It has been a very long time since I was officially a part of the work force. I left my job with Allstate Insurance in 2003 so that I could concentrate my efforts on not dying. (If you haven't already, you can read about my years of health crisis here.
After my surgery in 2008, I started considering going back to work, but by then I had a new problem. My biological clock was not ticking. It was screaming obscenities at me.
It didn't want to start a new job and then promptly become pregnant -- these were the days of my uttermost confidence in my ability to become pregnant. So, after some discussion, my husband and I decided we would concentrate on the family thing first.
We concentrated... and we concentrated... and then we concentrated some more. By now, I did have a job. I was self-employed at the "get yourself knocked up" factory. I put in long, hard hours. Ovulations were charted. Specialists were seen. Medications were taken. Fertility treatments were on the books when I peed my 4,137th stick and it said "pregnant."
Harrison was born in 2010 and there was no way I was not staying home with that baby. Shhhhhhh now and hear me when I tell you that my decision to stay home with him is not a judgement upon you working mothers. It's really, really not. In fact, I am in awe of those of you who juggle careers and families. I think we as mothers are all wired differently. Some of you are better moms for the hours you spend away working, but I knew myself well enough to know that I could not and would not do both things well.
So for me, the decision was easy. I became a stay-at-home mom. It's the best thing I've ever done in my life. I love it and I'm good at it. With one child. I cannot fathom being home with four or five children all day. Again -- no judgement here. I'm simply stating a fact about myself.
I would lose my f*cking mind if I had that many children running around. Some of you do it and do it well. Some of you almost have me convinced you enjoy it. But that's not going to happen at our house anytime soon.
Harrison is now is school, so here I am, once again considering employment. I'm a 35-year-old mom with an 11-year gap on my resume. It doesn't scream "hire me." Shouldn't it, though? I don't mind the question, "What have you been doing with yourself for the last 11 yearrs?" If I were reading my resume, I'd be asking the very similar questions. "11 yearrs, huh?... Are we talking about a prison term here?"
But it seems to me that, while it's not exactly quantifiable work experience, I have been loading my resume with skills. I can clean up vomit and finish a sandwich in a fifteen minute time span. I can multi task my a** off. I can answer the same damn question 62 times in a row before I scream. I can walk over and around a toy obstacle course in the dark. I can bathe an angry/slippery con artist in under 10 minutes. My toddler negotiation and bribery skills are unparalleled.
In my mind, I shouldn't be justifying my resume. I should be receiving so many job offers that I can't even respond to them all. Am I right, moms??? Am I right?!
I've decided that I will not be ashamed of my resume gap. I've been creating and raising a person dammit!
I claim no more mom shame! Who's with me?!?
You can read me at http://www.raisingharrison.blogspot.com