do you work she asks me

At the train table in Barnes & Noble.

Nanny: (gesturing to Buster) he's so cute!

Me: Oh, thank you.

Nanny: How old?

Me: 14 months.

Nanny: That's great. How fun.

Me: Yeah, it is. He's a challenge right now because he's running everywhere, but...

Nanny: Do you work?

Me: Uh... do you?

Nanny: What?

Me: Are you working?

Nanny: Yeah...?

Me: Me too.

Nanny: Oh! I thought you were their mom.

Me: I am.

Nanny: Oh... so... do you work, or do you stay home?

Me: Yes.

___

I'm sorry for being difficult. I know what you were asking.

And the answer is no.

No, I don't work.

I'm not at work right now. I'm here, at Barnes & Noble, with two toddlers, ON VACATION.

That's why I have my beach bag on my shoulder - wait, sorry, that's not a beach bag. It's an Ergo. With a toddler in it. Who is eating me. He's eating from my body. Because I find it restful and rejuvenating. Yes, that's why I've got that "sucked all the water out of my body" glow.

No, to answer your question, I don't work.

I'm just, like, so psyched to be here. I've been looking forward to this for months, crossing off days on my calendar, counting down to this day, when I would finally get to negotiate the fair distribution of train cars between my kid and 8 other kids I've never fucking seen before!

Seriously, I've been dreaming about it. I was like, omg what am I going to WEAR to the train table in August for the fucking debate over the terms of the Treaty of Train Versailles? I made a Pinterest board entitled "cute vacay train negosh outfits." I was going to do a maxi dress with some gladiator sandals and a straw hat, and like, some big earrings.

Wait, what am I wearing today?

Oh. Right. Not that.

People are so right when they're like, "you're so lucky you get to stay home with the kids." I am! So lucky! I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky.I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky.

I'm so lucky I can't stop crying about how lucky I am and how obvious it is to everyone that I'm so lucky that I don't have to work. Because, to answer your original question, I don't. Work.

Wiping corn kernels out of Buster's ass crack? So. Refreshing.

Reminding Chicken to sit on his bottom during lunch? Every ten seconds? My fave.

It's not work. None of it. Not boring. Not tedious. Not annoying. Not rewarding. Not challenging. Not scary. It's definitely not the way I identify myself to others. It's definitely not the source of my self-worth. Because it's not work. I don't do that. I just do this:


ohmygosh
please
pretty please
let me pick this up
i just
oh man
i would love to

I'm sorry for being difficult.

I know what you were asking.

You were asking do I have a career.

You were asking do I get paid.

You were asking do I employ a nanny.

You were asking so you could know who I am.

Or maybe you were just trying to start a conversation.

But regardless, it's time to stop asking people if they fucking work.

We all work.

Everyone with a child works.

Career moms work.
Stay-at-home moms work.
Career dads work.
Stay-at-home dads work.

I work.

And to be 100% crystal fucking clear:

I'm talking to you, mother who is also a lawyer/doctor/teacher/bikini waxer/receptionist.

You are not less of a mom because you work outside the home.
I am not less of a mom because I work at home.

We are the exact same amount of mom. Which is 100 fucking percent mom.

We all work. Sometimes we love our work. Sometimes we hate our work. But at the end of the day the thing that makes it work isn't whether we enjoy it -  it's whether or not it's voluntary. And it's not. Not for any of us.

You're not my enemy, and this isn't a battle cry against you. I'll be the first person to tell someone to fuck off if he or she belittles your hard work. I'm on your team. I want you on mine. I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of your wrath, and yo, you are fierce.

So I'm just going to tell you what your nanny said to me today.

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