Thursday, January 15, 2009

Measuring Up

T is a member of CBMC (Christian Businessmen Committee). He attends meetings with a small group every month, where they do everything from discuss business, their faith, sports, punch each other, and shoot wild animals. (Hey, if all women do when we get together is have tickle fights in our underwear, then this is what I imagine men do when they get together) I think he really enjoys it, and I'm sure it's nice for him to have an outlet to discuss business, since my knowledge of that world comes from watching the first three seasons of Trump's The Apprentice on NBC.

Tonight, one of the local CBMC leaders (who happens to be my brother's father-in-law--does that make sense?? He's Su-Su's dad) planned a dinner party for T's small group at the country club. Business casual, no big deal. We drove up the dark, tree-lined road to the country club and then walked (very) briskly from the parking lot up to the club.

Turns out we were the youngest couple there by several years and a lot of gray hair. That really wasn't a problem...I'm pretty good at small talk with just about anyone, but sometimes it is easier to connect with a person who has also spent her day washing sippy cups and keeping their one year old from drowning herself in the toilet. There was definitely not that connection there last night. Over salads, the CBMC leader asked us to go around the table and tell a little about ourselves, since none of the wives have ever met. I braced myself for an onslaught of insecurity. Sure enough, it flared right up.

The first wife is an actual doctor. She has elementary school-aged twins, and she runs a whole pediatrician's office. My current office location is the laptop here on the kitchen table, and there is a Disney Princesses place mat directly across from me. I think the ambiance is enhanced by the dried up milk on Michaela Byrd's high chair tray.

The second wife is a registered nurse. She also has two older children, has worked in the PICU, NICU, and currently works for a heart association. She runs marathons (for fun??!) and is planning a trip to Big Sur soon. I am planning a trip to Wal-Mart today for diapers before I travel to the metropolis of Richmond to pick my sister up from the airport.

The third wife I had more in common with, as she is a teacher (I was a teacher's assistant for a semester after I graduated college). She has high school and college aged kids, and her husband manages just about every radio station in the area. Big bucks. I manage my team of myself for the Steering Team newsletter committee for my MOPS group. They're a traveling family as well. They like to take Thanksgiving vacations to places like London, San Fransisco, and Turkey (get it?? Turkey for Turkey Day...haha). The last two big vacations T and I went on, we came home to find out a few weeks later that I was pregnant. I don't think we'll be going anywhere any time soon. The last wife manages a local Halmark store and has four grown children--overachiever!

So I sat at the table, feeling like a great big loser--literally...these ladies run marathons. The only place I run is down the clearance aisle at Target. Several of them clearly have some heavy-duty college and graduate degrees. I didn't even really use my B.A. when I was working at my pitiful little job before the kids came along. So when it was my turn to speak, I decided to just be honest.

"I have a six-figure book deal." I said. "And on my way to the spa every morning, I oversee the maid and the nanny while they care for my house and children. My girls never whine or cry, and they always eat their broccoli."

"I volunteer my summers reading to blind orphans in Guatemala. In Spanish." I continued. "And I am currently having our home redecorated by Nate Berkus."

Okay, not really. I just sort of filled in the gaps that T left when he introduced us. Everyone smiled politely, and even nodded in recognition when I mentioned my MOPS group, but I couldn't help but wonder if they were all thinking, "My goodness, what a loser."

I know I'm supposed to be cherishing these years I have at home with my girls, and that is something I am working on. Enjoying the little moments I have with them, instead of sitting in the middle of a pile of toys wishing I was sitting on a beach on Paradise Island. But when I think about my accomplishments, putting together a newsletter that maybe three people read or folding a load of laundry just doesn't match up to nursing sick people in the remote areas of Uruguay.

I sometimes wonder what life has in store for me when my children are all in school. Will I find another dead-end job that I suffer through? Or will I finally find my passion and excel at something? We'll see....


  1. Being a stay at home mom is the BESTEST :) and HARDEST job in the whole world! Remember that you are training up your girls with your values and morals and no amount of cash, vacations, or prestige can ever top that!

  2. You are not a loser! There are plenty of people (like me) who would give anything to have two beautiful girls to raise. Your job as a mother is the most important one in the world. After your girls are in school and you have more time to yourself, you WILL find your niche in the business world.

  3. Girl! You read my mind!! I loathe going to Kev's work for stuff-- it so hard to carry on a conversation with women who are, you know, actual rocket scientists. lol I get so embarrassed sometimes explaining that I stay at home with 4 kids and I have a baby and that is why there is spit up in my coat because I had no time to change on my way out the door.

    I have to always remember that we were called by God to be servants to our families, and that being a servant is the highest calling there is--Jesus was the ultimate servant, and my whole purpose on Earth is to become refined and more like Him. It is not to see how many exotic places I can see before I die, or how many degrees I can impress people with.

    You RAWK woman, remember that!! :)

  4. I totally get it. I also stay at home with our 11 month old and 2.5 year old. That's ALL I do. Really, that's about all someone can do if it's your main job. But I have to say that I think raising our kids is the BEST most rewarding and difficult job there is. It's often thankless, dirty and mind numbing. But I also think it is the most important job there is! In my experience it's a lot easier to be a patient, kind and loving mother if you are not with your kids 24 hours a day. Full time moms don't get an hour or a day off for the most part. Keep your chin up...I think it's wonderful that you stay home with your kids :)

  5. YOU DO HAVE THE BEST JOB... stay at home mommy. Just think of all those hugs, smiles, and firsts that those other moms are missing out on. I stayed home while my girls were young and I have never regretted it for a moment. From reading your are a wonderful mother.

    When you do make it out into the kidless world, I hope you decide to write books, maybe even direct a movie or two.

  6. i relate. and you do such a wonderful job describing everything.


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