Tuesday, May 25, 2010

KIDS Is a Four Letter Word...So Is WORK

So, Catherine Businelle and Pamela Ballo over at Work/Life Equation wrote Lydia and I a few weeks ago to see if we wanted to write a little something-something for them. They are actual experts at this whole life and parenting thing, so we're very flattered that they wanted to hear our two cents on the issue. Then we wondered if they had ever actually read our blog.  They claim they have. We're pretty sure they either 1) wrote the wrong damn bloggers or 2) needed a good handful of ca-ray-zay for their new book. So of course Kate was all, "Giddyup! let's talk about some child-rearin', y'all".

These ladies are awesome at helping moms find ways to balance between home and work and still get everything done and make it all look effortless...  Clearly, Lydia and I are total experts in this too fodder for their next column. We happily submit our:

MommyLand Do's and Don'ts for Achieving Work/Life Balance

  • Take all the credit for the cool stuff that gets done while you're away at work. Our nanny is AWESOME at finishing the laundry and cleaning the bathroom and making the beds, mostly because her standards are a lot higher than mine and also, she pities me. When Lydia comes over for dinner and sees my house kinda tidy and the kids bathed, she slowly shakes her head and says "I am amazed how you handle all of it and work and the blog and your house is still clean and..." And right as she's about to cry, I pour her a glass of wine and say "I am pretty awesome..." (and then you slip in an extra $100 in your nanny's paycheck for thanks and for her continued silence). No, it is not a bribe. I need to take all the validation and kind words I can get, people.  And the nanny? She just really likes pictures of Benjamin Franklin, OK? 
  • Have a plan for dinner. I'm gonna shamelessly plug here. This place is awesome. I get away from my house every month for an evening. I bring a bottle of wine and a girlfriend or two. I put together all these dinners that I can cook - at home - when I need them. Clean up involves throwing away Ziploc bags and foil pans. And, I get to take all the credit for a homemade meal and all I had to do is slide it in the oven. Now, if you manage to score the free night out with the gals and the wine, please do not make the mistake of thinking you've saved yourself any time in the greater cosmic sense. You may come home with 24 dinners (thus amounting to 24 kitchen-free hours over the next month) but rest assured that your house will be a full blown disaster when you get home. Requiring a steam cleaner, some heavy duty spackling, and possibly an exorcist. Is it still worth it? Oh, even yesser.
  • Remember that you have two wardrobes. One for MommyLand; one for WorkLand. These are unique and distinct groupings. I can rock a pair of white slacks and eight hours later, still be rocking a pair of white slacks - but only in WorkLand. In MommyLand, they would within minutes have served as glorified napkins, band-aids, notepads, kleenex and soap substitute. Equally, items that have embroidery, kittens (any animal, frankly), school mascots, writing on the fanny, novelty socks, things that claim to be both outer and sleep wear, appropriated children's accessories (Lydia, discarded t-shirt sleeves are NOT refurbished headbands) or articles that facilitate running (unless you work in the ER) are to be left at home, pathetically peering at you from your bedroom window as you go off and play super cool Working Chick for the day. As for footwear, flip flops belong in one land; stilettos in the other. Easy rule of thumb: naughtiness in MommyLand gets *fwapped* on the fanny with a flipflop; bad people in WorkLand get their onions spliced by the mighty power of Choo.
  • Give the children your phone number. Give it to the school, the nanny, the neighbor, the teenager around the block who sometimes babysits, anyone you want...but not. your. own. kid.  Only better than ratting on each other and stirring the schmidt is when they get to dial the phone first and then tattle. I've told the IHPs that my work number has been tattooed on their skulls, and they should consider very carefully if they're willing to be BALD in order to call me. I think I may have inadvertently made it more appealing, if that's possible. Lefty tapped his finger to his lips and, with a Jack McCoy smile, surmised he could just shave McGee's head instead, therefore getting the phone number, keeping his own hair and rendering his sister a cue ball. She screamed and ran from the room. And for one brief moment, I was almost relieved that Law & Order got canceled.
  • (should you fail at the above) Answer your phone by hitting SPEAKERPHONE. I thought I knew who was calling; just a colleague confirming something for me, right? My boss had come in to check on the status and I, very casually, told him we were just waiting for the call back. Cue phone. Hit SpeakerPhone and before I can get one word out, it's SHRIEKING on the other end "MOM! WEWERESUPPOSEDTOHAVETHATFORMSIGNEDFORTHEFIELDTRIP ANDNOW ICAN'TGOANDYOUSAIDYOUWOULDN'TFORGETTOSIGNITWHENYOU--" I simply couldn't hang up fast enough and just stared at him, mouth frozen open, as soon as the first howler monkey syllable blasted through the speaker, immobilized. My boss nodded and left the room, presumably to laugh at me. Super.
  • Talk about illnesses at work. Any of them. Unless you work for the CDC and you're developing a cure for lice, no. one. wants. to. hear. about. lice. at. your. kids. school. It doesn't matter if little Johnny is clean as a whistle; to all your co-workers, your kid, your dog, your house and YOU all all covered in microscopic wormy things. Everyone starts itching. It's like mass freakin' hysteria. No lice, no sniffles, no cold sores, no ear infections, no any kind of infections (I mean, I don't have to say that right? That instant you mutter the word "infection" in your office, everyone steps back 40 paces.) no vomiting, no dysplasia, distemper, dysentery...  Just no and no and no. Because, unlike Lydia, you can't just say "oh, eww, that was gross, wasn't it?" and make it all better. You just make everyone want to douse you in Lysol. And that's just bad for your hair.
When all is said and done, mommies need time away, whether at a job, a spa or at Starbucks. The job thing just makes it easier to buy shoes. To you moms who have to work, who are doing your amazing Mom Job solo, or who feel like you're barely holding it together, I think you're a Rock Star. This is the hardest freakin' job I've ever had. The pay sucks. The bosses are evil, uncompromising and irrational. No body appreciates me and I'm pretty sure someone keeps stealing my blue pens. Not sure which Land I'm talking about? Neither am I. Which is why you guys are rock stars.

And when all else fails, at the end of the day, you finally get to see that little bald head, eyes closed, probably drooling a little, happily snoozing away...

And then you'll think to yourself, "Wait! What the hell am I still doing at work?"

xoxo Working Moms -- Kate

UPDATE!!! They're totally giving a MommyLand reader and three friends one of their AWESOME coaching sessions on how to balance your life. Which Lydia and I were totally going to steal it and not tell your guys about, but we're not that snitchy. Yet.  Jump over to their FB page click LIKE, and tell them how awesome you think they are on their blog...by the way, the prize is worth, like a pair of Jimmy Choos. So get on that...because it's like I'm giving (OK, they're giving) away a free pair of awesomeness. And, if that's not enough, they're funny...coffee snorting funny...oh and Cathy totally said that Tom Cruise in five years is gonna be something like this: 

You know why???? No Work/Life Balance. Totally. Oh, and something about jumping on furniture...

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  1. LOL! Love you guys. But I get to wear to work something in which I can run...scrubs! No, not the ER, but better...SCHOOL NURSE. This, of course, leads into the head lice portion of my response. So, yes, my boss *does* want to hear me talk about head lice, and ringworm (we had a case of that yesterday, and by we, I mean a student, and, possibly me in 10 days to two weeks, as she didn't tell me about it until she had been in my office, touching things, for about 10 minutes). Good times.

  2. -- And then you'll think to yourself, "Wait! What the hell am I still doing at work?"--

    LMAO!!! You guys are hilarious!!

  3. The Zen Dinner thing looks unbelievable and if you could somehow convince the exorcist to enter in a cloud of furniture-scrubbing-strength steam wielding spackle and a putty knife, you could maximize your exorcist time by finally ridding your body of the memories of that one day when all manner of bodily fluids converged on the sofa, and then dog threw up, and then....

  4. Love this! I need a nanny so that I can take credit for her work! Actually, a few years ago I hired people to clean my house once every two weeks. My parents came for a visit, and my mom commented on how clean everything was.... he he, I casually left out the part about having hired the cleaners when I thanked her :)




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