During my sabbatical, as the sleepless nights and my lack of creative vision continued, I needed some kind of outlet for my twitchy typing fingers and decided to update my resume on LinkedIn to keep me busy.
As I browsed through my thesaurus looking for power words like master, impeccable, and wizard, I started to compare the skill level of my professional self to my alter ego -
Elizabeth the Mother.
In meetings and presentations in the workplace, I feel relaxed, confident, poised and well-dressed.
In my parenting position I am often the epitome of the words klutz, unrefined, and soiled.
For example, last year and 6 months pregnant, I brought my son to the fire house to thank the paramedics who helped him when he broke his arm. Raymond composed a thank you note and we brought treats as a small token of our appreciation.
As I spoke with the all-male crew, I reached into my purse to find a pen and instead unearthed a tampon. Laughing out loud, I burst out the only response I could summon from my humiliated brain:
“I guess I won’t be needing this for a while!”
Another embarrassing display in my charge of being a parent, involved my daughter gently lifting the back of my skirt in front of a crowd of at least 20 people at a local maple tree sap demonstration. Of course I couldn’t moon the crowd with cute undies, I had to wear my granny panties that day.
Some days, as a mother, I feel like a flailing intern, uncomfortable and literally caught with my pants down (or up!). And as I write about my experiences and share my triumphs and troubles with you, dear reader, I am finding not everyone is comfortable with the truth.
Honesty is often unpleasant and messy.
But I feel comfortable in a community of people who are a little rumpled. Friends who do not mind when I appear in public with accidental snot on my pants and baby spit up on my back.
After I updated my resume, I jotted down a list of achievements from my parenting position and can safely conclude that after 5 years in the field of child rearing, I know I am gearing up to be promoted.
- I am seasoned in laughing at myself.
- I can catch a Lego being thrown at my head and can patiently negotiate.
- I have successfully planned 8 birthday parties.
- I can competently wrangle 3 kids under the age of 6 through the grocery store with out losing anyone or having a meltdown. Usually.
- I am profitable in love.
And while I might not be paid, I am still reviewed each night and feel complete satisfaction knowing I worked my hardest when:
-my 5-year-old says, “Good night, Mama” in a fake burp voice
-my 3-year-old requests to snuggle with me and kisses my cheek over and over again
-I hear the soft sound of gas being passed from my 4-month-old as I lay her down in her crib
Sure, I have not have mastered the art of parenting yet, but I can certainly declare I am no longer an entry-level mother. Thousands of hours have been spent wiping tears, coloring pictures, washing dirty hands, and rocking crying babies at 3 AM.
Each year of parenting immerses me into situations that prepare me for the next, arming me with tools I need to raise my three children.
I have come to realize, I need to stop fighting the tough days and dig deep inside my heart to enjoy each level of my profession. While I might not be an expert, I am certainly motivated and willing to learn on the job!
What stage of parenting is your favorite? The baby stage? The preschool years? Tweens? When they move out?
Thank you so much for reading! I am happy to be back in the writing game and look forward to sharing what happened during this monthlong “break”.