Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kids These Days

I had a lengthy chat with my mom today.  She's at summer camp right now.  Okay, well she's a counselor at an archaeological dig/camp thingie in the 4 Corners region of Colorado.  She does it every year.  So, with the time difference, while her kids are in "class" we chat about the world and such.

Today we got on the subject of kids these days.  You know "kids these days."  Sadly, so many of them are what society years back referred to as "assholes."

Yep, I said it.  I called your kid an asshole.  Unless you're kid's not an asshole, in which case you're sitting there shaking your head in agreement.

Here's what I remember from my childhood:

When at someone's house, you do not ask for a drink, snack, etc, you wait until such things are offered.  If they are not offered, you get a swig of water out of the sink in the bathroom and wait until you leave to eat something.  (This rule applies to parents in that you do not take your children somewhere during mealtime and expect someone else to feed your kid.)

When you get in trouble at school, you do not blame it on the teacher or anyone else.  You listen to your teacher and parents and learn from your mistake. Even if that mistake was just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  This is a life lesson and may keep you out of jail when you get older and chargeable. You don't argue. When did kids decide it was okay to argue with their parents?   (This rule applies to parents in that if your child gets in trouble at school, you don't immediately question the teacher's authority. Remember back when people respected teachers? Let's go back to that.  Also, think of teachers like this:  would you operate on your self if you needed surgery?  No, you'd call a professional.  Would you represent yourself if you were charged with murder, No, you'd call a professional.  Teachers are professionals, too.  Let them do their job.)

The world does not revolve around you.  Sure you're special and all, but that doesn't mean special privileges.  You are one part of a larger family.  You are one student in a class of 27.  You have a role to play but you don't get to run the show.  When you decide that you "deserve" something, you stop actually working for it and start expecting it.  Don't do that.  You don't deserve anything.  When you work hard, you will see an appropriate return for your effort.  The world will not be presented to you on a silver platter.

Sometimes you're going to do something bad.  You're going to hit someone, you're going to push someone, you're going to act out.  You're a kid.  It happens.  You will not be coddled.  You will get into trouble.  No one will ask how you felt at the moment of the incident.  No one cares if you were tired, or hangry(hungry-angry), etc.  You will accept your punishment and learn from your mistake.  Excuses will not be made.  Mistakes are meant to be learned from, but if actions are constantly dismissed or justified, you can't learn.  Kids see the world in black and white.  Giving them gray areas just confuses them. So, pushing is always wrong even if you're tired.  Kicking is always wrong even if you need a snack. Etc. (I am actively working on this one with Claire.  It's so easy to say, well, she's really tired/hungry, whatever.  That doesn't make it okay.  It also means that I need to be a good enough parent to realize my child needs to go home and take a nap or go to bed.)

So, based on all of these things I remember from my childhood I'm trying to raise my girls to have a moral compass.  One that doesn't include caveats or exceptions.  We will teach them to love everyone, not just some people who look like us or love like us.  We will teach them that success is only achieved through hard work.  We will teach them that being polite is incredibly important to becoming a productive member of society.  We will also teach them to stand up for what the believe in, even if they are standing alone.  That one's pretty tough when popularity is so important.  So, we will teach them to value themselves in ways that are not measured by one's popularity.

I look back at the 1950s and think, yeah, I think I'd go back there if my kids could grow up like my parents did.  I'd even take the corsetted undergarments that women burned in 1965, just to buy a pair of Spanx in 2012.

They were simpler times.  I like simple.  I like the idea of families spending evenings on the porch, not in front of the TV.  I like the idea that if someone wanted to get in touch with you they could send a letter or phone you or (shock) go to your house and speak to you in person (weird, I know).  Patience was a virtue and a necessity.  Foods were still made with real ingredients and families enjoyed them together.  Sure, I may have a very rose-colored-glasses view of the era, but I don't know what's worse:  today's false gender and racial equality or 1950's very honest struggles with both.  I wasn't there.  All I know is that what I see now is unacceptable.

It has become apparent in my house where the root of the TV problem is stemming at this point.  His name is Daddy and he is obsessed with all things sports.  I'm contemplating an intervention.  Wish me luck.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Between a Rock and Job Place

So, I went for a job interview this week.  It was a great position and I hope I get it but it brought up a whole pile of things that I will now share with my virtual family/strangers/stalkers.

When the lady called me to schedule the interview Claire decided at that moment to have a graham cracker-related meltdown of epic proportions.  It was amazing even by Claire standards.

See, I wasn't expecting a phone call for an interview because I had submitted my resume only minutes earlier and frankly, people usually aren't this interested in me.  So when I saw "unknown" show up on my phone I wondered what bill I'd neglected to pay or why DirecTV keeps bugging me to come back to them.

So as Claire screamed in the background, the lady tried to tell me from where she was calling and the nature of her call.  When she offered the interview I had to ask if I could call her back after securing childcare for Zora.  Luckily, my husband is a super star and can't wait for me to get back to work and out of pjs, so he urged me to go to the interview saying he'd be in charge of the girls.

Here's where it gets sticky:  I felt super self-conscious about telling this woman that I had to make sure I had a sitter.  First, it's not necessarily anyone's business.  Second, I'm applying for a job, that may or may not mean that I don't currently have one.  So yes, I might be staying at home with kids, dogs, Facebook, whatever.  I felt like it made me look bad in some way, even irresponsible, which is ridiculous.

When I got to the interview I chatted with the woman who had set up the interview.  She was the assistant to the gentleman who later interviewed me.  We made small talk and of course, Claire and Zora found their way into the conversation.  Then I felt self-conscious again.  What is going on here?  I love talking about my children.  I wanted to swallow the words back down my throat.

Finally, I got to sit down with the interviewer and I saw written on the top of my resume "call back, child care."  What does that mean?  Why is it note-worthy?  Or it is just a mental note that got written down?  Why am I worrying about this?

All of the sudden I didn't feel the swell of pride I usually do when I talk about my family.  I felt like it was something that I wanted to hide.  I didn't want to be Jesse Hayes, mom of two of the best kids on the planet and wife to one pretty kick-ass husband.  I wanted to be Jessemine Dobson-Hayes, attorney, professor, job-seeker(hopefully job-getter).  But the two weren't interchangeable.  It was a very bizarre feeling.

As the dust has settled around this interview I have gone between desperately wanting this job because it's amazing and not wanting to leave my babies.   Luckily, it's not been offered to me yet, so I haven't had to decide. 

I say luckily because part of me feels like I'm doing something wrong going back to work.  Which is odd because I have many, many friends who work and have kids and I don't think they're doing anything wrong, odd, or otherwise.  And luckily, because if it isn't offered to me then I don't have to decide.  It's so much easier to be acted upon than to act, yourself.

Honestly, I think it's all because I'll miss them.  I'll miss my crazy, hilarious, little lovies.  My brain translates that into some sort of guilt.

So there you have it blog world.  Stuck between a rock and a hard place...if a hard place is a job that I haven't actually been offered.