Friday, July 29, 2011

Operations Manager and Behavioral Modification Specialist...

When my first son was born, just under 11 years ago, I left my job and decided that I was going to be the very best at-home-mother there ever was. I worked very hard at it. So far, so good, my boys have given me grey hairs and crows feet (maybe that's actually from age), I have turned into a stress-closet-eater (who would have ever thought such a thing existed?). My fuse is shorter, I try not to sweat the small stuff even though some small things drive me to the edge and back.
Every person that I ever told "I'm a stay at home mom." said, "Oh, that's great! I could never! How do you stand it? It'll make all the difference in the world." I believed it. I thought, this is something that will make my kids lives better and give me something to look back on and think "Look at what I accomplished, I gave up all those years to better the lives of these two men." I have continued to believe, this will count for something or to quote the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind "This means something!". I do believe with all my heart that my boys will be better off for the time I have given them, hopefully they don't remember much of the days when my patience was non-existent and I just couldn't force myself to play a board game or shape play-doh with them...
I am now in the market of looking for employment. It is not easy trying to find a job with a schedule that works around my boys school and The Man's work schedules, but it must be done. it is high time that I contribute to society and leave the comforts of my own home. I would like to say the house is running so smoothly that I am bored and have nothing else to do, this is not the truth. There are always, ALWAYS dishes or laundry that can be done, I just need to get out of this house. It has been a long 11 years. As I begin to fill out applications and attempt to write out a resume I realize something... it looks like I have done nothing. As far as an application or resume are concerned, everything that I have been and have done for most of my adult life is null and void, it doesn't even count. I read somewhere, in my searchings for excellent resume tips, that prospective employers are not interested in employment you may have had 10 to 15 years back...well that kind of leaves me high and dry. I fill out the application and the only recent references I have (of which there is space for 4 to 5) are other mothers. People I talk on the phone to and talk about my day with. Work experience?? Does doing 2 loads of laundry a day and dishes at least once a day count? Where can I write "Sitting down to do homework with the boys for 2 hours after school"? Excellent diaper changer, crisis negotiator, lawyer, judge, police officer, gym teacher, chef, comedian, story teller, emt...the list goes on and on and none of it counts, when asked what I have been doing for the last 11 years all I can say is "being a mom". That doesn't get you far in the work force.
My applications look like something is missing from them and my resume is painfully short, sweet, and lacking. Maybe some future employer will see "being a mom" and they will take it for what it really is, a tough job that requires an amazing work ethic (even when you are at death's door you have to wake up and do the job), great self starting abilities and organizational skills, and a great sense of humor to get you through the day....whistle while you work.
And all I have to say about that.