Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My new career as a stay-at-home mom


As of last week I am officially a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). I submitted my letter of resignation to a company I had been with for more than eight years. From the moment I became pregnant I knew I wanted to be a SAHM and am very fortunate that it was an option for me; however, it was a daunting decision to leave my company. Many insecurities overwhelmed me. Would I become irrelevant within the industry? Would my fellow coworkers lose respect for me as a professional? Will any company ever hire me when I decide to reenter the workforce? My parents made sure I had a good education and I worked very hard to gain the respect and trust of my coworkers and clients. By choosing to stay at home full time, have I just thrown that all away?

While those concerns are present in my mind, I know in my heart that I have made the right decision for my family. I have a new career now – Vice President of Marion Household, LLC. I report to the President of the company. His name is Mr. Michael Robert Marion and he is 13 pounds of deliciousness. Like my previous supervisors, he has high expectations of me, challenges me on a daily basis and rewards me when I do a good job. Only now the rewards come in the form of sweet baby smiles instead of money. I’ll take his smiles any day.

This mom thing is not for the faint of heart. In the throws of a recent lovers’ quarrel I said to Jeff, "What do you think I do all day?"

"I don't know...be bored!" he replied.

My head nearly exploded with anger and rage. My new job has me working harder than ever before and I don’t get any vacation or sick days. Those DayQuil commercials really do hit the mark.

Eventually things calmed down at home, and I know Jeff fully appreciates me and what I do for our family, just as I appreciate everything he does for our family.

While my routine may be very different than what it used to be, there are still some things that are reminiscent of my days pre-baby.

Dressing up

A year ago, I was shopping at White House Black Market for the perfect outfit to wear at that very important meeting or big conference. Now I’m combing through the racks at Kohl’s for key pieces to fit my new mom uniform – comfortable yoga pants and easy to remove shirts fit for pumping sessions every three hours. 

Meetings

Meetings at my previous job were to discuss the execution and implementation of the next big project with executive management, marketing and IT. Now I’m meeting with doctors, sleep specialists and lactation consultants. I work late after the boss has gone to bed researching the symptoms of acid reflux, sleep training and developmental milestones.

To-do lists

I’m a big fan of a to-do list. My to-dos used to look something like “schedule strategic planning meeting,” “QA new website,” “build out project timeline”. Now, my to-dos are more like “shower,” “eat,” “fold laundry,” “vacuum,” “prep dinner,” “wash bottles,” “schedule doctor appointments (for the baby and the dogs)” and “raise smart, well-adjusted, kind young man”. Sounds easy, right? Well, except for that last bit. Between feedings, pumping sessions, diaper changes and playtime it’s not always easy to cross things off the list. Every task is a race against the clock during nap times, which are always an undetermined length of time. At any minute he might turn his “do not disturb” button off and call me into his office.

Creative thinking

It’s always important to think of ways to keep the boss happy. Part of my SAHM job description requires entertaining and stimulating my new chubby boss on a daily basis – including weekends. But how in the world do you entertain a two month old?? Well, I’ve found that making faces, singing songs and dancing does the trick almost every time. I’ve become a court jester making a mockery of myself while his highness sits in his throne (ahem…high chair) laughing at me. “Dance for me, you fool!!” he says. “Okay, I’m bored. Now feed me!”

While my new job may not be bringing in the bacon or be the most mentally stimulating at all times, I am having fun being the VP of Marion Household, LLC. I get up every morning excited for the day, even if I’ve only had a few hours sleep. I can’t wait to see the boss’s face when I walk into his office and I can only hope I am meeting his expectations. And with the good comes the bad like any other job. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and clean up someone else’s shit.