Thursday, August 25

Lessons in parenthood

It's that time of year again, folks. School has begun around here, and that means alot of getting up early, going to bed earlier than we'd like, and your basic disruption of all that is fun. Boo!

My kids like school just fine. Unfortunately, their just like their Momma, in that they hate having to go somewhere like school (or work) when they'd rather be playing with friends and having no schedule at all.

Every year, along with the start of school and all that entails, there's one other thing that starts up this time of year. And I dread it every. single. year. PARENTING!!

I don't mean the normal "eat your veggies" or "it's your bedtime" type stuff. That's fairly easy parenting stuff for me. I'm talking about those times when it would be so much easier if I could just be their friend and give them one more chance. You know, one more chance after the hundreds of chances they've already been given, but most of the time didn't even know they'd received it? It would mean avoiding that hateful stare I get when they don't get their way. Avoiding the feeling that I've somehow disappointed them, and that they might never, ever forgive me.

Obviously, parenting occurs all year round. But once school starts, there's more structure, deadlines, and stress. And lots less time to play with friends and just be. So, at least around here, there seems to be an uptick in the number of times I have to keep my kids' feet to the fire (so to speak) once the school year begins.  

Do you know why I always end up choosing to be the parent over being the friend? I remember that I truly care how well they turn out. I want them to be great people, and I want everyone they meet to think that they are, too.

When I was going through cancer treatments, there were many times that I just wanted to be their friend and do the fun stuff. I just didn't want them to remember me as the mean mom. I was afraid that I'd be dead before they could have very many good memories of their mom. It was a horrible place to be!

Now, 5 years out, I see the rewards of being their parent, even when I didn't want to. They're responsible for themselves (as much as a 10 and 7 year old can be.) They're respectful of others. They have their own ideas of how to get things done and how to treat people. And they surprise me with their insights into relationships. My kids are really great people!

Thinking about the bigger picture and seeing the results of that are endlessly rewarding. No one ever said that parenthood would be easy. But I don't think it's possible to express to others how much joy and happiness you receive in return.

Monday, August 22

2 Days

I spent the better part of the week my son was away at camp worrying about him and wondering what he was up to. I even went so far as to dream about when he's back home, waxing nostalgic about how our family would be whole again. And, for the most part, it is.

It took all of 2 days for things to go downhill. Back to the normal, "I hate you" (directed towards his sister) and all the other hysterics that occur with a 10 year old in the house. 2 days!!

While I'm still so very glad he's home and back with us, I do wish the effect had lasted a bit longer. *sigh*

On the bright side, school starts in 2 days. :-)

Truth in job interviews: Yes? or Can it!

Looking for work sucks!

Looking for work after having taken a few (5) years off? Really sucks!

No matter what the reason you left the working world was, trying to get back in it after a while is not an easy task. People don't look kindly on those of us who "took time to be with our kids while they were young." Or whatever reason you give for your extended "vacation." My instinct is to just tell the truth, but my husband tells me cancer won't get me any pity in the work world. It'll just get my resume added to the round file. So, I do my best to put on a happy face and give the most vague reasons ever for why I've been out of the work world for so long. It sucks!

When I was in college, I chose a career field that was in healthcare. A no-brainer, everyone said. There will always be a need for healthcare workers. I even hear it today on all those stupid commercials for those for-profit colleges. I chose dental hygiene for it's flexibility, it's impact on individuals, and it's pay. For a very long time, I could get a job any time I wanted, and could be fairly picky on who I wanted to work for. Usually, I picked those dentists who acted as though they wanted to work "with" me and treated me as more of a partner in his/her practice.

Those were good times.

Nowadays, things couldn't be more different. There are hardly any positions open for my field, and those that are happen to be at places I would prefer not to set foot in. (For the most part, anyway.) It sucks!

I know my field isn't the only one with these problems. I know lots of you out there are struggling to find a job, too. And, damnit, this economy is not helping any of us one little bit! I feel your pain, friends.

What I really want to know is this: if any of you are cancer survivors, do you tell your possible bosses about your reason for taking time off? Do you tell the God's honest truth, that you didn't really want to quit, but your cancer and treatments gave you no choice? Or do you find the most vague reason you can think of for why you're back after all this time? And which way do you think would work best? I mean, eventually these people will find out, right? That is, if we end up with the job.

I'm just looking for some real-world experience here. I'd love to hear what you all have decided to do in this position, and why. And if it worked for you, that would be great to share as well.

For the rest of us still looking, don't let yourself give up! They say things are looking up, and I just really want to believe that. :-)

Friday, August 19

Summer camp and homecoming

I officially feel old. (And in my world, that's not a bad thing!)

My 10 year old son went off to camp for a week this year. There was alot of excitement, up until the moment I left him waiting for the bus to pick him up with all his fellow campers. At that moment his expression said it all, "I wanna go home!" I had to get outa dodge quick, before he really did change his mind!

Today, the whole family made the 1.5 hour trek to pick him up from camp. In the middle of a Friday, during a busy workday for my husband. Not the best timing, I must admit. And there were many folks who felt they needed to deter me from doing it. "Why don't you just let him take the bus back?" "He's not gonna want to see you at camp!" "Poor Mommy can't handle not being in charge of it all." (That last one was said with a very mocking, sad face. Not nice.)

To all those who doubted my sanity, I understand. I don't agree with you, but I understand. How many 10 year old boys would, upon seeing his family coming down the hill to pick him up, take off running and meet us halfway and give his mother the biggest hug ever? In front of all the other campers?

Yep. That's right. THIS Momma's boy, and all around cool dude, did just that.

And at that moment, all was once again right with my world. :-)

I love you, buddy, and I'm so glad you're home!