Take this job and shove it

This morning, as Peanut screamed an ranted that on movie day we *do not* have breakfast before movies and we might as well put him in an orphanage if we were going to be so cruel as to make and eat french toast on a holiday morning of family togetherness because ksdfjberijdfvbkja!! (I didn’t understand the last part, either) I told Spouse that *none* of my previous bosses acted this way. The guy I thought misunderstood my role in the company? Never screamed and danced the jig of impotent anger. And he gives a lot to charity. The corporate drones who stacked atop each other to Fortune 100 cloud-top perches never raged in my face while I tried to pee. The woman who ran a great company and gave me more respect, autonomy, and credit than I deserved never tried to bite me while repeatedly shrieking my name. And the other bosses, at companies large and small, generally had flaws that were within the bounds of propriety, reason, and social acceptance. Even if I didn’t appreciate it at the time.

I think it might be time for a job outside the home. The things I do best—writing, editing, and researching—are ideally done, for me, independently from home. But my home ain’t what it used to be and there’s no way to expect that I can gather together my shredded dignity, sanity, and intelligence to freelance while this monster and his soon-to-be-omnipresent sibling live here.

No doubt that, in a tough economy, many firms are clamoring to hire women who are 7 months pregnant. Right?

18 thoughts on “Take this job and shove it

  1. I soooo hear you on this. I am at exactly the same point on the sanity/insanity-home/work scale. But I am leaning towards sending the kids out of the house while I get to freelance from home. And take a nap or a full-length shower now and then.

    If only it wasn’t such a complicated Big Deal, with guilt and doubt and separation anxiety and fantasies of escape.

  2. My husband came home for lunch today, and I almost screamed with jealousy when he left to go back to work. Does he have any idea how peaceful I would find it to sit at a desk in an office with grown-ups walking by to chat and no one screaming at me about invisible boo-boo’s or empty sippy cups? I think I would like it. I would.

  3. Macondo and Country-Fried: we could start our own company!
    MM, sending child away while I write would be ideal. Can’t afford it. Trying to sell my book and, I guess, just need to work harder to get paid shorter projects. Then I could afford a sitter for two hours of daytime sanity.
    CF, I have to say, I scream when my husband says he had a long day at work and “doesn’t need this right now” or “would trade in a minute.” My answer is always: you drove at least a half an hour to work, each way, in a car by yourself where you could listen/not listen to whatever you want. If I were you, I’d pray for traffic.” And even unbearable co-workers are more bearable than small children. Older kids…it’s probably a toss up, depending on the co-worker.

  4. Yikes. Have you considered doing a performance review of your boss? Maybe some break out sessions would help. Let’s form a subcommittee.

    Also, reading this? Makes me a little terrified of what it’s going to be like when I work outside the home all day with preschoolers and then come home to a preschooler.

    Perhaps I should take up drinking now.

  5. We all know it’s not easier for Moms who work. But it’s different. And i’m all for different right now. I know if I get a job elsewhere and pay someone to parent my children, discipline will be even tougher, I’ll miss more of the good moments and will incur just as much wrath. but it sounds so good right now…the difference.

  6. Falling – I have been job searching and I keep seeing jobs helping with childcare and being a little temped….but then realizing I would become insane. There are amazing blessed people than can work with kids all day, then come home to their own kids and enjoy it…but I am not one of them.

    Naptime – I’ve been a stay at home mom, a full time worker and a part time worker so far in the three 1/2 years of the twins lives. The part time gig was the best. Going to work IS a break and a pleasure sometimes. Good luck. You are damn funny today, by the way. Can’t wait to share this with my Mum.

  7. Please forgive me, but I am giggling at the mental image of Peanut raging at you while you pee.

    Toddlers are the worst bosses ever–I think even Goebbels is a preferable employer.

  8. i’d like to recommend the part-time employment possibility as an option. you still get the good parts, you still get the crappy parts, but you also get a little bit of YOU. on the way to work, sitting at a desk and not being interrupted (or breaking up fights), drinking a cup of coffee while it is hot. the list of good things goes on and on.

    a friend of mine has been doing two full days a week working with their kid in daycare since he was 18 months old, and both have benefited. i am benefiting from the girls in their preschool 3 mornings/week & being watched by my parents one day a week while i go to an office and stare at a computer. start making plans now so you have something in the future to look forward to.

  9. I agree with j, if you can swing it. If not, you should at least get one weekend day for yourself, totally and absolutely. Even if you’re out of the house two days a week somewhere, it might help. Might it be possible to renegotiate Spouse’s work situation? Part-time and part-time? Telecommuting (HA!)? Just a few options. But there ARE options.

    Now, the 7 months pregnant thing? A bit more challenging….:)

  10. I’m sorry to be laughing out loud but, boy, do I remember days like these when my two were toddlers. The Little Tyrants, I used to call them. I promise you from the bottom of my heart, this too shall pass.

  11. It does get better. Well, a little. I did some contract negotiating over here and I have been happier. There are days, though, when I wish I was the one happily getting on the train in the morning.


    • Thanks for the ideas and the support, y’all. J, I am absolutely reveling in my two preschool days each week, but in about a month that will stop because Little One of the Proto-Digestive System who doesn’t know the difference between pain and “I’d rather do something else” will take over those hours. The shock of this little surprise has not worn off yet.
      Yes, Evenshine, there are options (though not with Spouse’s job). Even in a tough economy I can go back to adjunct somewhere. Or in-house editing. Or cleaning other people’s toilets, because that would be heaven compared to this week. The daunting prospects of finding and paying for childcare used to dwarf my will to do anything but write from home, but I’m a shriveled little nub this week and might be willing to do just about anything.
      Laugh away, Jane. I started this blog for three reasons: sanity in talking out my frustrations, comfort to those in the same boat, and humor for those who get it but didn’t have the same day. It makes it better to think you, at least, got a chuckle. At my expense. No, really. Go on. Yuck it up. ;-)
      Glad things are better, Gibby. I’ll work on getting a new contract. OR the kids will get older. Eventually. And then be teenagers. Man, the bright side is all…fraught.

  12. Oh God… Do I feel your pain! I have always admitted with a bit of shame that I am no good at being a stay-at-home mom — I need to work outside the home in order to be happy. Barring that, I need to have enough money to send my kiddo to daycare or preschool at least three days a week. And if that doesn’t work, then I need playdates — lots of them. BUT! The baby? He’s deliciously good. Maybe your new one will be too. Even if he/she has colic, I bet the baby will seem easier than Peanut! Hugs!

  13. I was planning to homeschool (or am homeschooling/unschooling this year) until this year. Weird sentence, did that make sense? I had read all the books and decided I didn’t want my kid to have a “corporate” “one size fits all” education. But this year has been exhausting. Nino (my five year old) has never really entertained himself and it was all fine and dandy until Diego came along and made it impossible to play any game, do any art project, read any book, etc. without complete chaos, mayhem, and both children crying and shrieking for my undivided attention.

    And then I realized, not everyone is cut out to be a homeschool parent. And maybe I’m not either. And I think that it’s really okay if you are feeling like you want to work again. I know you have #2 on the way, but it is really okay if you want to hook up some sort of child care, part time or otherwise, and do something outside of being a SAHM. I love staying at home with my kids, but I agree, I spend lots of time jealous of my husband cuz he gets to sit at a desk and surf the internet some of his day, even if the rest of it he is hauling patients around and wiping people’s asses. Ya know? It’s just different when you get a break from your kids, even if that break is a different kind of hard work. It’s still different and a change and gives you a fresh perspective. You sound like an awesome mom. Don’t despair. Two is one of the hardest ages that kids go through. For reals. It does get better.

  14. Well, you can always do what I do on days like that; remember all the crap you had to deal with in those jobs. Sometimes it helps; sometimes it doesn’t. My husband says he prays to have the “little responsibility” that I have. If I didn’t love my cookware so much, they would have dents.

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