As A Single Mom, Sometimes It’s Bring Your Child To Work Day

In real life, when I’m not picking boogers out of one kids nose and gum out of another’s hair, I am a Realtor. I’ve always had a job. Besides the obvious reasons of needing the dough to survive, to me, having some sort of interaction with the outside world after I became a mom was important. Something to break up the long days of baby-talk and over zealous reactions to my infant finding their feet. Before the big D (divorce, get your mind right), it was nice.

It was the perfect job for a mom that wanted to pretend she was a stay at home mom too. I got to wear both hats, because theoretically, I was both. Back then, I would work when I knew my (then) husband would be home and make sure to not schedule any appointments when he wouldn’t be. I could be the one that was raising my kids and not missing any of the big (or little) moments in their life, while providing some sort of contribution to our family. Win-win. After the big D, my job became dangerously necessary. I NEEDED a steady income, and an ok one at the least.

And so, regardless of my new status as a single mom, I was determined to make sure that my career prevailed, whether I had help or not. “Or not” being the most common scenario. And because of that, there are more times than I would like to admit that I have had to take my kids to work with me.

I really try not to. Let’s be honest, I could use the break from then as much as they can from me. Still… babysitters are a luxury that I just can’t afford consistently, especially when it’s going to be a brief- 20 minute appointment that I’ll be paying a sitter a minimum 2 hour rate for. On the other hand, it’s just not “professional” in some cases. But when you are a single mom and you have three little kids and bills and baseball and karate and gymnastics and need groceries and toilet paper and laundry detergent, you gotta do what you gotta do.

I’ve gotten exceptional at slipping in a little disclaimer to my clients up front that I have young children, there might be a time or two where I may need to cart them along with me. And most of my clients are more than ok with that. Some even encourage it as a way to give their own children in tow someone to interact with while we are out.

That being said, in truth I kind of like my job, and my clients, and I would like to KEEP them as my clients. And there are days where I really shouldn’t bring my kids with. Not because my client would disapprove and not because the circumstance wouldn’t allow, but because on that particular day all three of my bio kids are apparently in need of some sort of exorcism. They have clearly been possessed by some malevolent poltergeist and are in desperate need of purification before they spontaneously combust.

One particular day speaks to me when I think about all of the times I have paraded my children into the car with outlandish promises of fast food, ice cream, unlimited IPad time or whatever else I can come up with in the moment to threaten them into submission so I can get through this engagement without completely losing my credibility.

On this specific day, I actually had a babysitter lined up, but as {my} luck would have it they had some unavoidable situation pop up and could no longer help me. I had a long(ish) appointment to be at, and in my career, it is not easy to reschedule steps of major importance to the transaction so my options were limited.

After carefully considering all of the things that could go wrong and the ways I was going to proactively safeguard said things from happening, I made a pact with my oldest, pledging him the title of “the boss” and therefore far too much power for a (then) 6 year old, and packed my nuggets into the car with promises rolling off my tongue as I strapped them into their car seats.

“Do NOT say anything about the house. Don’t even THINK about running. You absolutely can NOT start whining and crying. Don’t you DARE ask to leave or complain. And when we are done, if we get through this hour with ZERO issues (yeah right)…. I’ll take you to Disney World.” – Me, in my blissful ignorance.

Once this appointment is rounding the corner to the finish line, my youngest falls asleep, my oldest is ready to play on his IPod and my middle is just done. So I offer to take them all out to the driveway where they can wait in the (doors locked, heat running – I’m not an animal) car. They gladly take me up on my offer and off they go. I run around the house in a frenzy making sure all of the lights are off, windows are closed and doors are locked, and as I’m doing so I start hearing some very loud techno music coming from outside. The old lady I’ve become is secretly cursing whatever teenage driver must be on the road and how “irresponsible” they are (as if I was never that same adolescent without a care in the world).

I’m standing in the doorway delivering my clients the rundown and summary of our appointment today and next steps for them as we start walking out of the house… and we all look over simultaneously to where we can see all three of my children have created their own rave in my minivan.

The car is vibrating up and down to the base of the music that is BLASTING out of the speakers into the silence of the neighborhood and if that wasn’t bad enough one of my demon-spawn rolls down the (very large) back window revealing that dependent #2 is whipping their shirt over their head screaming “DANCE PARTY!!!!” as they all jumped up and down some more squealing with delight.

At the time, I was mortified. Now, looking back, it was pretty flippin funny. Thankfully, my clients saw the humor in it from the beginning and were cracking up at my tiny humans cutting a rug in between the seats of the car, half naked.

After that day, whenever I am faced with potentially having to take my children to work with me or finding them a new sitter at the last minute, I try a little harder, beg a little more, and consider deeply the possibilities of what they are capable of before I decide on risking their attendance at my important meetings. Luckily for me, this particular little stunt of theirs was in breach of our contract guaranteeing them a future trip to Disney World. (PHEW!)

Until next time… be the mom that gets the job done. Even if it means you have to drag your kids to work with you. Even if it means you have to promise them the world (or Disney World) to do it. And remember, whatever they do now that makes you want to cry, will probably make you laugh years from now.

MomTransparenting

 

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In The Spirit Of Trans-parenting: Who Am I?

So… who the hell am I and why should you read my blog? I’m a pretty lame person, with a pretty average life. I’m divorced. Which just means that I’m part of the majority of the previously married adult population. And that the man who I swore my love, life, and future to years ago became my worst enemy for a whole year straight while we battled in court until the lawyers realized we were out of money, and then magically, things started happening and our divorce was finalized. Funny how that works.

I’m also (unrelated,… maybe) broke. Because of my life before divorce, the one with two incomes and no debt and even financial contributions into the family, I lived pretty comfortably. Now, considering one of those things no longer exists in our household, I believe “frivolously” might better describe my spending skills (I think they call it champagne taste on a beer budget). I have yet to figure out how to make that mature adjustment to my shopping habits and find the balance of my new income (or missing income), and when I do (hello, fellow Single Moms, share your tips please!) you’ll be the first to know!

I have 3 biological kids and 2 future step kids. Which puts me in an awkward position when trying to describe who these children are to me out in public. “So those are your….” Those are my fiance’s kids. Fiance implies that we are engaged, but because we aren’t technically married yet, they aren’t  technically my step children, and because I don’t want the side eye from you…. I’m just going to say “future step kids” and annoy the shit out of myself in the process. They live with me (us) half of the time, they fight and bicker with my kids like natural siblings do. They talk to me like any kid talks to their parent when they are pissed off, with attitude and disdain.

I get summoned into the room in the middle of the night during a bad dream, or requested to cuddle one of them when they are having a hard time going back to sleep. I make their breakfasts, lunches, and dinners when they are with us and I would like to think I treat them the same (or pretty damn close) as my own children. But, as far as the general population (in my experience) is concerned, I don’t carry the title of “Stepmom” yet, and therefore, they aren’t my “step kids”…. yet.

My ex husband and I do not speak and he’s not a part of my kid’s lives at the moment. Which I might get into more later but for now that’s all I’m going to say about that. (Let’s keep the sad/serious stuff for a rainy day).

What makes our family different isn’t the divorce part, isn’t the ex part, or the fact that we are two working parents, coming together like the freakin modern day Brady Bunch, except penniless and in desperate need of Alice to come clean our tiny house. What makes my story much different than most, is because my middle child is a kindergartner. And also, a transgender boy. All of this is VERY new to me, but my intention is to share with you along the way and maybe in the end, we will both learn something.

About 6 months ago my (then) daughter came to me with some pretty heavy stuff. She was 4, and confused with herself, and convinced that in her brain, she was a boy. She told me God had given her all of the wrong parts. She should have a penis, because, after all, she is a boy. She asked me if deep down, in my heart I know that I am a girl. Because in her heart, she feels like a boy.

Photo Credit: Trans Student Educational Resources

What do you do when your very young child brings you something so incredibly profound and ADULT? In my mind, kids weren’t supposed to know about this stuff. Kids aren’t supposed to be worrying about their identity and gender or sexual orientation. They are KIDS! They should be having fun and making fart jokes and messes they don’t intend to clean up and blaming them on their brothers and sisters proudly. This was so big. So life changing (for both of us, for all of us, really).

And because someone once told me that no one wants to read a blog post over 700 words, I’m going to wrap this up and finish up in my next post. See you soon.

(Find a quick link to the rest of this story I’m rambling on about here: Trans-parenting… The Story Continues. )

Mom Transparenting.

**There are some great resources out there for parents, kids, family, friends, and anyone that just wants to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community. Here are a handful that I have found to be helpful while I’m navigating my own path with my child:

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Mom Transparenting

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