My fellow WAHM, have you ever noticed just how ridiculous certain aspects of our life can be? I, for one, rode around today with my youngest's chocolate pudding cup in the front of my truck next to a plastic container full of worms my oldest determinedly collected yesterday. But this pales in comparison to the other pieces of my WAHM life that just slap me sometimes as being so ridiculous they’re absurd.
My Four-Year-Old Banker
Running your own business means watching the money come in floods and droughts, even if the work is steady. This week especially, I’m waiting on an international wire to process a full week after I needed it for some bills. While this random money pattern is normal in our universe, the outreach of it is not.
For example, my son filled up his sticker chart for school participation thus earning a large prize from Mom. Excited, he asked to go and pick something out right this very second. My response? “Sorry baby, I’m waiting on a wire to come in.”
Rather than look confused, my four-year-old just nodded his acceptance and ran off to play. I’ll have the only kindergartner next year experienced in IBANs.
I have two children under five (barely since one will be five in a couple of week and the other thinks he is already five), but we have enough computers in my household to start our own computer lab. Each of my children has his own computer. That’s right – my two-year-old has a computer. And he’s about the age that my oldest was when he learned to use it.
I’ll never forget the day one of my Master’s professors was explaining something to a classroom full of….older-than-me folk, and I caught myself legitimately thinking – bah, my toddler can do that. Not in a sarcastic way. As to why we have five computers in a household with two adults and two little ones, I’m married to a man who builds the things and can fix just about anything. He’s a hardware guy – very sexy for a software girl, I tell you.
Tales of Exhaustion
My favorite WAHM stories are those that stem from being purely exhausted most of the time holding down two jobs, raising two kids and never getting enough sleep. Some of that is on me for the hours, I keep, but still – have you ever gone to do a five-minute-leg-shave and removed a large Spiderman sticker from the outside of your calf? And then did you realize you have no idea how long it’s been there – it might have been more than twenty-four hours thanks to your erratic schedule.
I’ve also handed, or really tried to hand, a three-month-old a banana repeatedly while he slept in his swing. I’ve fallen asleep in the middle of saying prayers with little ones and done no telling how many other crazy things without ever realizing it.
In fact, just a few hours ago I caught a big WAHM mistake planning birthday parties with another mom. My message to her, “I’ll be sending over the real invoice soon, but his party will be on May 1…” Really? Now I’m invoicing my son’s friends to attend superhero parties. Fortunately I caught it and changed it to read “invitation”, but if I hadn’t she would have laughed it off anyway – she knows the life.
The Power of Mom
Stickers, invoices and assumed narcolepsy aside, children are a product of their environment. Mine might have a tired, flighty mother at times, but they also have a mother who works hard to give them the things they need to grow and find their own successes. They have a mother who runs a very visible business in our home, and they have already have internalized what it means to work, to own a company, to handle money matters.
I have no idea what my children want to do – one is shooting for a horticulturalist and the other wants to be a dragon – but they are growing up with a true gift. They have a front row seat to how much a human can do cheerfully and well for the joy of it. I hope my hard work gives then what they need to live a life without limits.