momming: it's the bomb-ing


The diapers. The tantrums. The endless housework. We have all read approximately 8,000 Facebook statuses, blog posts, and mommy manifestos that confirm it: Momming is hard, often thankless work.

But let's not forget, it's also kind of awesome. Here is a list of some of the things that I love about my job:

I'm my own boss. Sure, I collaborate with pretty demanding clients, but I get to pick the schedule, the daily activities, the workplace culture.

Gone are the days of staring longingly out the window in the middle of June, thinking, Man was not meant to live under fluorescent lighting... look at all those people outside, walking around... what do they even do that they can just wander in the sunlight and fresh air? They're probably all bartenders. Me? On a sunny beautiful day, I get to go outside and play in a park or take a walk.

Gone are the days of having to stand at the bus stop holding my rain coat hood over my bangs and ignoring the drunk guy who wants to know what I'm reading (I am not holding a book.) Me? On a rainy morning I can take the boys out for pancakes or keep everyone in PJ's under a blanket fort until 3:00 pm.

My work matters. Say what you will about the challenges of Momming. But you never wonder if your work means anything at the end of the day. It's not like hanging up tank tops or refolding the sweater stack. I mean... sometimes Momming can be repetitive and maddening. Like folding the sweater for the thousandth time, you sometimes find yourself wondering how many fucking times you'll have to chirp "can you say please, Chicken?" But Momming doesn't feel pointless in the sweater-folding way. It's never like, "JESUS I can't believe I'm wasting all this fucking time teaching my kid about how to show love and gratitude and respect. Why don't I just flush my day down the toilet instead?" 

I get instant, honest feedback. The kid falls asleep or he doesn't. The kid eats his lunch or he doesn't. That worked, or it didn't. No BS, no red tape, no running it by Dave in logistics. I try things, some work and some don't and OH but they let me know quickly which is which.

I get to be creative. When Chicken asks me to sing a Daddy song, I come up with a song about Daddy right there on the fly.

Let me just say, Wayne Brady I am not. Usually it's just a regular song with the word "Daddy" added in. Past Daddy songs include (ahem) "My Daddy Lies over the Ocean," "How Much is that Daddy in the Window?" "Itsy Bitsy Daddy," "We are the Daddies," (he likes Queen) "Daddy Mia" (and ABBA.) When Chicken gets into a rocket phase, I get to design a rocket-themed art project. When Chicken goes on a diaper-changing strike, I get to figure out how to fool him into submitting to a diaper change before the swollen, soggy fist of pee in his diaper actually starts dragging on the ground behind him. 

I love my co-workers. They are merciless and selfish and throw up on me and throw my iPhone on the ground. Yet I'm biologically programmed to forget all of that when they smile or giggle, mispronounce a word, or fart. Those shameless little tooty baby farts just kill me. Can't help it. Love, love, love my co-workers.

I can do shit on off-hours. I can't remember the last time I had to crowd-surf to the gym or grocery store on a weekend afternoon or a weeknight after 6.

All that work bullshit I don't miss at all? Yep. Still don't miss it. 
- TPS reports. Timesheets. Expense reports.
- Buzzwords. Corporate speak.
- Team morale rallies. "How does it feel to know you work at the BEST DARN ENVELOPE GLUE SUPPLY COMPANY IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION? I CAN'T HEEEAR YOU!"
- Pretending that your work makes you happy. "I'm just so passionate about selling Brazilian waxes. I feel that I'm making a difference to these women. And, like, their husbands or whoever. The point is, I'm making the world a better place. Or at least, you know, a smoother, less yucky place."
- Other people's gray, gluey mystery noodle leftovers in the fridge.
- The guy at the desk next to you who takes his shoes off.
- Requesting vacation time. At least with my job, I know I don't get any vacation time. Nobody's dangling it in front of me only to be like, "Heeeeey, Katie, whaaaaat's happening. About that vacation request? Yyyyeeeeahhhh... I know you said it's your grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, but Sharlene has tickets to Bonnaroo and she was hired 3 days before you, which makes her technically your boss, and since she's going to be gone for a week you have to stay here to do her work too... play a little catch-up. Mmmmkay?"


I have no delusions of human rights or legal protection. When you work at a job and they make you come in on Saturday morning for overtime you and your friends all IM each other and eventually someone (probably you, just own it) asks "Is that even legal? My friend is in law school and I'm totally asking her."

Yo, I'm a mom. It's the wild fucking West up in here. Not only do I work 168 hours a week for free, but my kid can scratch my gums, stomp on my glasses, grab my lunch from out of my hand and stuff it down his pants, call me "big hair Mommy," or pull down my pants at the zoo.

Ain't no court gonna let me sue my toddler for harassment. Ain't no cop gonna write me up a restraining order because Chicken likes to throw wooden blocks. Ain't no lawyer gonna listen to me tell my tale of Momming and say, "yeah... I think you've got a case for unsafe working conditions. I assume you have documentation?"

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CAN'T HEAR US. 

But you know what? I know where I stand. Aight, shorties. It's on.

___

Yep, I'm about to go pick up the cheerios that someone decided would taste better if they were first licked and then strewn about on the carpet and under the dresser in his bedroom, so as to collect the maximum seasoning of cat hairs and dead skin cells.

And I still stand by everything I just wrote here. Shit is hard. But it's also great.




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