANY reason -- because she's a full time mom, or because she's black (or blond), or because she voted for This Guy instead of That Guy or WHATEVER. All this horseshit hoopla about bringing home the bacon AND frying it up in the pan? puhlease ... I worked full time while raising my sons, because I HAD to, not because that ever ever ever would have been my choice. To have the choice? that's the point, isn't it? And not to apologize for or hesitate about claiming it.

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  15. and while ranting (above) I forgot to say that it's my adamant goal and purpose and focus to be able to be the stay at home GRANDMOTHER who takes care of my grandchildren while my son(s) work. Childcare being ridiculously expensive and SO scarily, eerily risky ... forgettabout it.

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  16. although, i'm not a mom, i agree with you wholeheartedly. i know so many who work tirelessly day and night.

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  17. Nice tribute to the hard working moms, ones who work at home and also moms who leave the home to work somewhere else. They all work hard. You are so right.

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  18. i really, really loved this post. i can totally relate! i have five girls and i work from home...and it is a 24/7 job. it has benefits too! thank you for posting this.

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  19. oh me too, me too!!! I love this. I love being a SAHM, there was never anything else that I wanted to be. I know that so many women wish for it, but cannot seem to do what it takes to get there. For them I feel sad.
    But I love being home... even with 3 1/2 teens in the house...
    Oh, can you remind me that I wrote this when they get home from school.!!!!
    Thanks.
    I love the hiding of the car keys!!! nice one!

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  20. Being a MOM is the hardest job in the world!!!!!! Now I am a grandma! LOL! Much better job title and the job itself, rocks!!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  21. wonderful wonderful words of wisdom... love it!!! and love the picture too, you are so talented.

    p.s. check out my site, I am trying to raise money and would love for blog friends to help me spread the word. Thanks Beth!!

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  22. My mother (as a police officer) always asked "Do you work outside of the home" rather than "Do you work". They even changed department policy to doing this because they got much warmer receptions.

    A friend of mine says her occupation is "domestic goddess" whenever asked.

    All mothers work whether they leave the house for a job or not. I work outside of the home but I really admire that some women can stay home for the most important work.

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  23. Bravo! This is wonderful. It belongs on a VERY BIG Mother's Day card!

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  24. BRILLIANT! Just BRRRRRRRRILLIANT!

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  25. AMEN sister! I am a SAHM...and I work harder than I did when I was working my salaried job 60 hours a week! The worst was when I worked full time and come home to my baby...I only lasted a year doing that. Oh single Mom's...you are the hardest working of all. I had a hard time at first admitting that I stay home...but now...pfffft...not anymore! I make no money and work full time 24 hrs a day. If I want to go out and get a pedicure...you bet your sweet ass I won't feel guilty doing it.

    Whew...sorry for the rant!

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  26. being a mommy is the greatest job in the world!!

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  27. intriguing photo and tribute ...

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  28. i didn't want to be a mommy earlier in life but it is one of the most rewarding experiences i continue to have. great post here.

    xo

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  29. So well said and beautifully written!

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  30. oh, how hard mothers work! i know how very hard they work...which is why i'm a weakling and hesitant to start having kids. but someday i'll have kids, and i'll know what it means to work and love harder than i ever have.
    love this post!

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  31. absolutley! -- i agree 100% -- nicely stated!:)

    It's the toughest job in the world and the very best one!

    xo

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  32. When I was a SAHM I always said I was working. They do work every minute of the day and sometimes nights too. I love that sometimes they can ignore certain behaviors and come out still loving the little guys/girls that throw tantrums in the aisle at the market or run as fast as they can in the wrong direction. Good luck to all the SAHM's out there.

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  33. being a Mom is the hardest, most rewarding job I ever had in my life. The benefits are unlimited,,,,and they last forever! Thank you Beth for an amazing story.

    write a book someday, OK?

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  34. RIGHT ON, BETH!!!

    I, personally, wouldn't change a thing about being a SAHM. Most rewarding career I have ever known!

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  35. Mine are grown and gone. I worked through their childhood, mostly part-time, some full. And then I came home and worked some more.
    It's nice to do whatever I want to do now. And I hope that some day they'll appreciate the sacrifices. Or maybe they do. I hope so.

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  36. Beth this is such a great post, I cannot imagine any mother not agreeing with everything you have said. Love this post....:-) hugs

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  37. This made me tear up a bit. Beautiful. absolutely said with perfection

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  38. I've always hated the Mommy wars! This is a fantastic post Beth and so spot on.

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  39. This is a beautiful post. Your photos are wonderful as well.

    I was touched by it because I am a mom too...of 2 biological children and of 2 foster children.

    It will be a long road with our 2 foster children but it is so worth it.

    Glad I found your blog.

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  40. i cried reading this. tears just dropped out of my eyes. i "worked" my ass off!
    thank you, sweetheart. this means the world to me, to read this.
    xoxo

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  41. I'm not a mom, but I am sending this to my mom, because it reminded me yet again, just how much I appreciate her :) and reminded me how thankful i am to have her as my friend now that i've grown up enough to understand how wonderful she is! thank you.

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  42. Ohhhh Beth, this is so nice. Thank you for the gift of your words.
    Claudette (less random)

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  43. This is the most wonderful mother's day tribute I've read. We owe it to ourselves not to sell our work short.

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  44. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world and I think it makes you smarter than the average person. Well said, Beth.

    I don't have kids but I am a stay at home wife now. I too feel uncomfortable when people ask me what I do. I can't wait to tell those who ask, "anything I want."

    Ugh. Why do people put such emphasis on defining who we are by what kind of work we do?

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  45. Lovely, Lovely, Lovely!!!!! I have been a Mom for 40 some years and I quit working about 2 years ago (landscaper for 25 years) I am still a mother, I am still a wife and now I am a NANA. Yes, I work everyday at something and I am very proud of that fact. Thanks for sharing your Lovely Words on the subject.

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  46. Oh. You make my heart swell and smile.

    I cringed at that question for a few years. Tried to cover it up with little things that I did on the side for money like selling on eBay.

    What I wouldn't give to still be a SAHM so I could have things in order when they come home from school and then we could spend the whole evening playing.

    I don't regret one day that I was home. I tell people that I was a SAHM. AND...I say it with pride :)

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  47. Whatever I want to. That's exactly right. And whatever choice we make, it's only our family's business. No guilt. Amen, sister.

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  48. it has always been a very fond wish of mine to be a stay at home mom, unfulfilled at the moment, but soon to come true.

    i think it is great that you always knew what you wanted and that you had the family to support that. i grew up thinking moms HAD to work, then my daughter came and i realised this mom shouldn't. so hopefully soon, i will be able to say 'anything i desire' under job description.

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**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth