RATTLED: Son's transitions bring joy, mom's not so much
Elliot is now just north of 6 months old. He loves cauliflower, bouncing and boasts a one-word vocabulary. (He said â€śmamaâ€ť on Fatherâ€™s Day.)
The transitions in his life bring me more joy than a truckload of spinach dip. Itâ€™s the transitions in my own life that have me twitching.
While I support women who choose to be stay-at-home moms, we always knew that we couldnâ€™t afford that. We planned for about six months with only one income. It seemed like more than enough time to get back on track. Oh, but there was that little fact that I planned to change careers. I am a writer. I would like people to pay me to do that.
The job search started early and without urgency. I put in key words like: writer, communication, creative. I created profile after profile on job sites. The next day Iâ€™d have something in my inbox labeled â€śJob Matches.â€ť I keep getting e-mails like this, and just this morning, I learned that Iâ€™m qualified for a route sales position with an ice cream company.
I managed to get some interviews.
I bought some pants at Target, a few tops that were on sale at Dillardâ€™s, and thanked my lucky stars that my brows hadnâ€™t grown in completely from their last plucking.
I couldnâ€™t justify the expense of a cut and highlights. I had to rely on some modest make-up and a few sprays from a large bottle of Wang cologne which I received as a present back in 2004.
In college, our art professors would always tell us that we needed to set ourselves apart while on the job hunt. We heard about people who delivered a resume and cover letter with a large pepperoni. One gal printed her contact information on gum packaging.
â€śDo not send cupcakes,â€ť someone told me a few months ago. She emphasized it with caps a second time.
â€śBut they could spell, 'Hire me,â€™ â€™â€™ I insisted.
There must be other women out there like me. Weâ€™re enjoying motherhood, but stressing over finances. We are thankful for time with our babies but have bills to pay. We know there are jobs out there, but remember they need to pay enough to cover day care.
Alright, cupcakes say desperate, but what does a cheesecake say? What if I put on my Target pants and Wang and drive the cake to your house? These are the thoughts that go through my mind.
Itâ€™s her fault
I blame Oprah. She filled my mind with success stories from creative women. I am sure their lives were more complicated than portrayed, but it always sounds like, â€śOh, I just got tired of filling up my watering can, so I invented this long thing with a nozzle on the end.â€ť
Iâ€™m still looking for my hose.
I have heard some readers say I should write a book. Well, a few weeks ago I submitted my manuscript for a childrenâ€™s book to six agents and publishers.
I pulled the publishersâ€™ names from a copy of Writerâ€™s Market and reminded myself that the tedious process would pay off. Two rejection letters have arrived, the second just days ago. I gave them my heart and a self-addressed stamped envelope. All I got were unsigned form letters on lousy half sheets of paper.
I got more than that back from my fan letter to Alan Alda! (He signed it and thanked me for counting him on my fantasy brunch guest list.)
The start of summer has me trying to keep positive. I am thinking of starting a girl band like Justine Bateman in the movie â€śSatisfaction.â€™â€™
Weâ€™ll travel around, tease our bangs and perform at places with names like, The Down Under and The Stone Balloon. I might get in a fight with a guy named Eddie who tries to stiff us. (Nobody promises us $250 a gig and doesnâ€™t deliver.) Heâ€™ll blame it on the economy, and I will throw some New Coke on his Members Only jacket. All of this before we take the stage and sing â€śMr. Big Stuffâ€ť real down and dirty. This guy from a record company will say that weâ€™re better than Tiffany and Debbie Gibson combined. Weâ€™re like, â€śDuh.â€ť Weâ€™ll land the deal and Iâ€™ll bring Elliot and his daddy on tour.
Either that, or I might just continue looking for a job.
Christine Fuller Lucas writes about being a first-time mom and adventures with baby.