For a multitude of reasons, my husband and I have decided it might be best if I become a stay-at-home mom.
And for a multitude of reasons, I am excited, nervous, and eager to possibly begin this very new, very important chapter of my life.
I’m kind of panicking, to be honest. I mean, I want very badly to be THE BEST SAHM the world has ever known. Yes, I know it’s an impossibility, and that putting that kind of pressure on myself is ridiculous. But really, truly, I want to do a DAMN good job as a full-time mommy.
In preparation for the transition, I’ve created schedules, ordered educational toys and materials, joined a handful of mommy groups, and mapped out lots of different local attractions and activities I can use for our daily outings. I’m taking this whole thing very seriously. Maybe a bit TOO seriously.
To lighten the mood in my brain, I’ve been fantasizing about what it would be like if I actually had to have a job interview with my kiddos. Granted, my son is only six months old, and my daughter is only two and a half, so some of the imagined conversation is a bit contrived, but it makes me laugh, and that’s really all that matters.
Allow me to share.
Scene: A fluorescent-lit meeting room with one of those very long, very intimidating meeting room tables. My daughter is sitting at the far end, in a booster seat that makes her head just peek out over the top of the table. To her immediate right, my son is sitting in a noisy swing, swinging back and forth, teething on his favorite chew toy.
Emmy: Good morning, mama. So you’ve come to interview for the position of Stay-at-Home-Mom?
Me: Yes, good morning. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I really appreciate the opportunity.
Emmy: Of course. It’s our pleasure. Have a seat.
(Emmy points to the seat at the far opposite end of the table. I take a seat.)
Emmy: We’ve looked at your resume. We haven’t read it, because we can’t read, but we’ve looked at it. Tell me, why have you decided to apply for this position?
Me: Well, in a nut shell, I’ve decided that being a good mommy to you and Baby O is my number one priority right now, and other things can wait. I want to provide both of you with a loving, consistent environment that fosters your growth and development.
Emmy: That’s all well and good, mama, theoretically speaking. But let’s talk about your qualifications. Are you familiar with “Ring Around the Rosie?”
Me: Of course, yes. I’m very familiar with “Ring Around the Rosie.”
Emmy: How many times IN A ROW would you say you’d be willing to play “Ring Around the Rosie”?
Me: Um, off the top of my head? Maybe FOUR times?
(Baby O stops teething and looks at me with horror)
Emmy: FOUR times? Just FOUR times?
Me: Okay, maybe FIVE times?
Emmy: That will NEVER do. We’re going to need you to play “Ring Around the Rosie” at least eighteen times in a row, mama. With enthusiasm. No excuses. Do you think you can do that?
Me: (with some very acute hesitation) Sure. Yeah. I can do that. Eighteen times, huh?
Emmy: And none of that pseudo “ooh, I’m falling down” charade. You can’t just SQUAT and call it “falling down.” You’re going to need to fall ALL THE WAY DOWN.
Me: I can do it. I can.
Emmy: Moving on. Let’s talk about lunch. Lunch is very important around here. How good are you at making chicky sammiches?
Me: I’m REALLY GOOD at making chicky sammiches, Emmy. I use just the right amount of turkey, and your favorite kind of bread…
Emmy: Do you cut the sandwich into squares or triangles?
Me: Generally speaking, squares…
Emmy: (thinking) uh huh… any other shapes?
Me: Well, I tried to make a star-shaped sandwich once.
Emmy: Yeah, we all know how THAT turned out. It was a disaster. It didn’t even look like a star. It looked like a HOUSE.
Me: I promise I will work on my sammich shape repertoire. Through this job, I will hone my sammich-making skills.
Emmy: And how long would you say it takes you to eat lunch?
Me: I’m a quick eater. I need MAYBE ten minutes, tops.
(Baby O chokes on his teething toy)
Emmy: Ten MINUTES? Mama, we have a VERY STRICT lunch break policy around here. You’re gonna get 20 seconds.
Me: Did you just say twenty SECONDS?
Emmy: Yes, you’ll have twenty seconds to wolf down the crusts I have left over from my sammich. I may also leave you an ounce of juice in my sippy cup, if you are lucky.
Me: I guess I’ll have to make it work.
Emmy: Should we talk about attire? What you have on now is completely inappropriate.
Me: Oh? How so?
Emmy: Way too formal. We like to call our dress code around here “functional princess” attire.
Me: What is “functional princess” attire?
Emmy: Jogging pants, an old t-shirt, and a tutu. You can’t wear anything you wouldn’t want to get stained. It’s GONNA GET STAINED. But you should also always look like a ballerina princess so we can twirl around and twirl around and twirl around until we get dizzy and fall on the floor.
Me: I’ve got some jogging pants. And I’ll borrow dada’s t-shirts.
Emmy: Moving on. I’m going to give you a scenario, and you tell me what you would do in that scenario, ok?
Emmy: You’re nursing baby brother, and I’m reading a book, when suddenly I start SCREAMING at the top of my lungs that I have to go potty. How do you handle this?
Me: Um, I take you to the potty with one arm WHILE nursing baby brother in my other arm?
Emmy: Ewww. Gross. And it won’t work. I need you to hug me while I am on the potty.
Me: You need me to HUG you while you are on the potty? Um... ok. Then I would put Baby O down for a minute and take you to the potty?
Emmy: Probably a better idea, mama.
Me: I’ll work on my mommy instincts.
Emmy: Do you love to be hugged?
Me: Oh, yes.
Emmy: And kissed?
Emmy: And sneezed on?
Emmy: How many band-aids are you willing to let us wear in one 24 hour period?
(Baby O looks at me and grins his mischievous grin)
Me: One band-aid, Emmy. MAYBE two if you are really bleeding. We’ve talked about this before.
Emmy: Would you consider upping that to maybe FOURTEEN band-aids?
Me: Never. Ever.
Emmy: It was worth a shot. Ok, mama. After much consideration, it seems we have no choice BUT to hire you for this position.
Me: That’s great news! Thank you! You’ll be so happy you chose me. I won’t let you down, I swear.
Emmy: Sure, sure. Just remember: Anything you do could potentially scar us for the rest of our lives. And our bones are very fragile.
Me: Thank you for your encouraging words.
So yeah, I’m nervous. But also totally happy. But also REALLY nervous.
If you have any advice, or experience you would like to share with this possibly-soon-to-be-SAHM, I would love to hear it.
Parenting with imagination. Or at least trying.
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