See, I just enjoyed the heck out of 12 work-free days. (Well, almost work-free, anyway.) During this glorious 12-day span I started and finished my Christmas shopping; spent quality time with my children; visited with friends and family members I don't get to see nearly enough; exercised almost daily; cooked delicious well-balanced meals; cleaned my boys' room (a MONUMENTAL triumph); filled a lawn-and-leaf-sized trash bag with clothes none of us were ever going to wear again; watched a few movies; and read magazines (!); and other fun stuff, too. Today, it's back to work, which of course is why I'm blogging again. LOL. Anything to put off the dreaded cold calling. Ooh! But first thing this morning I did make what might have been my last internet ad campaign sale of 2011 — bringing my grand total for the year up to nearly $70,000. I feel really accomplished for that. Woo-hoo! Let me not jinx anything, though, because there is a chance I could close on another by the end of the day tomorrow. I'm just not getting my hopes up, as I'm not expecting much from this two-day holiday work"week."
So, why is it that I'm counting down to the weekend? Because, for me — at least for now — work is not life. What I experienced in the 12 days before this one was life. Work is a necessity ... something that must be done because life costs money. There was a point in the past when work meant a lot more to me ... when I was super-excited about a feature story I was working on or a magazine I was developing ... or when I truly was passionate about raising money for a worthy cause. But, with motherhood something changed. Not to say that I don't get fired up about work anymore. It is nice to get out and meet new people. I'm glad to be learning new information and acquiring additional skills. Plus, there is a certain feeling of exhilaration associated with making sales. But you know what? It's nowhere near as exhilarating as introducing classic Scooby Doo episodes to my toddler, seeing the excitement on my 9 year old's face while he plays his new Xbox 360 with Kinect, or listening to my 11 year old recount the events of the Percy Jackson book she's currently reading. That's the truth, y'all. Still, I try to do an outstanding job, take pride in what I do and do care about my customers, because that's just how I am.
Still, you know what freaks me out? When I hear new mothers exclaim that they cannot wait for their maternity leave to end so that they can get back to the office. They are going crazy, they say, being "stuck" at home with a baby all day. Really??? Well, to each her own. I can understand the need for adult conversation and mentally stimulating activities. I would have no problem finding ways to fill those needs that do not involve full-time employment, thank you very much! And, you know what irks me? How all the articles in parenting magazines and books like What to Expect When Your Expecting try to address the choices mothers make. It always reads something like this: After the baby comes, do you want to return to work full time, work part time or be a full-time mom? Um, hello. What about all of us who have had to work full time because the cost of living is astronomical and we need health insurance benefits? Surely I'm not the only mother in the world who felt like a Nazi work camp resident being forced to relinquish my baby to virtual strangers while I pulled eight-hour shifts at an office across town. (In truth, I could not fathom doing so, so I arranged for extended maternity leaves and/or compressed work schedules and spent every lunch hour nursing each baby for the first year.)
Someday I may rant about how a culture of full-time working mothers contributes to many of our nation's ills. But, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. So, I guess I'll shut up now and get to work.