I swore I’d never be one of those moms who over-scheduled her kids (as much for my sanity as for theirs) and I’ve honored this commitment until this year when it seems as the children get older, their activities multiply like dust. Without engaging in much, my week filled with cross country track, crew, and theater for the high schooler and musical theater, piano, and soccer for the first grader.
I mapped out my week on the calendar, following a color-coding system, which also includes my husband’s professional clown gigs and my heart sped up. Where is there a day with nothing on it? Pink, blue, purple, green on every day, with the calendar days also having “More” hyperlinked to show me more than the little daily square can show.
I’m grateful for my decade of experience as an account manager at an advertising agency because modern motherhood requires multitasking extraordinaire.
Before I committed to full-time writing I contemplated returning to a corporate job. I wasted several hours poking around LinkedIn and MediaBistro and some other career-oriented websites and while their job requirements seemed achievable, my qualifications were of another caliber altogether. The last six years, outside the corporate world, I have accumulated a skill set which isn’t easily transcribed on a traditional resume.
In addition to “running the household,” which involves keeping my family alive and our apartment from becoming mold-infested and the toilet paper stocked, I brainstormed a few critical roles I’ve occupied:
Accountant: family and business taxes annually
Research Pro: New fridge, best dance class, best soccer league, best gymnastics classes for 6-year-olds, best piano lessons, best drama classes, best camps, ice skating, what causes a rash without a fever, how long until you see symptoms for Lyme Disease? From appliances to childhood enrichment to medical health, I’ve read twenty encyclopedias worth of research.
Professional Chef: Daily vegetarian and pescatarian organic food preparation; no processed food.
Fashion Designer: Camp color war means I’m spray painting and fringing (real verb?) spirit shirts or finding the perfect outfit for a birthday party (OR ALL SEASON LONG) or learning to make a homemade tutu.
Makeup Artist: Halloween, headshot, happy days.
Hair Stylist: every morning. I’ve mastered a french braid and a fishtail braid and something we call “princess hair.”
Chauffeur: two children, in two different schools, in two different states (separated by a bridge with an outrageous $15 toll!)
Cheerleader / Coach: track meets, recitals, plays.
Photographer / Documentarian: Our lives in pictures and words.
Birthday party planner: we’re in the children’s entertainment industry so every year I’m out trumping myself.
Launderer: 8-10 loads each week. I’ve created a science around it where I split the loads between four different floors and use an alarm to keep track (apartment building benefits)
Doctor / Nurse: I’ve memorized WebMD
Interior Designer: I’ve moved 10 times in 20 years and 5 times in the last 6 years. Painting and redecorating each time.
Contractor: Builder of Ikea furniture and more, kitchen designer, bathroom renovator
Cleaner: Merry maid and not-so-merry mortified mom. I can clean it all with the magic eraser.
Singer: Every night before bed and Beatles Rock Band on snow days
Mind Reader: Every mother’s special skill; comes innately with the title.