A few years ago, I was dropping something off at my husband’s office and met his boss, who doesn’t have children. He knew I was a stay at home mom, and he “sized me up” pretty quickly. In his way of making conversation, he asked if I ever thought I’d go back to work, you know, because “I’m sure you’d like to stimulate your brain at some point”. He even went further to assert that “surely it gets old just hanging out with other moms all the time comparing notes about your kids”.
I could feel my husband trying to slowly back out of the room so he didn’t witness the take down. But do you know what I was doing while I was looking at this man who is quite intelligent and making six digits? LAUGHING. Because that’s what we do when people without kids say stupid things about parenting. Bless it.
If he only knew under my Adidas cap and yoga pants that I have the sleep training of a Navy Seal, the intuition of a bomb squad disabler, and the physical strength of a pack mule.
As someone who went to college, only to be in the formal workforce about six years, I WILL admit I sometimes struggle that I’m not “using my degree”. But when I think about it, there are some skills that I use EVERY DAY that certainly haven’t gone to waste. Deductive reasoning helps me decipher whether fevers are from ear infections or colds or strep or hand/foot/mouth, or the always, ever, eternal TEETHING. Conflict resolution is quite handy during a toddler vs. toddler scuffle. My psychology lessons kick in when I consider that my little guy’s fears are manifesting themselves through MANY EMOTIONS. The Law of Diminishing Returns? Yes, that certainly applies to Gatorade during the stomach bug. And those professional development/ethics classes come in handy in some mommy social circles. (No kidding.)
Don’t even get me started on Mulit-Tasking. I should have a Doctorate in that. I could just picture my husband’s boss asking me the famous interview question: “Do you consider yourself a good multi-tasker?” And I’d be like:
“Listen buddy”, (in this imaginary interview, I wasn’t calling him “buddy”, if you catch my drift)…”This morning alone I’ve washed three loads of clothes, prepared sixteen valentines goodies, paid some bills, did the grocery shopping, walked the dog, baked cookies, and swept the floor all while taking care of a wild bobcat. And that man that you share the executive ladder with? (my husband)…..Oh yeah, I packed his lunch this morning. Did I mention that I only slept 2 hours last night because I had to monitor that previous mentioned fever???”
Formal education aside, Moms have an entire set of skills that cannot be taught. They are only acquired through intuition, experience, and sheer survival. But somehow, this career field gets underrated, and somewhere along the way it’s become not enough to be “just a mom”.
My husband no longer works for this guy…and no, not because I lost his job for him during that very awkward encounter. Perhaps one day that boss will experience parenthood and see that raising a child stretches you more than any other job could.
Meanwhile, I’ll be working on my thesis. Which will be titled:
The Greatest Mystery: An In Depth Study on Why a Well-Fed, Clean Diapered Child with Loving Parents Screams Like a Banshee Half the Night.