Second careers

I came across a really cool blog today and it reminded me of this old crib notes. Of course since I wrote this I've had to return to working full time, so it's a little bittersweet.

Motherhood is my second career. And, as an enthusiastic amateur parent (I figure I can go pro once they head off to college), there are times that I long for my first career.

It's never about wanting to go back to the actual type of work I used to do. I just want to go to the office where everyone can manage the basics. Where people feed and clothe themselves without insisting on the shiny black shoes that were last seen outside under the trampoline, which is now a muddy morass only a demented crocodile would venture into. Where people use their regular names and no one runs around referring to herself as either a horse or a princess or an action hero.

In the office I had a title that lasted for years and didn't have to suddenly go from being a fairy godmother, an animal trainer, and a queen in the space of five minutes. (Okay, so I like the queen part, especially when I get to wear the crown.)

In the break room we chatted about television programs without mentioning a talking turtle, monkey sidekick or story-telling elephant.

Back in those days I never had to mop the bathroom twice in one day (I'll spare you those details), clean breakfast cereal out of my floor mats or read seventeen picture books in a single sitting. I can't remember a single time I had to break out the baby wipes, nor did I ever, ever, say the word 'poop.'

It was a different world.

There are some similarities between the work place and being a full time mom. Just like at the office, I still have to come up with creative explanations to address long-standing problems. For example, now I have to explain that Barbie is recovering from bunion surgery and has to go barefoot for another week because her shoes were lost about five minutes after we got her home from the toy store.

I still have to balance competing interests within the organization. Sometimes we have to flip a coin to decide which book we are going to read first: the Magic Tree House--Hour of the Olympics or Moo Says the Cow.

I have to work long after everyone else has left to prepare for another day. Lunches have to be packed, clothes have to make it out of baskets and into the drawers, and I have to clean up the debris of the day's activities.

And I still have to attempt to calm unreasonable people. Only this time the people are much shorter and tend to cry when they don't get their way. Well, actually, that last part IS a lot like the office I used to work in.

I used to come home from the office and see my children for two, maybe three hours in a day. I'd try to reconnect on the weekends, when I wasn't flying out for meetings. Now I live in their world 24-7, where horses talk, Barbie is obsessed with pink and nobody but me can reach the breakfast dishes.

All and all, it's been a good career move. While I could use a little less mop time, I am proud to say that I've developed a pretty decent whinny.