Mommy Rant


Being that I’ve been on the hunt for a more satisfying and lucrative job, I’ve been on a million and one interviews.  The Lehigh Valley is not the most fabulous place for professionals that aren’t looking to commute to NYC, NJ, or Philadelphia.  There are some opportunities available, but if you’re not a nurse, teacher, or engineer the options are slim.  If I wanted to work in a warehouse or factory, however, I’d be golden.

That being said … I’ve been actively searching, applying, and interviewing for jobs since last November.  Job offers?  Zero.

My husband doesn’t get it and I think he secretly believes I’m an unemployable invalid.

What gives?  Besides the limited number of jobs for professionals in my field, there’s the discrimination factor.  I’ve only been out of college for a little over two years and I’ve already encountered a surprising number of accounts of employment discrimination and illegal interview questions.

Incident #1 –  I was hired by an internet-based homeschooling program.  The company was founded by Mimi Rothschild an evangelical Christian who I later discovered was up to her eye balls in legal troubles from a previous business venture.  Anyway, on day one of training, I was asked to fill out some paperwork.  It asked for the usual information you would expect like emergency contact information, social security number, and then it asked about my religion.  So, I answered, “Roman Catholic.”  I thought it was a strange inquiry, but answered nonetheless.  At the end of the day Mimi Rothschild called me into her office and asked me how comfortable I was working for a “Christian” organization when I was a “Catholic.”  I told her Catholics are Christians, so there would be no problem.  That evening, the woman who hired me called to tell me that they were not going to ask me to return to work because I “lived too far away.”  Think what you will, but I believe something about my Catholicism prompted that move.  How very Christian of her to judge me …

Incident #2 –  An interviewer pointed out my engagement ring and said, “Oh.  You’re engaged.  When are you planning to get married?”   She didn’t ask in an “I’m so excited.  I love weddings!” type of way either … Yikes.

Incident #3 –  I went on a second interview (my first interview was by phone) when I was just about 7 months pregnant.  Not the most ideal time to interview, I know, but pregnant women cannot be discriminated against legally.  Did I expect to get the position?  No.  I figured my pregnancy would scare them off, but what I didn’t expect was for the interviewer to make specific comments about my pregnancy and the “challenges it would present” because they “needed someone who could hit the ground running” and “be more available.”  A few other comments were made, but I’ve conveniently allowed them to leave my memory, so not to remain bitter.  (Although, I am bitter.)  The worst part?  The interviewer was a woman.  Wasn’t she supposed to be on my team?

Incident #4 –  This incident happened just recently.  One interviewer asked, “Are you married?  I thought I saw a wedding ring?”  Tsk. Tsk.  You cannot ask a person’s marital status.  In his quasi-defense, I did ask if the position offered full benefits and he answered my question with a question about my marital status.  However, it was still none of his business.  I didn’t get the job.  I got my letter saying “thanks, but no thanks” yesterday.  Can I say that I was discriminated against?  Not entirely, but I was asked an illegal question that had no relevance in terms of my ability to complete the duties of the job successfully .

There have been other times throughout my almost year-long job search that I have come across clueless interviewers who ask illegal questions.  And while sometimes I think I should opt to not wear my wedding ring, I’m not comfortable doing that.  There’s no shame in being a young professional whose married and has a child.  I don’t want to work for someone who thinks there’s something wrong with that.
My general feeling is that in an employer’s mind, marriage means the possibility of children and children mean the possibility of child care issues, a child’s illness, and other distractions and time off  from work.   Do I think it’s right?  Absolutely not.  I’m not a crazed feminist and I’m far from being considered liberal, but what’s with the sexism?

Which brings me to the Sarah Palin issue … Whatever your political affiliation, whatever your opinions about Sarah Palin’s policies, the fact that she is a mother should not be used as an argument against her and her ability.  Those who question the intentions and the capacity of a woman with children as a successful candidate for VP or any job make me sick.   They’re no better than the slew of people I’ve come across in my job search who feel that motherhood and marriage are an employment handicap.

And so, my search continues …

In short, my labor and delivery experience was hell.  Twenty six hours of labor, two hours of pushing, resulting in an emergency (and super frightening) c-section.  To add insult to injury, I didn’t even get the “preserved region” benefit of the cesarean.  I, like women who deliver vaginally, had a battle wound.

During my hospital stay I knew exactly when there was a shift change.  A nurse would come in to change my bed pads and I’d see her head fly up in alarm from between my legs, “Oooo … I thought you had a c-section?”  No, lady … I’m just bedridden and catheterized for kicks.  All the cool kids are doing it.

I often wonder if when I have my next child I should have a repeat c-section or attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).  There are risks involved in a VBAC, but good Lord do cesareans suck.  Then again I’d also list hemorrhaging and an unplanned hysterectomy as pretty high on the suck factor.  Sometimes I think a repeat c-section is the way to go.  I try to convince myself that maybe it won’t be so bad the second time around if it’s planned.

And then I read this article from BBC News that reports, “Mothers who give birth naturally are more responsive to the cry of their baby than those who choose to have a Cesarean.”  According to new research women who undergo a c-section do not experience the same release of hormones as women who deliver vaginally and this initially affects the mother/baby bond.

My favorite part of the article is the little ditty about how women who have a c-section should cuddle their newborn skin to skin “straight after birth.”  Ummmm … hellooo?  What are they going to do?  Lay the kid on my leg?  The abdominal region is pretty much out of commission and my first c-section involved an oxygen mask and all kinds of crazy contraptions on my face.  And by God, they better not lift that flimsy, paper curtain.  If that goes up and I get a glimpse, I’m dead.  Coronary.

Basically … this sucks.  If I’m not responsive to the cry of my baby I will only be like 25% perfect.  That is just not good enough.  Now I have to weigh my options.

VBAC – die … or not die and be like Mother Earth, responsive, fabulous, all-nurturing.

C-Section – be the worst mom ever, detached, “Baby?  what baby?  I don’t hear my baby.” … or beg them to lay the kid on my leg and hope we connect.
Decisions, decisions.

Apparently I ruffled some feathers when bringing up the circumcision debate.  There’s nothing like coming home after a stressful day, checking your email, and then feeling like the worst mom ever because people think you’re a reckless, menacing weenie chopper.

I am a weenie chopper.  I felt bad about being a weenie chopper, but my son’s weenie has been chopped.   It’s a done deal.

I do appreciate individual opinions, so keep them coming.  However, please know that I never claimed to be perfect.  I’m 50% perfect, remember?  And moms everywhere, weenie chopper and non-weenie chopper alike, shouldn’t be made to feel bad about their decision.

What’s the beef with pacifiers?  I never realized there was such an anti-pacifier movement until I had my son.  Perhaps there’s some “League of Mothers Whose Babies Were Perfect Enough to Not Need Pacifiers” that I wasn’t aware of.    The fact that people would scoff at an infant with a pacifier astounds me.  He’s 6 months old, not 16. 

After anti-pacifier comment #582 and a Google search that revealed that there really are paci-haters, I called my mother.  “Someone said that pacifiers are terrible.  And I shouldn’t be a pacifier user because I’m a breast feeder.  And the internet says the baby will probably have funky, Billy Bob teeth.” 

Seriously, who aids in the malformation of their child’s teeth!?  Apparently I am … Crap.   I hope the anti-pacifier people spend a lifetime trying to pry a thumb out of their children’s mouths. 

The fact (according to my all-knowing, ever-fabulous mother) is that it’s ok if your baby sucks on a pacifier.  Infants have a natural urge to suck and it is soothing.  If you choose to use a pacifier, rock on.  Please ignore all haters.  And consequently, if you choose not to use a pacifier, that’s absolutely fabulous too.  

No mom should be made to feel bad because they choose (or choose not) to use a pacifier.  Though, if you’re sending your kid off to college with one, feel bad.  Feel very bad.  You will most certainly spend a fortune on therapy sessions.  Invest now. 

 

 

My husband thinks I should buy a minivan.  I think he’s smoking dope. 

At 24 years old, I’m already a bit peeved about driving my SUV.  I think my SUV is mom enough – a mini van is out of the question.  

While motherhood has countless blessings, it has also bestowed stretch marks, saggy breasts, and (dare I say it?) weathered nethers.  I need a minivan like I need another tear in my … nevermind.

Two weekends ago I packed up my “mommy mobile” and headed to the Big Apple to meet up with friends and spend a day in the city. After finally getting my super suburban and very heavy Graco stroller to the subway platform, I boarded the 1 train.

I lived in NYC for four years and know all about the subway rule of conduct that suggests you stare at feet, subway advertisements, and anything in the subway car but an actual face. Prior to navigating public transportation with my bambino, I would estimate that about 90% of city dwellers accept and abide by this rule, with the remaining 10% who disobey consisting of beggars, schizophrenics, drunks, and perverts. Apparently, however, when you board the train with a baby the rule is void and all people – beggar, schizo, drunk, perv, seemingly nice man in suit, preteen girls, and traveling foreign father also pushing a stroller – think they have a right to not only look at your baby, but touch your baby.

I was never a germophobe prior to the arrival of my son, but since his entry into the world, I have become a Purell toting, shopping cart sanitizing, germ loathing freak. Needless to say, the fact that strangers – especially a subway car full of strangers with hands on dirty rails – were touching my son flipped me out.

Let me put this out there. If you don’t know me, don’t touch my kid.

I plan on making Brody a vest, much like those bright red vests that service dogs wear. I will affix a patch that dissuades petting. (Come to think of it … I will make him wear it all through his preteen, teenage, and college years too. Anything I can do to discourage petting!)

Furthermore, I think that all people should adopt the General Service Animal Guidelines as found on the State of Indiana’s website (please disregard the fact that I don’t live in Indiana) and apply the rules to babies as well.

  • Do not touch the service animal baby, without the owner’s permission
  • Do not make noises at the service animal baby
  • Do not feed the service animal baby; this could disrupt his/her schedule

This weekend when Brody, Chris, and I were in Rehoboth Beach, a woman approached us to tell us our {ahem} “daughter” dropped “her” pacifier. Meanwhile, my son was sporting a blue and orange onesie with an airplane, wearing blue sunglasses, and the pacifier he dropped was also blue. (see above) This wasn’t the first time someone has referred to him as my daughter either. Perhaps it’s his full head of hair? Or maybe his blue eyes? Either way, he’s never dressed like a girl.
I don’t know why it bothers me when people mistake the genders of babies, namely my baby. It is sometimes difficult to determine the sex of an infant, especially when they’re very young, but why go assuming?

Because gender snafus are clearly inevitable, I’m a huge fan of this onesie from Baby Snazz

P.S. I will soon be starting the coalition for Mothers of Pretty Blue Eyed Boys Who Are Tired of Gender Confusion … (MOPBEBWATOGC) Although, I think I should rethink the name…