Monday, October 17, 2011

Read all about it.

I  love my family, but there are some days when I cannot wait to go to work.
Let’s face it — as a mom of three girls ages 11 to 17, it’s easier to be at work than at home. At work my days can be measured with specific results: you’re holding it in your hands.
They don’t print a daily newspaper about mom’s accomplishments from the previous day. “Extra, extra, read all about it: Mom makes dinner!” wouldn’t sell papers.
At my job, I get paid — by the hour — to ask people nosy questions. I could close my eyes for one minute and get paid for it! Not that my boss wants to pay me for sleeping on the job, but a mom certainly does not get paid if she closes her eyes at home. If a mom closes her eyes at home for more than five minutes, there’s no telling what she might find when she opens them.
When I’m at work, I’m writing about someone else’s drama. It has nothing to do with me and best of all, I’m not responsible for fixing any of it. It’s so refreshing.
When I sit down at my desk in the morning, everything is exactly where I left it the night before. I don’t need to track down my scissors, my tape or my calculator. No one has changed my computer screensaver, cluttered up my desktop with ambiguously named homework assignments or left the mouse sticky from some late-afternoon snack.
I can eat my lunch without someone sharing her opinion of what I’ve made for dinner, complaining about something her sister did, or listening to SpongeBob Squarepants in the background.
When I’m at work, I’m not refereeing arguments between three adolescents. (Some news story subjects may be acting like adolescents, but that’s another column.) I don’t have to break up fights. I just have to report on them.
I love getting lost in my job, moving quickly from one story to the next. When I do get a personal call in the middle of the day, I sometimes get confused for a split second. Who is this kid calling me and asking about a lunchbox she forgot at home? Oh yeah, now I remember.
My coworkers don’t have temper tantrums at their desks, they don’t stomp their feet when they don’t get their way, and they don’t slam their office doors shut. They may want to, but they can control themselves. That’s why they are called grown-ups.
Do I sound a little cranky? I probably am. A mother doesn’t get much time off. There are no paid 15-minute breaks. We don’t accrue sick time, holiday or vacation pay. A mom is always on the clock. You don’t punch in or out.
It’s like working at the fire department — you’re on call 24/7 but the shift never ends.
Last year I received a crystal paperweight in recognition of a job well done at work. As we moms know, there are no crystal paperweights presented at home. Motherhood doesn’t have performance reviews, promotions or pats on the back from the boss.
Actually, I take it back. There is one kind of promotion we moms are eligible for.

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