Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stay at Home Parent Wanted:

Qualifications: Love, Patience, Integrity, Commitment

Expectations: You will provide constant care for all children in the home who are too young to attend elementary school. This job entails meal preparation for the children, as well as providing for their entertainment, education, hygiene, socialization, dressing, and life skills.

Pay and Benefits: None. To be clear, you will not be paid. Sick leave and vacation time are not provided. Should you become ill, you will not be relieved of your duties. There are no health, dental, or vision benefits.

Information of note:

There are no “breaks”. Lunch and bathroom times will be observed in the presence and care of the children. This is not a guarantee that you will receive lunch or bathroom times.

Appointments for personal doctor visits, haircuts, etc, should you choose to continue to make them, will be conducted while the children are present.

Your children will not nap. This establishment understands that some other children do nap. Yours do not.

You do not have money to hire a babysitter, mother’s helper, or go to those really cool kid-friendly places other caregivers do. This information is subject to change based on the economy and the work-outside-the-home secondary caregiver’s career advancement/blind luck.

Your working hours are unlikely to be a time to do “housework” or other activities that do not directly involve care of the child. You will have some flexibility, but generally, these chores are to be done on your own time.

You will do more for your school-age children’s school than caregivers who do not Stay Home. Caregivers who work outside the home tend to believe (and say out loud) that you are not as “busy” as them, and can therefore do more for the school. You will accept that their views come from ignorance, not an intent to hurt, and forgive them with grace. After all, your children are always watching and listening, in order to learn by your example.

On occasion, this establishment will require that you take odd jobs in order to cover the bills the establishment incurs. These jobs will either be done in the evening or on weekends, or during the day if you are able to find a job that will allow you to work while caring for the children at the same time.

Thank you for considering this position. This will be the only thanks you receive.

Getting Started

The title of this blog post is unoriginal, but sometimes "obvious" works.

I'm writing because there's always a lot on my mind that's too potent to articulate in polite company, too much to lay on my husband (at least, as often as I've been doing it), and too long to post on Facebook. Now the polite company can read if they're inclined. Facebookers will be spared. My husband, well, he's still on the hook, but at least he can read it on his own schedule instead of hearing it full blast the first second I see him each day.

There isn't, at least in my mind, a recurring theme to what you'll find here. I can offer a few guarantees: no recipes, cleaning or decorating tips, or ways to do something perfectly. I am an unabashed failure at any of those things. There will be lots of talk about parenthood, politics, family life, and random ideas that strike my fancy. I regularly fail at all this stuff, too, but it's a lot more interesting!

Mostly, what I want to present is an honest look at how I'm affected by life - what's happening globally and locally and right in my own living room.