17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Perks of the Job

SJ was itching to get outside by 7:30 this morning. She sat in front of the door, with her arm and hand extended toward it, making that ascending-pitched sound that is obviously her way of asking for something. When I opened the door to let her walk in the hallway, she immediately walked to the elevator and did the same thing, begging to go outside. So I put her in the stroller and we walked to work with dh. I haven’t been out walking much at that hour of the morning. When we turned around to go back home, I discovered that we were walking against very heavy foot traffic: hoards of people dressed in dark business clothes headed to work. We stopped at a traffic light and the crowd on the other side of the street kept getting bigger and bigger, until the light changed and walking against the oncoming traffic felt like dividing a sea of black-haired, darkly dressed figures all marching to the drudgery of work.

It reminded me of the opening scene to Joe Versus the Volcano, the first movie Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (boy, she’s aged better than he has!) made together. But instead of heading to a gray, steaming factory, everyone here in Tokyo was headed to a harshly lit, cubicle-studded office. But the feeling was the same. Such monotony. Such repetition. Such mind-numbing work. Of course, I’m making the assumption that every person in those waves of workers has a job they don’t look forward to. But it quickly made me grateful to be headed home in the opposite direction, wearing my worn cords and pale-blue fleece jacket, pushing SJ, dressed in pink, in her bright yellow and navy blue Maclaren (um, yeah, we stuck out). I felt free and light in comparison with these slaves to full-time paid work. Granted I have full-time, and plenty of over-time, work at home (for which I don’t get paid). But at least my work allows me to get outside and choose (in those few hours that napping, feeding, diaper changing, or bathing aren’t required) whether I’m going to take SJ to the playground, or go shopping, or clean the floor, or study Japanese, or work on publicity for my book, or call a friend, or invite people over for playgroup, or do some ironing. Of course, whatever I choose to do will be interrupted over and over and most likely won’t get done until three days from now. But at least, I can choose, and there’s no boss or colleagues needing the work done by a certain time, and I can wear whatever I want, and I’m not stuck inside an office all day long.

Despite getting up at 5:30 to a hungry one-year-old every morning, I’m glad—for the moment—to be a stay at home mom.

Any other perks worth sharing as we near Mother's Day?


  • I would love to share a perk, but first want to know about the book?
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5/10/2007 07:21:00 PM  

  • The book is a collection of personal essays written by my students at the University of Sarajevo when I was living in Bosnia (2004-5) for dh's job with the Foreign Service. It was just published by a press affiliated with Columbia Univ but isn't online yet so I haven't chosen that "work on publicity for my book" option very frequently yet. Thanks for forcing a little plug here. It's called _Facing Memory: Student Memoirs from Bosnia_. I'll post more about it when it's actually available for order. Thanks.

    And I feel I have to apologize to the Tales community at large. I didn't read the previous post, Kage's "What do you do?", before posting this, and realize now after skimming it (Kage's) quickly that this current post is perhaps a little repetitive and not really interesting given the conversation that's been going on.

    I get so sucked into this blog every time I read anything that I deliberately keep myself from it so that I don't neglect everything else I need to do. I just had this happy thought about being able to "stay home" this morning and I thought I would share it with you all without familiarizing myself with the most recent goings on first.

    Oh well. Sorry.

    For whatever it's worth, Anonymous, please share whatever you think might be the perks to your job, however you perceive it.
    posted by Blogger sunny at 5/10/2007 08:50:00 PM  

  • Amen!! It truly is the greatest job EVER!! Glad to see you just put it out there :)
    posted by Anonymous msl at 5/10/2007 09:31:00 PM  

  • Lately I've been getting sad that T's "baby time" seems behind us. He is a full-blown toddler now. It seems like time is slipping away - faster and faster. I guess that is one reason why I love my job. I will never get this time back. It is so precious and babies change way too quickly. Not to mention smiles, hugs, and astounding ways these kids soak up their world everyday. It helps me to slow down and (try to) not focus on myself quite so much. Being a mom is the best.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 5/10/2007 11:30:00 PM  

  • Oh and not always having to be in rush hour traffic is a MAJOR perk!
    posted by Blogger Beth at 5/11/2007 08:41:00 AM  

  • Funny--I was thinking that Tom Hanks has aged way better than Meg. Nothing against PS particularly but she looks kinda scary these days.

    (Joe vs. the Volcano is one of my all-time faves BTW.)

    A big perk of being a mom is choosing your own hours. HA! Just kidding. I do like not waking up to an alarm (except on the days I do have to work or get to church--usually I don't need it but I set it anyway). Sure, crying isn't the best either but I will take that over an alarm clock ANY day of the week, and as soon as my baby sees my face he stops crying and gives me the best grin.
    posted by Blogger Eliza at 5/11/2007 10:22:00 AM  

  • Perks: Not having to take a shower. Eating lunch whenever. Listening to my favorite music (until the kids tell me to turn it off). Being able to take "vacation" days when I want (two hour drive to see my friend for lunch? Sure!). Park Day. Library Day. Sitting around and watch TV all day Day. Blogging in between tantrums. Playing games with my kids when I'm feeling silly.

    I'm sure there's more, too...
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 5/11/2007 11:31:00 AM  

  • Perk: When your 18 year old daughter leaves a note on your bathroom vanity, "Thanks Mom for your time and I love you tons". It makes a "mother heart" know that not a minute was wasted on that girl!

    A tip for those that have small children - your head in the diaper pail is only a short season. Enjoy :D
    posted by Blogger delilas at 5/12/2007 05:45:00 AM  

  • Thanks everyone!

    Beth--I totally agree about time slipping away and traffic! I will never miss commuting.

    Eliza--I haven't paid much attention to Meg Ryan since _You've Got Mail_ and she looked better than Hanks in that one. But that was a long time ago, wasn't it? That makes me feel old.

    Delilas--how do you raise a teenager who expresses gratitude and love like that? Give us your secrets!!

    Cheryl--great list. Thanks for sharing.
    posted by Blogger sunny at 5/12/2007 05:17:00 PM  

  • I love getting up in the morning and dressing in jeans and a tshirt...or however I feel like dressing...instead of business attire.

    I love having an excuse to do "kid stuff".... like going to the playground or to a lake to feed ducks or to the library for story time.

    Please keep us posted on the progress of this book, Sunny, I would love to hear more about it!
    posted by Blogger Jen at 5/12/2007 07:35:00 PM  

  • I think that Meg has done strange things to her face. Too bad--she was so pretty.

    Perks of my job...dealing with angry or cranky KIDS instead of angry or cranky ADULTS.

    Eliza, I smile when you comment because I named my baby Eliza and I like seeing the name--it's not a common one. (But a pretty one!)
    posted by Blogger Katie at 5/12/2007 07:51:00 PM  

  • Sunny, do you ever miss the subway and bustling through the city to go to work?

    Perks for me: more time to read than I would have if I were working. Lots of trips to the library/zoo/park with the kids. And a somewhat more relaxed schedule--we have very few absolutes on our time, so except for kindergarten, we get there when we get there.
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 5/13/2007 04:04:00 PM  

  • It is a nice name. I've always been a fan! Well except when I was 4 or 5 and wanted to go by my middle name (Marie) instead because I didn't know any other Elizas but I knew two Maries.

    It's getting a little more common, which I think is nice. I've met a few Elizas in the under-four set (all of them are Mormon).
    posted by Blogger Eliza at 5/15/2007 07:57:00 AM  

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