Monday, May 24, 2010

The 29 Jobs of The Non-Profit Mom

At the moment, I'm posting on Blogger, primarily because I'm almost completely computer illiterate.  And I'm discovering that, in the world of blogging, if you don't understand computer basics, it doesn't matter how well you write, you won't get very far.  I never needed to know about SEO or HTML code when I was writing college papers in good old Microsoft Word . . .

While stumbling around, trying to editing my Blogger profile, I discovered a tab marked Industry.  One click and I was offered a list of 29 different industries in which one might work.  I paused.  Which industry do I work in again?  I failed to find a category for "Raising the Leaders of Tomorrow" or "Shaping the Minds of the Future."  As a stay-at-home mom, where do I belong?

And then it hit me.  Every.  Single.  One.

Accounting:  Every time I leave the grocery store I make sure that both my kids are accounted for.  No?  How about household finances?  Does that count?

Advertising:  Any mother who has ever convinced her child to eat vegetables by cutting them into silly shapes qualifies as an advertising executive in my book.

Agriculture:  Anybody grow their own garden?  You know, it's a must these days, what with the pesticides and the local food movement . . . If you don't have your own garden you're a total slacker mom.

Architecture:  Last week I helped design a hotel completely out of Legos.  And it didn't fall over.  That's just good design.

Arts:  Um, I do art projects every day.  Just this morning my toddler used his yogurt to fingerpaint all over my kitchen table.  Creative expression at its finest!  (Though to be fair, in that situation I really only played the role of clean-up crew).

Automotive:  Got stuck at Target last winter with two kids and a car that wouldn't start.  Successfully opened the hood and jiggled the thingie that my husband told me to jiggle.  The car started.  If that doesn't qualify as automotive work, I don't know what does.  Did I mention that it was dark and raining and freezing and my toddler was inside the car screaming?  Show me a mechanic who can do that.

Banking:  I have a bank account.  Sure, Suze Orman might have a heart attack if she discovered the state of my finances or the fact that I'm not always "hands-on" when it comes to managing our money, but, hey, at least I read the bank statements.

Biotech:  Apparently this is when technology is used to change or enhance a biological process or biology is used to aid in industry.  I'm thinking that my breast milk, with all it's amazing properties, has to figure into his one somehow . . .

Business Services:  I provide just about any and every service any one of my family members might ask for.  All in exchange for sloppy kisses and unconditional love.  That's service in exchange for goods, so that's business, baby.  

Chemicals:  Learning more and more about them every time I read the ingredients on a bottle of household cleaner or kid's shampoo.  Trying to keep them out of my house and away from my children could easily be a full-time job.

Communications/Media:  Do I even have to explain how a mom works in Communications?  As for media, I spend way too much time determining which kid's shows and movies are appropriate and which ones will surely scar them for life.

Construction:  Remember the hotel made of Legos?  I built it.

Consulting:  I share my experiences and opinions with any other mother who is interested, and plenty of them who are probably not.  Ever wonder why new moms are so desperate to join a playgroup?  Nope.  It's not to "socialize" their two month-old.  It's because every mother in that group is going to serve as their free, personal parenting consultant.  As a mom whose been around the block already, I'm thinking maybe I should start charging by the hour . . .

Education:  Shaping young minds, molding our future, raising the leaders of tomorrow.  All education.  Plus just about everything else that we teach our children everyday.

Engineering:  How about engineering the daily lives of four very different people?  It takes a pretty damn good understanding of logistics and even statistics to keep a family running smoothly, you know. 

Environment:  If I used cloth diapers, this one would be easier . . . but I don't.  I do teach my kids not to litter or leave the water running when they brush their teeth.  Plus, by staying at home and not driving back and forth to work every day, I prevent all that extra fuel emission.  Yeah, I agree that last one is a stretch.

Fashion:  I shop for my children's clothes and dress them every day.  My own personal sense of fashion, however, is playing hide-and-seek with me at the moment.  I know it's here somewhere, but I can't find it the midst of all my Wal-Mart designer apparel.  It's sad when you buy clothes in the same place you buy groceries.

Gov't:  I govern every day.  Some days, we live in a democratic state.  Others, I'm a benevolent dictator.  And then there are the days when you better just do what I say.

Human Resources:  You mean like when my husband is home and he handles a situation with the kids in a wildly inappropriate manner and I have to reprimand him and explain to him the logistics of respectful interpersonal communication?  Maybe next time a probation is in order.

Internet:  Use it every day.  Where else am I going to escape to?

Investment Banking:  Like I said, Suze, not my biggest strength.  But what about the time and energy that I invest in the well-being of my family every single day?  Do you think that will pay off in the end?  You know, I'm kinda banking on the idea that if I can't afford a nursing home, my kids will remember all the love and devotion I've given to them and return the favor in my final days . . .

Law:  Kids have an absolutely amazing capacity for finding loopholes and arguing their position on any matter, whether it's staying up later or skipping the broccoli at dinner.  I may not be a trained lawyer, but I would rather face off with one of them than one of my children any day.

Law Enforcement:   Well, this one is just too easy.  We have rules.  Sometimes I have to enforce them.  Duh.

Manufacturing:  Well, I manufactured two beautiful children right?  I know.  Ha. Ha. Ha.

Maritime:  Okay, I may be stumped here.  No wait -- I've taken my kid's to the beach and out to explore the ocean.  Yep, I've got maritime experience.    

Marketing:  Again.  Too easy.  It's when you successfully argue that the new Princess pajamas are waaaay better than the beloved, ketchup-stained, three-sizes-too-small Dora nightgrown.

Military:  Living in a home inhabited by children can be like living in a war zone.  There are battles, big and small.  And children don't fight the good fight.  With them, it's all about guerrilla warfare.  You let your guard down, and start thinking that everything is going smoothly, and then BAM!!!  Suddenly you're down and out for the count.

Museums or Libraries:  I go to both all the time.  And we read so many books in my house I think I should just start telling people I'm a librarian.

Non-Profit:  If I had to choose one category to describe my role as a mom, this would be it.  Because I work my ass off day and night in ALL of the above categories (as well as about a million other ones) and I DON'T MAKE ANY MONEY FROM ANY OF IT!!!

Blogger wouldn't let me select all 29 categories; they're trying to pigeon-hole me into choosing just one.  But if they plan to continue hosting mom bloggers, it's a glitch they're going to have to fix.  Moms are the ultimate multi-taskers -- we don't do anything one at a time!

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