Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Behavior, circa 2003

You may have seen this before:


POSITION:  Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy

Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and 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 rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, 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, this time, 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, 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 can ultimately surpass you

None required unfortunately. 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 they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and this wish you could only do more.

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.
Well, this morning I woke up wanting no part of any of that.  Not permanently, just for a little bit.  I was tired and sore and just wanted to be the Ashley from back in 2003 when I could work hard and play hard and sleep hard with no one to rely on my except Chris, who actually rarely relies on me.  I wanted to spend the day lying in bed flipping between Bravo and the History Channel.  I wanted to eat frozen yogurt for lunch.  I wanted to sleep during the day with no guilt.  
I know how fortunate I am that I actually don't have the luxury to do any of that anymore but I did try and slip in a little of it while Lauren was napping, you know, just for old time's sake.  I bought a $2.99 movie on OnDemand for the big kids, let them have their candy from last night's dessert, and I took a nap.  A 2 hour nap.  Like, I went into my bedroom, shut the door, told them not to wake me unless someone was bleeding, and I was OUT.  It was awesome and almost guilt-free.  I woke up to two zombies in front of the TV with a couple candy wrappers on the floor around them.  It was kind of the equivalent of a frat party with passed out people on the couch surrounded by beer bottles.  I know it's no biggie.  And it's certainly not the first nap I've ever taken but this was movie! and candy! and a nice day outside! which makes it seem less ok.  
Whenever I pull a move that makes me want to hide from CPS I think of this picture.  At least I'm not this kid's mom.   
His mom is the one who needs to be writing a confessional about bad choices, not me.  Am I right?


  1. Ok- how many years until I can do that?

  2. Melissa, when the baby is sleeping and the Garrett is 6 you're good. You could probably do it before that if you trust no one will go into the kitchen or answer the door!

  3. The Garrett? WTH? I mean Garrett. Not that he's not super special but I really didn't mean to write The Garrett. And I didn't mean to leave Carson out. The Garrett will keep a close eye on him for you.


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