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The Similarities Between Parenting & A Customer Service Job

I spent a couple of years in retail management while I worked my way through college. It was the longest couple of years of my entire life. It also reinforced my belief that people, in general, suck. When I resigned from that job I did so with an enormous smile on my face and left skid marks in my haste to get the hell out of that store. I wish I were kidding but y’all- I was the manager of a kids clothing store. I worked open to close on Black Friday and the day after Christmas. I saw kids throw temper tantrums that would blow your mind. Even worse, I saw parents throw temper tantrums that would blow your mind. I though I’d left that horrible time period behind until the other day when I realized just how similar parenting is to a job working in customer service. Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire. 

 

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1. The language you use is very similar. “I’m sorry you feel that way” and “Let’s see what we can do to resolve this” are things I say on a daily basis. 

 

2. You must remain calm in the face of irrational anger and terrible behavior. Yelling at the offending person is discouraged. So is physical violence.

 

3. Some people just cannot be pleased no matter what you do. 

 

4. Maintaining a smile on your face is important. In customer service the smile generally is more of a grimace while clenching your jaw shut in an effort not to call the person in front of you a moron. In parenting the smile/grimace comes across a little scary and is usually accompanied by a wild, crazy look in your eyes. See, virtually the same thing.

 

5. Shaking some sense into the person standing in front of you is frowned upon and in some cases, illegal.

 

6. At some point you just stop caring about making the person happy and instead just want them to shut up and go away before you are forced to inflict bodily harm.

 

See. Practically the same thing. Matt reasons that I should be better at this whole parenting thing since I have so much customer service experience. Don’t worry, he paid for that statement. And he’s going to continue paying as I booked a girls weekend out of town for early next year. That should give him plenty of quality time with the kids to work on his own “customer service” skills. Boom. 

 

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Important Things Life Has Taught Me

 
 

10 Important Things Life Has Taught Me
 

1. If you brush a dogs teeth with real toothpaste you can remake the movie Cujo, complete with the foaming mouth and snarling. It sounds fun but in reality it’s just messy.

 

2. If you allow a 5 year old to make his own sandwich you will be cleaning peanut butter off of every available surface in your kitchen.

 

3. If you make it to the 28th of the month and celebrate having $1.36 left in your checking account, something major in your house will break.

 

4. If you wear pajamas and slippers to drop your kid off at school something unforeseen will happen to force you to take your kid inside the school.

 

5. If you spend an hour packing everything but the kitchen sink in your vehicle around your kids for a vacation someone will have to pee.

 

6. If you are waiting for a delivery, a phone call, or the pest control guy to show up, the doorbell or phone will only ring the minute you soap up your hair in the shower.

 

7. If you spend a month planning and buying supplies for a very specific character party for your kid they will change their mind 48 hours before said party is scheduled to occur.

 

8. If you force your husband to do laundry under extreme duress he will shrink your favorite sweater and turn it into doll clothes. Then he will laugh at your screams of horror.

 

9. If you invite 30+ family members to your house to celebrate a major holiday the power will go out in the middle of cooking the holiday dinner.

 

10. If you serve an abundance of alcoholic beverages at your holiday celebration someone is going to end up half naked and dancing on a table….and it’s usually the person you least expect….like grandma. 

 

Please don’t ask how I know all these things. I’d rather not talk about it or think about it ever again. Ever. *shudder*

 

*Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card! The details are on THIS POST!

 

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10 Signs You Are The Mom Of 5 Kids

 
 
 
10 Signs You’re The Mom Of 5 kids:
 

1. Your wardrobe only has 2 sections: good enough to wear in public and never ever leaves the house. You have dressy tees and home tees. You have dressy flip flops and home flip flops. You have dressy yoga pants and home yoga pants. Never shall the two be confused.

 

2. Your teenage babysitter bought a new car and sent you a thank you note for helping her pay for it.

 

3. You haven’t had your eyebrows (or anything else) waxed in so long you are starting to fear someone might declare a bigfoot sighting when you go to The Wal*Mart.

 

4. You have started a homework hierarchy in your house. You pay the 12 year old $5 to explain fractions to the 8 year old. You pay the 8 year old $3 to read to the 5 year old. Otherwise your whole night is spent doing your kids homework. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

 

5. You use a scavenger hunt game to get your kids to help you look for your keys, your sunglasses, your shoes, your wine glass….it’s their fault you lost your mind so they should help.

 

6. Your last kid doesn’t even have a baby book yet. You have to look back at Facebook and your blog to figure out when their milestones happened. Bonus points if you had to check those sources while at the pediatrician’s office for a well kid check up. True story.

 

7. You taught the 8 year old how to use the microwave so she could feed the 5 and 2 year old’s while you attempt to shave both legs during your 5 minute shower.

 

8. Your youngest kid learned to count to 3 by the time she was 14 months old because of all the 3 count time-outs earned by her older siblings.

 

9. Your monthly grocery bill is higher than your mortgage.

 

10. You drive a minivan and it looks like a hoard of hobos are living inside it. When the sliding door opens you hold your breath waiting to see what is going to fall out. The van is full of sports equipment, school paper, and mystery bags that nobody wants to know the contents inside. We’re not even going to talk about the smells….you don’t want to know.

 

**Remember how limited technology was when we were kids? You can read about how and why I am supporting technology in my own kid’s classrooms HERE! #sponsored

 

 



Play Groups: Not Just For Kids

The ladies in my mom’s group are a lifesaver. They literally have picked me up on my worst days and given me courage and inspiration to keep me going. I almost didn’t join this mom’s group. I’m an introvert by nature and tend to be a homebody. Plus, let’s face it- some mom’s groups are worse than high school with the back-stabbing and bad-mouthing. I have no use for two-faced friends at this stage of my life. So I resisted for awhile but being a stay-home-mom can be a lonely endeavor. It’s hard to only have a 2 year old to talk to all day long. So I took a chance and it paid off.

We don’t have a large group- there are only 12 of us and between us we have 41 kids (ages newborn to 14). We have first time mom’s, older mom’s, mom’s with special needs kids, mom’s with one child, mom’s with 8 kids, homeschooling mom’s….we’re very diverse which is really what makes it work so well. There’s always someone available to answer a question or who can offer a suggestion to a problem. Someone has already walked the path that another is just starting out on. These ladies have been an invaluable resource for me- especially when we had some difficulties with Ty at the end of the school year.

We don’t meet as a whole group more than once a month because that’s a whole lot of mom’s and kids to coordinate. But we meet in smaller groups for play dates and mom’s night out which is easier to plan and manage. This year we’re trying to put together a babysitting rotation. Babysitters are super expensive where we live- it would cost me around $20 an hour for a babysitter for my 4 kids.

The great part is the friends that my kids have made. Maia met her best friend from my mom’s group. They are inseparable and thankfully, she lives in our neighborhood down the street from us so the two can walk back and forth to each other’s homes. I even opted to keep Zoey out of preschool this year even though she turns 3 next month- simply because she gets so much extra socialization with the kids in my mom’s group.

But I think the best part of my mom’s group is knowing that in an emergency situation I can make one phone call and have help. When I had my miscarriage I was able to pick up the phone, make one call, and had a mom at my house to watch the kids within 20 minutes so I could go to the hospital. That kind of support is invaluable to a mom!

I’ve never been a part of a group like MOPS or anything really structured. We’re more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of group. That’s the way we like it! The last thing any of us need is one more meeting to put on the calendar!

Are you in a mom’s group? If not, how do you find mom friends?



I Am Not a Yard Sale Person

My mom is the yard sale queen. I am not exaggerating. She will drive past a yard sale in the middle of nowhere, spend 30 minutes sifting through old junk, and come away with a car full of treasures for $10. My sister is the same way. My mom tried her hardest to turn me into her yard sale protege but it just never took. I have no desire to dig through other people’s junk for the pleasure of discovering they have the same junk that I already have in my own garage. Plus I have a tendency to find disturbing and bad things when I go to yard sales .

So when a good friend of mine begged me to come with her to a community yard sale a couple of neighborhoods over from mine I was loathe to say yes. But she played the friend card and I had no way out.
She rolled up into my driveway at 5 am in the morning. The sun hadn’t even thought about rising yet, even the birds were still asleep. Then she had the absolute gall to not even bring me a coffee. She moaned about making a pit stop at a drive thru for a large coffee. Apparently she is a professional yard saler. I, on the other hand, am not really into anything that requires dragging myself out of the house while it’s still dark. Matt laughed when I told him I was going yard saling– he stopped laughing when I accidentally elbowed him in the gut while getting out of bed this morning. Why should I be the only one suffering?

She had the whole community mapped out. She actually had a map, and she made a list of all the yard sales she wanted to stop at within the community. She insisted on driving and as we rolled up to the first house, I knew why she wanted to drive. Because she’s a nutcase. She drove like a maniac trying to be the first one to this yard sale. Tires screeched, stop signs were ignored, old ladies driving 8 miles an hour were given the finger, naughty words were yelled out the open window at anyone not driving 20 miles over the speed limit….P.S.Y.C.H.O. I was terrified for my life and seeing as how I’ve been riding with Matt for the past decade and a half, that’s saying something.

We made it to the first sale and before I could even reach for my seatbelt, she was out of the car and headed towards the yard. I followed at a more normal pace for 5am….about 3 miles an hour slower than a snail. She was digging through piles of crap, I was more interested in people watching. I couldn’t believe what I saw….my eyes just couldn’t process the image yet I couldn’t look away.

Picture it….an older lady wearing bright neon yellow spandex bike shorts, a matching neon pink spandex tank top that barely contained her goodies, white knee socks with the ever popular black hi-top reeboks, and a neon green fanny pack around her waist. But that’s not the best part. I would remiss not to mention the network of blue spider veins that resembled the road map of the south on the back of her legs, the bright blue eyeshadow that only extended past her eyes by 2 inches or so, the bright pink lipstick that was so carefully applied….to her teeth, the fake eyelashes more fitting for a stripper, and of course, the bright red beehive hairstyle. Oh my eyes, my eyes! I couldn’t look away. I watched as she bent over to dig through piles of clothes, just waiting for the seam on those bike shorts to give up the fight and split wide open. Oh the horror….the horror!

By the end of the morning, my friend had spent a small fortune and the car was packed. I had to ride home holding a huge stuffed rabbit in my lap. And what did I buy, you ask? I spent a grand total of $0.50 on 3 kids books. Good times, good times. This is why I am not a yard saler.  I am still traumatized.