Although I’ve been home with my kids for the last 5 years, I have never thought of my situation as a permanent break from the workforce.
Don’t get me wrong; I have no regrets with my current at home position at all, in fact I love being able to be here at this stage in the game. There are some things from the workforce that I miss though like the adult interaction, for example. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons I started blogging.
Conversations with a then 5, 3, and 1 year old kids can only take an adult so far. You start to realize that your brain needs another level of engagement when you seriously begin answering Dora with, “The Map! The Map, damn you!”
Next year my youngest will be starting all day Kindergarten, so recently I’ve been thinking about what I’ll be doing with my free time while all three kids are in school all day. Writing? Trying to get back into the workforce? Sitting around in my PJ pants, eating bon-bons and watching soap operas?
Each scenario has clearly has its benefits.
Thinking further, what would I do if I returned to the workforce? Go back to corporate training (which was my last gig), or perhaps try something new? At first I was a bit worried about my resume gap, but then, as I thought about it, parenting has given me all kinds of new skillz! In fact, should I decide to return to work, I’d have so many new opportunities to choose from thanks to all the new qualifications I’ve developed since becoming a parent.
1. Cruise Director – From the time my kids were old enough to sit up on their own, even before they were able to speak, I’ve been getting the look that says, “Entertain me!” Of course now they are old enough to speak, and unless it’s allotted screen time, I usually have at least one kid per 20 minutes audibly expressing their boredom and their need to tell me they don’t know what to do! Of course, I can’t say they always like my suggestions. So whether cruise activities were swimming, playing shuffle board, or cleaning their own cabins, this cruise director can always find something to do!
2. Hostage Negotiator – You may think I’m being dramatic, or that there would be no way that without proper training I could be qualified for a job like this, but if you’re entire family has ever been held up because your toddler refuses to put on pants so you can all go enjoy the zoo, park, or any other activity that society requires be done while wearing pants, then you know exactly what I’m saying. Sure, you’re the parent and you could just make her put on the damn pants, but then there’s crying, yelling, and other unpleasantries that I prefer to avoid before even stepping out the door. The key of course, is making her think that you’re on her side, and that you just want to help her. You gain her trust, speak in a soothing tone, and make her believe that wearing pants is her idea. After a standoff that lasts minutes, but feels like hours, she gives up and puts on pants! A win for the good guys! Until she says she has to pee…
3. Animal Trainer – I don’t mean to brag, but my kids are pretty much house trained. They nearly always pee in, on, or around a toilet. They will sit on command, especially if I’m offering a treat, and my kids will also even lay down when I (repeatedly) give the command (200 times) at bedtime. I know, it’s amazing, and it’s all thanks to my stellar training skills. I’m pretty sure this qualifies me to train just about any other kind of domesticated animal.
4. Circus Ring Leader – Not only do I have the skills to train animals, I am also able to run my house in a way that it almost looks like I’m purposefully orchestrating this family circus. My house guests marvel at my ability to tame the savage toddler while simultaneously another child in the next
ring room paints the dog’s face like a clown’s, all while the 3rd kid walks the tightropes that are my nerves by asking 9000 times if he can have a new video game. The floors resemble those you’d find under a big top too, with a variety of snacks like popcorn and peanuts, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that we housed elephants. If I really wanted to pull out all the stops, I am also able to double as the Bearded Lady if given a few weeks notice.
5. Chauffeur – This one requires little explanation to anyone with children. Whether it’s school, activities like sports or scouts, birthday parties, doctor’s appointments, or where ever your unlicensed youth need to go, it can sometimes feel like you’re living in your car. I even keep snacks and drinks, along with books for entertainment …for myself. Personally, I think I’d make a great professional driver be it as chauffeur or a cabbie since I’m already always in the car, my record is clear of accidents or violations, and at this point adding a fare device to charge a fee only seems fair.
6. Harry Potter House Elf – Just like a House Elf from Harry Potter, I am immensely devoted to the family which I serve. I work tirelessly for them, but unlike a Harry Potter House Elves, who can only be freed if their masters give them clothing, I can only be freed by the gift of clean clothing. Alas, a House Mom only truly becomes free once her masters start doing their own laundry. Looks like I’ve got a while left to serve….although this isn’t a job I’d look for in the workforce, I’m unfortunately over-qualified for the no-pay position.
7. Sewer Inspector – I think that most people, regardless of their experience level with children, go into parenting with the expectation that it’s messy at times. Of course, until you’re actually in it, you have no idea how far that actually goes, and how you may never look at a bathroom the same way again after potty training (in particular). Once they are potty trained, however, you’re not off the hook. I’ve retrieved so many items from toilets including (but not limited to): large wads of toilet paper, entire rolls of toilet paper, cardboard toilet paper rolls, HotWheels, Matchbox Cars, army men, plastic dinosaurs, a whole banana, tennis ball, sock, underwear, Legos, and a variety of plastic undersea animals (obviously). My toilet-fishing abilities might also qualify me for a spot on The Deadliest Catch…or at the very least a spot on a spin off, The Nastiest Catch.
8. Bug Breeder – I had never really sat down and thought about where people get mail order bugs, but if I had to guess, I bet some of them, like the kind people buy for ant farms, come from families with young children. At one point we cut out the middle man and had our own Pet Ants, much to my dismay. Come to think of it, I could also probably sell crickets too (that story still haunts me).
9. Pooper scooper – I’ve been down with O.P.P. (Other People’s Poop) for over eight years, and as much as it pains me to admit this, I’d be overly qualified for just about any job that involved the cleaning and/or disposal of poo.
10. Personal Assistant to a Diva- I’ve calmly and effectively been able to deal with insanely unreasonable people who get upset for no reason ( like when their sandwich is cut in triangles and not squares). I’m used to taking orders all day long, even ridiculous requests like “Please wipe my butt because I’m too tired!” (See again why I’d be good at #9) So working as a personal assistant to a Diva or someone like Meryl Streep’s character from The Devil Wears Prada would be no big thang. I mean, at least I’d be getting paid!
What jobs has parenting qualified you for? Do you think I should pursue a new career in any of these fields? Leave me a comment and let me know! I love hearing from you!