with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
“I figure two dollars an hour, maybe two-fifty, would be fair,” she said.
“Oh, I think so,” I said. “It’s demanding work, taking care of mothers.”
“Ha.” She shrugged her best eh, maybe for you shrug. “I’m great with little kids,” she said, and flopped away casually in her distinctly floppy, distinctly I am a teen not a tween now way.
I did not point out to her that perhaps her own home might be a good place for an internship, before entering the job market.
Her first gig, taking care of her best friend’s little sister for a few hours, went swimmingly. Two, three hours? Her dad took her. The details, I never heard.
“It was fine. I earned CASH,” she enthused, as much as any teen-wannabe dare enthuse.
“Well, good. You’ve got another gig lined up, if you’re interested,” I told her.
“Really? YES!” Fist-pumping.
“Your sister’s going to be there, is the thing,” I said. “You’re being hired to watch her and her friend—”
“No problem,” said she.
“—all day,” I added.
The shrug. “That’s cool.”
“Cool,” said I.
Fast-forward. I go to fetch her from the all-day, two-kid-one-being-an-annoying-blood-relation job. The kid is dead on her feet, I can see. Her sister and her little buddy, however, are leaping off the stone wall and screeching at the top of their tiny lungs.
“OH. MY. GOD. Can I sleep anywhere else tonight? Somewhere where SHE IS NOT GOING TO BE?” moans S.
“Rough day at work?” I ask.
“YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW. MOM. THEY WERE LIKE THIS ALL DAY. I AM EXHAUSTED.”
“I might know, a little.”
“No, I was in CHARGE of them, ALL DAY. And they stole Popsicles and got a red stain on the white couch? And I got in trouble.”
“Heavy is the hand that holds the red Popsicle,” I say.
“Never mind.” I try not to smile. “Do you think…maybe…and I hate to ask this right now…but…do you think maybe you have a better idea of the work that goes into being a mom?”
She sighs. “Mom, no offense, but that’s different. THIS…was exhausting. Her friend’s mom had to work ALL DAY on her computer.”
“I work all day on my computer and then I work as a mom to take care of you guys,” I point out, helpfully.
“Yeah, but her mom? Has, like, REAL work.”
“Um, I have real work.”
“Yeah, but…yours…it’s more flexible. You’re a WRITER,” she groans.
“You better quit while you’re ahead.”
“Can we go?” she begged.
“That’ll cost you extra.”
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