Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Build Your Curriculum Vitae--The Mommy Way

I'd been wondering why this motherhood job hadn't gotten any easier. Then it hit me...it's not that I'm not doing my job well. It's just that the job description keeps changing. And with each new stage comes a whole new set of skills I need to master.


Here is the job manual I wish I'd received. It would've helped a lot...


Stage One: Indentured Servant



During your first four months in the Mother 'Hood, the only goal is to keep Baby from crying. Period. Sleep, cleanliness, personal hygiene, food and social life are all sacrificial lambs on the altar of peace and quiet. Your main responsibilities are rocking, burping, feeding, and singing lullabies. Stock up on ponytail holders and comfy pajama pants.




Stage Two: Mommy-razzi




After weeks of watching your little Lump sleep, eat and cry, you'll be ready for some excitement. Just wait. In the next few months, you'll have oodles. Smiling! Rolling over! Pulling up! Solid foods! Crawling! Walking! Running! Climbing! Your job is to capture it all with the camera. And then crop, mount, and journal all about it in an acid-free scrapbook while LoveBug naps. Or post online. Or send 8x10 glossies to your 145 closest friends. They will be thrilled.



Stage Three: Lifeguard


Once toddlerhood hits, your kid will go kamikaze. Put down the camera. Now your days will be spent slathering sunscreen, fastening helmets, inflating water wings and filling prescriptions for antibiotics. Your job is to keep Junior and the gang alive. Prepare to be exhausted.





Stage Four: Cruise Director



Remember Julie from the Love Boat? She kept the passengers happy onboard with Bingo, Shuffleboard, black tie galas. You will be doing the same thing...for the preschool set. Playdo on the Lido deck anyone? Fishsticks and french fries at the Captain's table? Candyland Tournament in the Lounge? And don't forget Mom & Me class, playdates, trips to the zoo and storytime. Unlike Julie, you will not be floating miles off the shores of civilization. It will just feel like it sometimes.

Stage Five: Bus-stop Babe



Hooray for school! Someone else will be in charge for a few hours. But don't plan on relaxing. Your Little Einstein will be on her best behavior all day (or not...) for Teacher and then come home for a complete meltdown. Keep lots of individual snack-size goodies on hand. Join the PTO. Volunteer in the classroom often. Spend one-third of the household budget on fundraisers. Spend the other two-thirds on soccer, ballet, piano, Brownies and Cub Scouts, gymnastics and swim team. All free time will be spent cleaning out the car and buying more individual snack-sized goodies.


Stage Six: Didja Master



Little Pumpkin is ready for independence and responsibility. Perfect your Didja. (As in: "Didja do your homework?" "Didja put all the DVD's away?" "Didja brush your teeth?" "Didja practice?" etc.) Consider investing in a polygraph machine and/or a cattle-prod.


That's as far as my manual goes...I know stages 7, 8, and 9 are coming soon and I am completely unprepared. If memory of my adolescence is an indicator, I think my future roles include: chauffeur, guidance counselor, motivational speaker and prison warden.

Anyone with a more complete manual, please advise. Thank you.

22 comments:

Dancin Queen said...

Oh honey, I loved this. Soooo true.

marta said...

this is so great! you are a fantastic mom and seemed ready with a mommy manual the second jake was born.

do you mind making a pdf. file for downloading purposes?! some of us are going to need all the advice we can get! you forgot to mention Babywise.. you still believe in that book, right?

Amanda said...

This is right on target! I just wish that I had it six years ago when Oldest made his appearance. Looking forward to future chapters to guid me along the way!

jess said...

found your blog through my sis (mique) and your sis (marta)... thanks for writing the manual for me! since my little guy is only at stage 2(?) i will have to refer back to this often!

Caroline said...

I've only go to stage four.... very excited about stage five.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

Oh, truer words were never spoken. I'm afraid to get the manual for the next stages - afraid I might not be up for the job. I have to fly by the seat of my pants, otherwise it might be too tempting to quit this job. You didn't mention quitting. Is that in the manual?

Lisa-Marie said...

So true, so true.

Yet, you didn't mention what to do when the situation gets sticky cause you have children in more than one stage. Help! When you figure that one out, will you edit the manual please!

P.S. I LOVED the pictures. You are such a beauty of a Mommy. Both inside and out!

Annie said...

So true! I always think of those first few stages as "mommy boot camp". No manual can get you ready...it's on the job training with the baby calling the shots :)

I LOVE the next stages you're about to enter.

the hogan's said...

by the time i have kids i'll have to borrow your manuel. im not even close to that yet but im already getting very nervous for whats in store. you have a darling family!

lainakay said...

Too true... we're entrenched in the "Didja" phase currently, with a little "Bus-stop Babe" mixed in and a bit of "Cruise Director" for good measure!

Yikes! Totally not ready for the next phase but then I'm never really ready for any phase until it's over!

Jessica said...

You are always so good with these theme posts! (I can only ever blabber on about what happened that day!)

What about family abitration (about 4?) when they all of a sudden know how to teases and hit for real?!

Lauren said...

THAT WAS POSITIVELY FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You need to add witty, brilliant writer to your Cirriculum Vitae. You have a gift!

jess said...

maybe this lady will make you feel better...??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anSpBUxsgAU

Heidiram said...

We had our 16 year old nephew living with us for awhile. Yeah, what a learning curve . . . going from having a 1 year old, 6 1/2 year old . . . and then skipping all the stages in between to a 16 year old. But, the Didja phase was still pretty pertinent for 16 year old. So glad that his mom thought she could do a better job at mothering than I could so she had him sent back "home" again. Needless to say, all our hard work and parenting efforts were shot down the drain as he ended up getting shipped off to his alcoholic father who had a 16 1/2 year old girlfriend . . . nice role model huh? Anyway, I'm a big proponent for going stage by stage in the whole motherhood/parenting thing and not trying to save the day and or someone else's child and skipping several parenting stages in the process. Not fun.

Bridget said...

Oh, I love this. So true. I love the 'didja phase.' What I need are the addendums that give specific guidelines for each individual child. Maybe they should come with model and serial numbers that you can just look up how to operate them.

Marty said...

My hairstylist doesn't have kids, but her 10 year old nephew is being raised by the grandmother, who can't do it any longer. So Dena and her husband are inheriting this little boy. When I commented on their kindness, she said, "It shouldn't be too hard since he's so old. I guess we'll probably have to help him with his homework, and that will be a challenge."

We go into the Mother 'hood' (love that!) with such innocence!

You are so clever and creative in all parts of your life, including your blog posts!

Paige said...

I have bus envy. No buses in CA. I'm still stuck in Cruise Director.

Holly said...

Oh Gabi!!! Once again, you pegged it! I wish I'd been handed a copy of your manual earlier. :) Some of the stages coming up frighten me--like after school meltdown adn didja, didja?. We'll be there soon.

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

I love your outlook on mommyhood and EVERYTHING ELSE. It's so well-said and fun to read.

And the picture of you with the new baby makes ME want another new baby. Sigh.

Mique said...

Gabi- you really do need to write a book. I just can't get over your writing. You make my day every day. I feel like we're living parallel lives. And you always make me smile.
This post was perfect! :)

Celia Fae said...

So I'm going around reading all of the posts I've missed this week, and this is my favorite. So clever and so true. I am in the stage following the didja stage. Trying to think of a clever name.... and can't. Now it is going to bug me all night. The stage includes a lot of worrying about things I can't control, like puberty and the future.

gab said...

I LOVE EMILY....written by, guess who?

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