Where Are Those Darned Overalls?

As an unemployed pregnant woman, I’ve gotten my fair share of comments, questions, and opinions. I mean, people are used to the idea of a woman quitting her job to raise her children….but usually the children are already outside of the womb at that point. Clearly, this means there is something a little bit strange about my situation. Shockingly, I don’t generally let the public in on the fact that I was fired about 6 weeks into my pregnancy. To me, that’s a personal and private matter. However, based on the intimate and probing questions I’ve received since being pregnant, I can only surmise that I no longer have the right to keep anything personal and private, so perhaps I’m the crazy one!

So here I am, pregnant, unemployed, and to the naked eye, just living up life as a stay at home housewife.
Reality? I’m losing my f-ing mind. I mean, one can only watch so much Law and Order: SVU. (Believe me, I’m as shocked as you are! But it’s true!….well, kind of true. Benson and Stabler may or may not be chasing down a perp as I type – but that’s beside the point.) So, as you can see before your very eyes, I fill some time typing up some words for funsies. I’m doing the crafty thing and dabbling in the culinary arts making sure my husband doesn’t starve. I’m also spending some time volunteering with my church. This has probably been the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my unemployment. I started by doing some one-off days of volunteering. Working an event here and there, doing something static, but I wanted more. Then I was told about a “task force” that would be evaluating the church’s external communications and (hopefully) revamping them. From the website to newsletters and everything in between, we were doing a complete overhaul. Knowing I had some free time, one of the priests asked if I would be interested in participating. Uh….

 This is my JAM.

All of a sudden I found myself sitting in meetings that would make me want to TEAR MY HAIR out when I actually had to go to them as a part of my job – but here I was completely rejuvenated. I felt like I was contributing something.I felt like I had a purpose.  It felt good.

I was rattling off information about email open rates, coming up with strategies for our social media platforms, and was making a damn good case for my ideas and changes that some of the more…..seasoned…..parishioners were going to be resistant to. I felt like I was kicking ass and taking names. You know, in a totally church appropriate kind of a way. Which is how I found myself in another meeting last night, passionately talking about my ideas regarding the revamp of the newsletter’s design and content when I was interrupted abruptly by one of the more “mature” women in the group.

“Excuse me, but is this your first baby?”

 I had gotten so excited about the changes to the newsletter that for a minute I was thinking about the newsletter in the way that people talk about projects as their “baby.” I shook off my blank stare as I realized that’s not what she meant, pointed to my stomach and said,

“Uh, this baby?”

“Yes.”

“Uh, yeah?”

I did not see where she was going with this…..

“Well. I know lots of people that have had first babies. And I think it’s really great that you’ve got all these ideas, but I think you need to be realistic about your time before we start implementing all of your ideas and then you can’t follow through on your commitments.”

The silence was finally broken by the sound of my jaw slamming into the table.

All eyes were on me, but I was literally speechless. This does not happen often. Thankfully, I got an assist from one of my co-conspirators and didn’t need to respond immediately. But inside, I fumed. To be clear, up to this point I had volunteered to help with the template redesign, which I’ve got four months to complete before the baby is even born, and then to write ONE ARTICLE A MONTH. You know, like one of these blog posts. So….pretty much like incredibly time consuming rocket science.

Or like writing one article a month. Something I could probably do with my eyes closed. (Seriously. I can pretty much type nonstop without so much as glancing at the keyboard. Drives my husband crazy that I can keep complete contact with him while simultaneously having a conversation and typing.) Now, to be clear, I understand that becoming a Mom is a “full time job” and that my life will change in more ways than I can count. I am a pretty involved and experienced Auntie (as in 17 nieces and nephews experienced) so I’ve got a better understanding than many first time Moms might have about what kind of a commitment and, to be frank, time suck (but a glorious one!), kids are. Until recently, I was also a woman that was a in a professional career where I had to juggle a lot of different tasks and keep a lot of balls in the air at once. Bottom line? I wanted to whip out my resume – both personal and professional – and slap this woman across the face with it!

Rather than slap her literally, I’ll just follow through on my commitments. Because what this lady doesn’t know is that I’m one stubborn pain in the ass and that her telling me I can’t do something is equivalent to her throwing a giant gauntlet my way. Well, bring it on missy. Oh, and because of my general level of snark, she shouldn’t be surprised if I show up at next month’s meeting barefoot and in overalls.

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