Tuesday, October 28, 2014

GetRealMama, it's time to put on some heels!

The times, they are a changing.

This mama is going back to work FULL TIME. IN AN OFFICE.

This is a big deal.  I went back to working full time after my eldest was 12 weeks, and my maternity leave was completed.  That lasted only a couple of months before my mama heartstrings were pulled and I felt that I needed more time with my cute little bundle of wonderful.  So I cut back to a four days per week schedule.  I had Friday's off for mommy and me classes, play groups, and errands.  I cherished those Fridays, and I don't for a second regret that decision.  In the years since his birth my work schedule has fluctuated, particularity as we added brother #2 and brother #3. I experimented with staying at home full time, which while was an *epic fail*  taught me a few things.  One, I'm not crafty. I'm not going to be the kind of stay at home mama who sews awesome dinosaur Halloween costumes, makes bento box lunches that artfully craft food to resemble Dora The Explorer, or uses recycled egg cartons to create anything. Second, I get bored easily. I can only read that God damn Lighting McQueen book so many times before I start to lose it. My attention span for playing Hotwheels is about 3.2 minutes. Third, I'm claustrophobic and I like to spend money way, way way too much. "Staying at home" meant one too many $250 purchases at Target, just to..."get out."  So over the next few years I did contract and part time work.   Most recently I have worked somewhere between 24-32 hours a week, from home and while in many ways it has been wonderful, it has also left me feeling lonely and unfulfilled. I have felt as though I was straddling two worlds, part stay at home mom, part working mom, but I didn't quite fit into either category.  Too busy and stressed to volunteer for the PTA and not dedicated enough to advance my career. I knew that something had to give.

 I am a recruiter, a woman who has always derived her energy from interacting with others.  While working from home afforded me amazing flexibility which has been nice for my family, it has slowly sucked the life out of me.  I need to be around people. Specifically grown-ups. And while I dearly love my children, I feel the need to be in the workforce.  I want face to face adult relationships, staff meetings and occasional happy hours. I want to feel I'm a valuable player on an awesome team.  I want  to get the hell out of my ratty yoga pants and into a decent pair of heels.

So I did it.  I accepted a full time recruiting gig with a great company. I have an office in downtown Denver. I will have coworkers, business cards and occasional travel.  I am thrilled.  Excited. And yes a little scared.  Change is scary. Will I be successful? Will my kids be happy? Will I? Does this decision make me a bad mother?

I'm a firm believer that reasonable risk is a good thing.  This is a big step, and a bit of a risk, but I'm ready. I'm ready for a change. I'm ready to leave my basement and reenter the world. I'm ready to take the leap of faith, that if I am happier and more fulfilled, my family will reap the benefits too.

So cheers to all of you moms and dads out there who have made these difficult decisions for yourselves. Cheers to the stay at home dads, the part time working moms, the parents who don't have a choice and those that decide to work outside the home. We all try and do what's best for our families, and we will keep trying until we get it right.

I feel I have made the right decision. I'm feel excited about this next chapter in my life.  I feel....good!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What To Expect: Seymour You're Doing It Wrong!

What To Expect When You Are A 40 Year Old Mother Of Three School Aged Boys

Dear Moms (No. You are no longer a mommy. You will never be a mommy again.),

 You no longer have the time to read a full book about parenting while lovingly patting your nice round belly and dreaming of the new life inside.  You no longer have naps. You have been told that plopping your kids in front of electronic devices is a cardinal sin for which you will burn in a fiery hell infested with SpongeBob and very sharp Lego pieces strategically placed to meet your barefoot at 5 o'clock in the morning. With your busy lifestyle, I thought it would be best to simply break life down into bullet points, something you can skim as you single-handedly  whip up three PBJs (one hold the jelly, add honey, one crusts removed light peanut butter and one cut into quarters) while creating a clever Pinterst worthy science project due tomorrow. So here you have it, what to expect when you are a 40-something mother of three school aged boys: 

  • Random strangers will stop telling you how adorable your children are, and if they do, you should be afraid. No seriously back away from the creepy pedophile-child abductor and flee.
  • Worried about your social calendar? Don't be! It will be booked solid for the foreseeable future with school fundraisers, soccer games, school fundraisers, baseball games, school fundraisers, basketball games, school fundraisers, birthday parties and hey, did I mention, school fundraisers?
  • You will now actually have to actively budget for birthday party gifts and.... school fundraisers. 
  • Yes! You will still get me-time, have no fear.  It's called, the dentist, the gyno, cleaning the bathrooms*, a mammogram and maybe, just maybe, a haircut.
  • *Clean & bathroom are two words that will actually never be uttered (honestly) again. 
  • You will be stumped, on a regular basis by your third graders math homework. 
  • You may find yourself horrified when your six year old asks, upon seeing your naked belly if he is going to have a new brother. 
  • You will smile when you hear "Hi Zack's Mom" and cringe when you here "Mam" far more often than you would like. 
  • You will still get plenty of free parenting advice, don't worry! Nobody will be shy about telling you what you are doing wrong and how you are permanently damaging your offspring with  too much sugar, glutton, rules, lack of discipline, over protection, coddling, swearing, PG movies, processed food and.... you get the point. Seymour, You're doing it wrong! (Random Simpsons reference for you fans.) 
  • You will feel guilty on a daily basis for your lack of participation in the PTA, unless you are in the PTA, in which case you will feel resented on a daily basis by non-participating parents who believe you should "get a life." 
  • You might contemplate getting a bumper sticker, like "soccer mom" or "proud parent of an honor role student" and then you will be overcome with an overwhelming disgust for yourself.
  • You are totally accustomed to seeing a pair of dirty underwear on your coffee table or a naked butt on the sofa. 
  • You are reminded on at least a weekly basis that you do not in fact have a penis, but a "gina", and this is regarded as an utter tragedy. 
  • You see your grocery bill skyrocketing, realizing that it is only going to get worse and worse and you wonder how the the Pilgrims did it without Walmart. 

I could go on, and perhaps there will be a second edition of What to Expect, but it's 9:30 on a Saturday night, and I'm a 40 year old mom of three school aged boys, and I need get to bed...... 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kargas Inc, Code of Conduct

Kargas Inc Code Of Conduct. 

Dear Kargas Inc Employees,

Thank for your time at our last all staff.  Based on the fact that several employees were shoving fingers in their ears while humming "I can't hear you" and no noticeable changes have resulted from our meeting I am concerned that my points did not come across.  In an effort to be very clear about company expectations I have created a Code Of Conduct.  I expect you to read these over until committed to memory. For staff members who are unable to read, we are working on an animated tutorial featuring Spongebob, Dora and Bart Simpson.  

  1. In this company all staff members deserve to be treated with respect.  From this point forward if I witness name calling, physical threats, door slamming or eye rolling, I will take a 30 minute break in my personal office with a bottle of wine.  
  2. Regarding our company's eating areas, it is imperative that all staff members wear pants to meals.  In addition, as you know the restroom is located directly adjacent to the common eating area.  It is required that you close the door when using the facility. 
  3. While we here at Kargas Inc appreciate artistic expression it is not acceptable to carve tick-tack-toe games into fine furniture, or to use permanent marker on clothing, walls, body parts, floors, furniture or bedding.
  4. In order to reduce the risk of a rat infestation we request that you do not leave cups of milk or half eaten sandwiches in hidden places throughout the facility.  
  5. Please remember that I am the CEO of this company, not Stupid-Idiot-Jerk-Snot-Butt-Fart. Please call me "Mom" "Boss" or "Our Queen." 
  6. Our current finances due not allow for us to hire an entire kitchen staff.  Thus, we will require you eat the meal that is provided. We assure you that you will not die from the consumption of lasagna, vegetable soup or chicken teriyaki. While senior leadership do not possess culinary degrees, we are trained in food safety and we have yet to kill anyone with our cooking. 
  7. Please take pride in your environment.  Office space and furnishings are expensive.  Please refrain from destroying company property whenever possible. We realize that our big screen tv was recently "accidentally" smashed when a Wii controller was inadvertently hurled at it after a lost game of Super Mario Brothers Galaxy, but please, please lets have fewer accidents.  

Please note that this list is fluid and we reserve the right to continually amend and add to our code of conduct.   

Thank you for your time. 

With Little Hope Of Real Change,

Mom, CEO, Queen, Boss.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Yom Kippur: At Home

So we are in the midst of the High Holidays. Today in fact,  most of my fellow MOT's are in   synagogue. They will fast. They will reflect. They will repent.

I don't belong to a temple. I don't observe most of the Jewish holidays.  Over the past few years I have made half-hearted attempts to embrace Jewish culture and tradition mostly because I wanted to share this with my children. Zachary and Evan attended a Jewish preschool. Each year we light the menorah, I have taken the boys solo to family friendly Rosh Hashanah services and we have attempted to create something that resembles a seder.

But this year, on the holiest of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur, I sit at home.  We had soccer this morning. Errands to run. My husband is in Kansas City for the weekend. And in all honestly, I have had a pretty lousy week.

Monday, I rear ended a truck. Yes. It was my fault.

Thursday a visit to the orthopedist resulted in orders for an MRI, which will likely reveal that my ankle has not properly healed and I will require surgery.

Friday morning after discussing a variety of symptoms at my annual physical my doctor informed me that I am in fact probably in peri-menopause.  She said something about my ovaries petering out. Drying up. I received orders for my first mammogram and a bone density scan.  Welcome to FORTY.

Friday afternoon, my boss called me and basically told me that I am being replaced by a local recruiter, and that the remote situation was not meeting the business needs. It came as a surprise as I had felt very good about work in the past couple of months.

And my husband is in Kansas City.

So I was prepared to be in poor spirits this weekend. In no mood for services. In no mood to repent for my sins when it feels like this whole week has been one punishment after the next.

At 11:00 last night as I lay awake, unable to find sleep once again, I started thinking. Perhaps the timing of all of this couldn't be more perfect.  Whether I like it or not circumstances have pushed me into a time of change and uncertainty. I can bury my head under the covers and cry, or I can embrace a new start and learn from my experiences.  I can reflect on what I have done in this past year to contribute to my misfortune, and I can admit to myself what I need to work on in the coming year.

This new year is full of opportunity. In addition to the mistakes I have made in the past twelve months, I have also done some pretty awesome shit. I have made strides in understanding where I excel professionally, and now I will have the chance to follow my passions. I have learned a great deal about self acceptance, and I can live more comfortably with my perceived "flaws." I have opened my mind in many ways which I believe will ultimately  open myself up to greater happiness.

Although not I'm not in synagogue, I believe this weekend I have embraced the spirit of the this holy day, perhaps more than in any year past.

So I wish my friends and family Shana Tova, a sweet New Year, and G'mar Chatima Tova, may you be inscribed for goodness.