Friday, January 29, 2010

The Balance Between Work and Motherhood...

As promised, I want to talk about balancing work with having a very active toddler after being home for over a year. My re-entry into the "working world" happened completely by surprise in November. The job that I am doing as an in-school tutor was only supposed to last until January 10th but as luck would have it, it has extended to the end of February. I have to admit that I DO love having a place to go each day where I can use my talents and skills as a Teacher in a school setting.

However, I have found that leaving our daughter in a daycare setting has been my most challenging job of all. Even though I know that this is an important step in her social/emotional development, I have "Mommy" guilt for leaving her anywhere but at home or in my arms.

I can't tell you that this has been an easy process because it hasn't. I've come to realize that I now have two very important jobs that I am trying to balance. Not that I didn't realize this before but when reality strikes, it really hits home.

What I have learned so far is that for ME working makes me a better Mom. I wish I was the type of woman who could be completely fulfilled all day with staying home but I am not. My brain needs to be stimulated in other ways and there is nothing wrong with that. It's just how I am and it's okay.

I ran across this awesome resume that I want to share with all of you. It really puts the job of "Mom" into perspective. Wouldn't that be awesome to have two resumes to submit every time that you applied for a new job? I hope that you enjoy this !

Motherhood: My Other Resume
January 20, 2010
by Amber Johnson of "The Life and Times of Stella"

I’ve jumped back into the freelance writing life in an effort to make a bit of money while I stay home with Stella Bella. This, of course, necessitated the updating of my resume.

It got me thinking. Some of my most impressive achievements and abilities will never grace the pages of this supposedly all-important document. And it seems like a shame. I am referring, of course, to motherhood–all that it requires. And with that, I present my other resume…


Mother, 8/17/08–present (lifetime commitment)

* Collaborate with Stella, Eleanor’s father (my husband), to ensure that she grows and thrives; oversee everything from basic maintenance, such as diaper changes and feeding, to high-level development including babbling, drooling, sitting up, laughing, and rolling/tummy time, with plans to teach her how to be kind, walk, use the toilet and drive
* Provide attention, protection, guidance and full range of entertainment services including peek-a-boo, tickling, general zaniness and impromptu songs, stories and farting noises
* Willingly put my daughter’s needs before my own while still taking care of self and providing excellent example of how to live life to the fullest
* Manage public relations; handle photography and mailing of seasonal cards and wellness updates; manage upkeep of Flickr account with near-daily shots of Stella to prevent extended family from suffering cuteness withdrawal
* Love that girl with all my heart, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year–even when her yelling reaches peak annoy-ability levels

Giver of Life, 8/15/08–8/17/08

* Gave birth to baby girl weighing 7 pounds and 7 ounces; filled with pure joy upon her arrival
* Kicked ass throughout 32-hour un-medicated labor during which baby’s head was transverse (sideways)
* Nearly broke husband’s hands with vice-like grip; will try harder next time

Grower of Human Being, 11/08–8/09

* Provided egg for successful fertilization; worried endlessly about fetus from moment of conception
* Attended prenatal yoga, birthing and parenting classes despite overwhelming exhaustion and overwhelmed bladder
* Ate enough cheese to feed all of Wisconsin for three years; consumed record amounts of grapefruit juice
* Tolerated the shooting of sharp pains up my rear-end for several months; withstood debilitating hip pain and baby’s roundhouse kicks
* Enjoyed pregnancy despite all of the above

Warrior, 10/08–02/09

* Assembled and coordinated a top-tier team of Seattle doctors, as well as two lactation consultants, an occupational therapist, nutritionist, dietitian and cranial osteopath
* Managed to maintain sanity when baby refused to eat; chugged olive oil and ate bacon in a valiant attempt to fatten starving, anxiety-ridden self and improve quality and caloric value of breast milk
* Mastered use of Supplemental Nursing System while successfully limiting use of the “f-word” to 400 times per day; managed insertion and maintenance of god-forsaken nasogastric feeding tube and associated god-damned pump and evil face tape and crap-tastic peripherals; sacrificed small but previously perky boobs to hospital grade breast pump
* Navigated labyrinth of hospital and health care challenges; slashed red tape and improved child’s outcome by 1000%; successfully argued case for the removal of nasogastric tube and executed successful tube weaning; produced a happier child and family as a result of round-the-clock efforts
* Analyzed growth charts, lab results and intake levels; conducted in-depth, terrifying online research on daughter’s condition and treatment


The Parental Institution of Barbara and Gregory Hescock

* Coursework in everything, with an emphasis on love, the value hard work, and a good sense of humor
School of Hard Knocks
* Classes included Terrible Mistakes, Bad Relationships 101, and The Awkwardness of Middle School

Sink or Swim Academy

* Curriculum revolved around parenting without anything resembling adequate preparation


General: Expert-level nurturing, crisis and conflict management, hazardous waste handling and sanitation, budgeting, soothing, teaching life skills and morals, child safety, nursery decorating, baby-wearing, silly face and nonsensical sounds mastery

Technical: Milk production, human creation, swaddling, rocking, one-handed diapering (experience with both formula and breast milk poop platforms), bottle maintenance, reflux abatement


* Contributed a new member to the human race
* Responsible raising of a kind, compassionate, contributing citizen
* Adept removal of screeching baby from public places, ensuring a peaceful community
* Addition to the world of a love that grows by leaps and bounds each and every day

Amber Johnson is a freelance writer, new mom, chronic worrier, and mac-and-cheese addict. Not necessarily in that order. She is working on a book about her experiences during her first year of motherhood, focused on her trials with breastfeeding, bottle feeding and even nasogastric tube feeding—and why, despite all the hoopla about how we should or should not feed our babies, we all should stop worrying so much. Really. Now all she needs is a publisher, and a glass of wine. Is that so much to ask?