Photo By Rommy Coleman Photography
The day I found out I was pregnant – I was on my way to work and felt dizzy on the Metro North (Westchester NY) Platform into the city. All of a sudden my iced coffee was oddly unappealing which was odd for a hot July day. The fellas in the deli had my cup ready to go that morning as usual and I tipped a lot more than normal. Perhaps I subconsciously knew it would be the last time I would ever go into that deli by the station.
I remember sitting on the bench trying to grip my consiousness and the train blew into the station. The sweatbeads that were starting to pour were fanned by the passing cars and in my mind I heard, “Beth, are you really going to miss this train? If you can just get onto the train and into any seat, the AC will help.” Just as I heard the sigh of the train I threw myself into the open car doors and into a seat. I was right about the AC, and I gathered my composure. As I thought about what had just happened, deep in my heart I knew. On the way into Sony, I rounded Madison Avenue and scooped a pregnancy test from Duane Reade. As the major supportive vein to my department, I prided myself on being about 45 minutes early each day. We had a private showroom for Sony VIP’s that I would set up each day. I’d get the coffee going, and make sure the place was a nice environment for our team and our visitors to come into. This morning I took that test, only to find 2 blue strips. Game Changer.
I had my own very modest apartment and my radical job as a Sales and Marketing Coordinator for the VIP group at Sony Corporate. It was a stellar environment to work in. I felt part of something major and sleek every day. The beat of technology design and entertainment. I dressed every bit of the part in trendy corporate attire. At night I went to school for jewelry design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. This meant every day the mile I walked to the train and the 15 blocks to Sony I carried tool boxes and portfolios and I carried them home after school around 11:30 pm when my train would finally get in from the city at the end of the night. I thought I was busy then. The commute alone is something that some people just couldn’t dream to do. The walking, the waiting, the carrying. It was hard, but it was what I chose and I was doing it alone, but doing it, damnit.
My husband and I fell madly in love after our first date. We dreamed of having children together and here it was coming true! When I told him that day, he was wildly happy and we knew without real question in a few months there was not a real possibility that I could maintain employment in the city, a home at the jersey shore, with child and my apartment and school life.
It just didn’t occur to me that by choosing to do one of THE MOST IMPORTANT jobs there is to do, be a mother – would literally strip me of every last accolade of my career or life thus far – to MANY people especially, the Mouths. The mouths are the people who get into your head with the things they say, the people who just can’t HELP themselves from offering their opinion. I wholly admit to being one of these people! There is a reason I have a consulting business – because I am very opinionated. Sometimes it’s just too far and off base. Tact is just one of those things I’m not sure people are aware of fully in terms of themselves. We mean well, most of the time. Intentions are truly what we should go on when we decide to allow ourselves to be hurt over something but in the heat of anything those aren’t so clear.
When people ask what I do, I say “Stay at Home Mom” first. The reaction is priceless.
Now my FIRST job is to be an at home mom and a housewife.
I am NOT ashamed by this but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt that people assume I need more than what I do.
I went to school to be a designer – so I design. ALL the time. So much more than I ever did with a dayjob. Yes it’s tighter, much much tighter on 1 steady income. But not working means, I don’t need to have a full blast wardrobe anymore nor, nor a heck of a lot of anything, I am surely not eating out all the time or picking up people bar tabs like I used to. Do you know how much I loved doing that?
Now I’m lucky to have a drink bought for me and I sneak airplane booze into concerts in my boots. Yeah, I said it!
I’ve made HUGE sacrifices damnit to be home with my kid. What you choose is YOUR CHOICE and my husband and I knew this would was for us. Never, not once has he ever made me feel like what I do with my job as a mom, wife or business woman is not enough.
Why isn’t it enough for the rest of the world?
Why do people have to constantly suggest what I should be doing instead of doing exactly what I am doing?
Why do people try to scare me into thinking that my career experience and also education thus far is some how all invalidated like the grand ol’ magna doodle eraser, just because I am a mom? Poof, Vanished!
Do you know I can use a daggone blow torch on gold?
Do you know that Tony Bennet and I hosted a photo exhibit for Sony together at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in NYC?
So what I traded in the blue pinstriped suit for yoga pants. Is it not a completely life expanding experience to become a mom?
Why is it completely diminished by so many people in this day and age?
I truly do not get it and have growing fears of my workplace re-entry because of this stigma that comes along with having a child.
Towards the end of my pregnancy I had an anxiety attack in the OB’s office. I was still working and commuting. The bus and train to the shore was a 2 hour trip and it seemed to just get to me that day. The doc started to rant about how I reminded him of his daughter. She had this wild career and was seeking her education, then she got pregnant and tried to keep it all up and couldn’t. Inevitably, something has to give somewhere or something suffers and mostly, it’s the family.
It makes sense to me now – something somewhere does give. Getting used to NOT getting that paycheck every other week with my name printed all perfect up there with all my “vacation hours” next to it. Vacation Hours!! Now that’s a concept!
You can always work – the jobs, the jobs are freaking there. A child is a baby for a breath, and a kid for a shot longer. I can’t believe 3 years have gone by since I’ve had a boss that wasn’t a client. I STILL know how to do all of the things I used to do, I swear! Also I’m pretty sure would be better at my old job than I ever was back then and I was good. 😉 Certainly now I am much more patient, understanding and nurturing, also lets not forget a mom’s ability to “multitask”.
So I dedicate this rant to the people who “at home mom bash”, who make us feel like we’ve handed the keys over to our smarts, our careers and our family’s “livlihood” because we chose to care for our kids for ourselves. No this isn’t a dig at the moms who went back to work – I SALUTE YOU. Your job is hard as heck. To the AT HOME MOMS, who feel these words – I SALUTE YOU TOO. You rock. You don’t get breaks, commutes, alone time, to crap solo, to take 1 demand at a time, to wipe just your own tush, to eat out or cook just for you, to step over the mess, or to take shortcuts.
Work comes my way, I pump away on the ol digital airwaves like I’m doing now and every inch of my professional experience aides my job with my personal business. I’m a MOMPRENEUR, second to being a mom. It’s a real job, without steady pay. So, hey, buy me a drink. I’ll get you back, someday – it could come in the form of a PBJ, though.