~"Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease." ~Lisa Alther
I was considering returning to the work force last September when the herd started back in school. The problem was that I didn't know what I wanted to do. You see, I haven't been gainfully employed in over thirteen years. And even then-the work that I had was "interesting".
In other words-not your typical kind of job.(unless you count dressing as a giant costumed character-or posing for artists as typical) Back then, my father liked to say to me (a lot) "Kid" (he called me kid because me being the youngest of six-he often forgot my name...although, he sometimes also called me "Pinky", which was the name of one of our cats that he didn't
forget...hhmmmm...)..Anyway, he'd look at me and say-"Kid-you just don't have any skills." Now in my humble
opinion-this simply was not true! I had/have skills-wonderful skills-mad skills! It's just that..well, they just aren't the kind of skills that are appreciated by most employers. Truth is-I am not very good at regular jobs. I am awful at answering phones, math, sitting still, computers-and forget any type of office machine! I once had a job that required me to make photocopies. For some reason-I could never get the machine to work correctly. I can't tell you(or maybe I'm just embarrassed to) how many nights that I snuck out of work (didn't want to get fired) with hundreds of sheets of misprinted papers stuffed in my back pockets. So many that I literally looked like a Kardashian
-at least from behind..
No, give me an irregular job any day-and I will floor you with my skills. Sadly, irregular jobs seem to be few and far between. Unless of course you count motherhood. Which truly is an odd job-only you don't get paid. Oh I know..there are many who would say "But you are paid in love!!" First of all...yuck, and second- Yup-I am..absolutely..sometimes even over paid..but you know, it would be nice to maybe occasionally get some cash or even a gift card for a job well done. Not that I'm complaining-really, I'm not. I guess I'm just tired of" bringing home the bacon"-literally.
Back in September, I thought that I would have lots of free time. The herd are all (finally) full time students-I should have hours and hours of "spare" time. Right?..*sigh* wrong. They are getting older now-and it is time to start gently
nudging them into the world. This year, three of them are involved in extracurricular activities. The girls are in scouts, Sam is playing on the basketball team...and Oscar? Well, I haven't quite found a fit for him YET
. Although, I did try to start a social group for parents of special needs kids. Something where we could get our kids together and do things. But the story behind that not happening is post for another day.
These extra activities haven't really been too stressful. It has just been a matter of getting the right kids to the right places at the right time. They mostly like
being forced out of
leaving the house-or rather the computer and t.v...and it has been fun for them-me too. (at least after the initial game of" where are your shoes?!" or jackets, gloves, socks, shorts...and one time-clothes) But, things have taken a dark turn-and it has come in the form of cookies. Yes, it is THAT time of year-the time when you are approached by young girls looking hopeful while clutching crumpled order forms to their chests-followed closely by steely eyed parents just daring you to say "no thanks." Yup-it's Girls scout cookie time-and I am in so much trouble.
Both of my girls are selling cookies. Both of my girls need to sell one hundred boxes in order to earn a badge. Both of girls are thrilled at the idea
of selling cookies-it is the actual doing
that stumps them. Even though we have been given valuable tips on how to sell them...You know, the usual- "Stay safe" "don't go into houses" or my personal favorite "have your parents sell them at work!" (Kind of hard when you are a stay at home mother. I mean I'm sure I could interest my dogs in them-but they don't have any money...that I know of.) All of these "tips" and "advice" really translate to "Get your parents to come with you/or/do all the work."... in the case of my girls-"Get your mother to sell them." *sigh* Have I mentioned that I am also horrible at sales?
Me "Hey-how are you?"
Other Parent-"Great. How are the kids?"
Me-"They are really doing well this year. The girls are in scouts."
Other parent-"That's great! How do they like it."
Me-"So far so good. You know they are selling cookies."
Other parent-(looking everywhere but at me) Oh....yeah..um..well..."
I know that this is when I should go in for the hard sell..that this is the time to remind
them that I have bought every
cookie, nut, magazine that their child has ever sold. That the money from these sales really does go to good causes..that I am desperate....but instead..
Me-"Hey it was good seeing you.."
I'll say it again- I stink at sales. I am not comfortable asking people to buy things-even if it is for a good cause. It just makes me anxious-as does observing people looking away quickly when they see me coming. Which leaves me wondering how are my girls (who am I kidding-how am I) going to
get rid of
sell seven hundred dollars worth of cookies? I have really been working on this-and have finally come to this conclusion. Like it or not-Omar is going to be selling a lot of cookies at work tomorrow. Now THAT
is what I call "problem solving." No skills-indeed! Seems that motherhood has made me a whiz at delegating. I just have to figure out how to make this work on a resume...
People have learned over the years that I do NOT fundraise. I will buy something if it interests me but that's it. I'd rather hand over an extra $20 instead of trying to sell 20 boxes of something to get that $20.
I decided a couple of years ago not to get out of jury duty. Could have with the boys but I too was debating going back to work. They and Dh managed the 4 days... I did not handle it well.
I'm at 12.5yrs of this SAHM gig, I work in the elections, I do the books for the farm and I do absolutely everything involving the house/kids. Think that's enough for one person.
I'll try this again, my computer messed up--sorry if I leave two comments.
I usually buy the stuff my kids sell. I think I still have garbage bags they were selling from last year under the sink.
I hear those cookies last forever and a day in the deep freeze. ;)
As usual another great story. You make me smile.
I HATE HATE HATE fundraising! Just tell me up front what an activity costs, and I will decide if I can afford it. I hate it when other people pressure me to spend money I can't afford on things I don't want or need, and I feel like a jerk if I try to do the same to them. And I suck at it anyway.
Oh I'd make a hopeless sales person too! Hopeless...I'd be more apologetic than anything else! Sounds like you're too busy to go back to irregular work and I see that you too are good at delegation!
That was a fun read :-)
This is our family too: every year the kids come home with raffle tickets and every year they go back to school with ten of them sold....to me!
OMG you slay with your humor
I am the same way
hate selling things
also like farmwife with 2 I actually just prefer to fork out some donation money rather than have to work so hard at it
Girl scouts has certainly changed. I never got any badges for making my parents do stuff. :(
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