Archive for August, 2013

August 2, 2013

Babysitting – XP

Original here.

Back in my day, I was a pretty in-demand babysitter.  Friday nights were all about getting the kids to bed and relaxing with my friends Corey, Topanga, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  Getting paid to have the remote to myself – holla!

As the years went on, I would babysit for my professor’s kids, kids with special needs, a family with 5 children (omg), a kid who was obsessed with twirling my hair around his sticky little fingers, and 2 different sets of preemie twins.  I have many happy memories from my time with each of those children (even Mr. Sticky Fingers).

Babysitters Club has nothin’ on me! [credit]

Then I started a 9 to 5, got married, welcomed my own children, and put my babysitting days behind me.  Well, mostly.

I’ve recently had the pleasure of babysitting for some wonderful friends of mine and it occurred to me how much I’ve missed it.  Strange thing to say considering I’ve got a houseful of kids 24/7, huh?  But there is something very different about babysitting vs. parenting.  When I am babysitting, the children are my one and only priority.  There are no phone calls to make, emails to answer, or laundry to fold.  The only thing I have to do for those hours is keep the children alive and happy (okay, and fed, dressed, changed…).

That ‘happy’ piece is a big one.  There is something so much more playful about being a babysitter than being a mom.  You see, while I do have to make sure that the children eat their dinner and get to bed on time, I don’t have to parent them while doing it.  So when I encounter grumbling about brushing teeth and heading upstairs, there is no need to pull out my, “I expect you to listen and not talk back when it’s time for bed” lecture.  Instead, I grab a piece of paper, fold it into a hat, and off we go on an imaginary safari!  Shhhh!! Tiptoe and quiet voices, we mustn’t wake the animals! Anyone spot any giraffes??

Narrowly avoiding the tragic outcome that would have been waking a lion curled up close by, we arrive in our beds with smiles and happy memories to turn into sweet dreams.

My safari partner. Credit J&S

I found that stepping back into my old babysitting shoes was refreshing, and a good reminder that sometimes all it takes is a little fun.  We wear so many different hats as mothers and I’ll admit that my ‘playful’ one hasn’t gotten much wear lately.  So this weekend I think I’ll set a date to do a little more babysitting – this time with my own kiddos.


August 1, 2013

Mommy Got a New Job – XP


As if being a working mom isn’t hard enough, I recently decided to go ahead and complicate my life by job searching.  It was time for me to take the next step in my career – something I had been putting off for a bit while I had babies at home.  Advancing your career as a mom of young children is just not easy.  You see, I had a decently sweet gig where I was.  Plenty of flexibility and as good of a home-life balance as one could find anywhere in corporate America – and, as you all know, those perks are gold with 3 kiddos at home.  It was hard for me to wrap my head around giving that up, even in exchange for more money and a higher title.  But, perhaps I could find both?

So I got myself into the interview circuit (sidenote: OMG, when did interviewing become a marathon sport?? 6 interviews for 1 position?  I’m not looking to be CEO!).  As I was asked questions about my experience, interests, and commitment, my mind was swirling with questions like, “Would they be okay with a quick exit after getting a call from the school nurse?” and “How would my co-workers feel about my phone calls with my kids a couple times a week?” or, “What is their orthodontia coverage?”  It’s a big no-no to discuss kids during a job interview, but how would I get at these important questions without tipping my hand? I hadn’t interviewed since my pre-kid days and the stakes were so different now – higher, really.

Ultimately I accepted a position with a new company – one that was small-ish, had a friendly/casual feel, and plenty of other motherhood-age women walking around.  It was certainly a good sign when I walked by the ‘lactation room’ on my way to the conference room.  And, it didn’t hurt that they gave me the highest offer!

Now my thoughts turn to things like getting to know my co-workers – gah! I wish I was better at remembering names!  And impressing the pants off my supervisor so when that call from the school nurse does come in, I’ll have have some ‘good grace’ points in reserve.  Oh, and let’s not forget the fun that is outing myself to 100 new people!