There’s also a certain uber-repetitive quality to my current job. When I worked in an office, I solved problems, and generally they stayed solved. (Except for that one odiferous employee I had to keep reminding to get a little closer to the soap.) I fixed things, they stayed fixed, and I was praised for it.
The problems in my current job range from petty (what do you mean, you don’t like hot dogs anymore?), to major (struggling with my son’s Asperger’s Syndrome). But rarely are these problems solved for any length of time. Massive piles of laundry mock me every day. My four-year-old son, who can do second-grade math, cannot take his own shoes off. Working on this is like banging my head against a very adorable brick wall.
Although lots of moms like to gush about the “benefits” of being a Stay-at-Home Mom (the love! the bonding!), in fact the benefits suck eggs. There are no cash bonuses, no vacation days, no sick days. (I do not call in the Guard unless I am vomiting blood or in labor.) Holidays mean more work, not less. The 401(k) I’ve been ignoring for nine years is a sad, lonely soul.
Don’t get me wrong. I love being a Stay-at-Home Mom. I’m fortunate that we make it work financially. (Although the cost of putting four kids in day care would probably be more than I can make as an HR Manager.) And I know the many ways in which my life would be more complicated if I worked in an office. I do miss talking about
Sometimes the media likes to imply that there’s some kind of battle going on between Working Moms and Stay-at-Home Moms. I’ve spent lots of time throwing back margaritas in “mixed company,” and I’ve never witnessed any of this. The truth is we’re all way too exhausted to judge each other. None of us is “just” anything – whether we’re paid for our hard work or not.
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