a real mother

The New Rules of the Working Mom Reality











Dear Younger Boy and Older Boy,

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been at your beck and call for the last fourteen years.  I, your faithful indentured servant, have been available 24/7.  No lunch money?  I delivered.  Needed a ride?  I was there.  Forgot to clean your room?  It was done.

No doubt, I have been working.  And I’ve been well paid in the currency of stay-at-home momhood – glitter glue cards and spontaneous hugs.

But we’ve entered a new phase.  You’re both in high school and I’m bored.  So I’ve got BIG news. No, it’s NOT a baby brother. 

I got a job.

What can I say? Momma needs new shoes – and maybe some cute clothes besides stretched out, stained yoga pants if she’s going to an office.  And with her new paycheck, she can buy them.

But changes bring new responsibilities, for all of us.

That’s right, it’s time to step up to the family plate – and remember to put it in the dishwasher.  So here are the new Rules from your Working Mom.

Rule #1: Dishes. Dishes and flatware are the most common delivery system for food consumption.  This system does have one flaw – the dishes must be washed.  Daily.  We accomplish this task the old fashioned way – a dishwasher.

Please acquaint yourselves with this useful appliance conveniently located in our kitchen.  Grasp the handle, pull down firmly and a door will open. This is where the dirty dishes go.  Before placing the dish inside, you must scrape off all food and rinse it.  This is not a job for the dog.  Cereal debris left unattended on a bowl forms an impenetrable bond that was the inspiration for Krazy Glue.  So eat, rinse, repeat.

You may be surprised to open the dishwasher and find clean dishes inside.  Do not be alarmed.  The dishwasher is not designed as a storage device.  The clean ones must eventually be removed.  By you.

Mom’s got a job, please take care of the dishes.

Rule #2: Trash.  A corollary rule to dish sanitation involves another useful household object – the trash can. I’m sure you are familiar with this handy kitchen accessory located just below the kitchen sink.  Under normal conditions, the can should be visible to the naked eye.  However, in our home you will most likely recognize it as the object from which garbage cascades to the floor upon opening said door.  Our family crest does not read: “It ain’t filled ‘til it’s spilled.” When items fall from the can upon opening the door, the receptacle is full and should be emptied with haste.

Mom’s got a job, please empty the trash.

Rule #3: Laundry.  In elementary school, you would beg to wear the same shirt every day.  Back then you could get away with it.  Please do not attempt that now. The liberal application of Axe to a previously worn shirt creates a mutant toxic funk that is known to harm small animals.

Clothes, just like dishes, must be cleaned regularly.  Only in extreme circumstances will a garment require scraping prior to laundering.  You will, however, be required to empty the pockets. Yes, all of them.  Please be alert for all electronics that may be lurking in one of the 27 pockets on your shorts as cell phones and Apple products are non-washable.  Sort clothes into appropriate piles by color. Otherwise, your entire wardrobe may become an odd shade of pink from an errant red t-shirt.  Really.

Mom’s got a job, please do your laundry.

Rule #4: Food.  Frozen pizza will be considered an acceptable meal on payday. Because Mom will be shopping.



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