My Job Ad

pexels-photo-533444As I make my way through hundreds of job postings a day during my job hunt, I’ve been thinking about my current role, which I’d describe as an accidental stay at home mom. I didn’t plan to stay home past a year but finding a good job that’s worth leaving my little guy for isn’t an easy task, so in the interim, here I am.

I feel really fortunate to be at home with my amazing son, and I thank my lucky stars for him every day. But holy guacamole, this is by FAR the most exhausting, demanding job I’ve ever had. Babies are one thing, but toddlers are a whole different ballgame.

I’ve been thinking about how my role as a mom would look when laid out as a job description and what I came up with made me once again realize how totally bananas it is to be a parent, especially one who does it around the clock. So without further delay, here is my job ad. And if anyone is looking to take over my role and let me nap for the next month, feel free to get in touch.


Hello! Are you a natural self-starter who loves a challenge? Then boy oh boy, do we have the job for you!

Here’s a breakdown of some of the things you’ll be doing:

Reading the same book about cars and trucks up to 25 times per day

Playing with cars and trucks for multiple hours a day

Listening and remaining calm as your toddler throws fits of rage while ignoring your desire to scream even louder than he is

Extensive dishwashing

Frequent trips to the grocery store and return trips upon realizing you forgot everything you needed

Preparing meals every 2-3 hours, half of which will not be eaten or thrown on the floor

Singing ‘Wheels on the Bus’ and ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ up to 2,000 times per day

Changing 4-8 diapers a day with varying contents

Driving and walking in inclement weather to various activities filled with other toddlers, most of whom are sick  and want to lick your child

Getting poked, scratched, and bitten

Other miscellaneous duties such as: bathing, dressing, nail clipping, doctor’s appointments, music classes, counting, teaching the alphabet, dancing, hugging, chasing, crawling, wiping tears, wiping snot, administering medicine, etc.

Qualifications:

Heavy lifting throughout the day up to 30 lbs (or more if you choose to lift tiny human and stroller and diaper bag simultaneously) and constant bending and crouching in uncomfortable positions

Must be comfortable working with horrific smells and toxic waste

Ability to survive and thrive on minimal hours of sleep

Ability to accept your house looks like a bomb went off and will for the next 18 years

Ability to adapt to constant change in a high-stress environment with no guidance or feedback, except from random strangers on the internet, most of whom are just as clueless as you are

Comfortable having your entire existence controlled by a tiny person who doesn’t know how to wipe their own butt

No experience required. We like to just throw you right in the deep end and cross our fingers you don’t drown!

What do we offer?

One break between 30-90 minutes per day (note: 90 minutes is rare and zero minutes is always a possibility). You can use these breaks to quickly make and eat a sandwich, go to the bathroom in private, or research how to make your child nap for longer than 40 minutes

Ability to wear mismatched clothing, sweatpants, or pajamas all day. We encourage you to change your outfit daily but this is not a requirement

Unparalleled moments of happiness and joy that will take your breath away

Meaningful purpose and unconditional love

Unfortunately we cannot offer any vacation time, personal days, or sick days.

***Please note that the hours for this position are unpredictable and vary widely. Between 13-24 hours a day is expected. Average start is 5AM. Weekend work is mandatory.

Salary: This is a volunteer position and you will not be paid. Sorry, sucker!

A note on perspective

This is by far the longest I have gone without writing a blog post since I first started blogging. I re-watched Julie & Julia on Netflix yesterday, and after watching Amy Adams update her blog daily, it made me think I should maybe get back to mine. (It also made me crave all of the meals presented in the film and wish I had even the tiniest bit of desire to attempt to cook lavish French meals… which I do not.)

As per the last update, my life has mainly been filled with trying to secure employment, which so far has been unsuccessful, although I suppose I haven’t really been at it that long. I keep reading stories of people who have been out of work for over a year. Oh Lord, please don’t let that be me. It’s only been a bit over a month that I haven’t received a paycheque and I’m already starting to feel anxiety when I fork over my loose change to buy a fro-yo. But on the other hand, I don’t think I’m nearly as stressed as pre-cancer Steph would have been. When I was stuck at home last year with the cancer blues, I remember hearing about everyone’s daily stresses, like trying to find a job, and thinking, I would way rather be in your shoes than mine, you lucky bastards. I was wishing deeply that I could get back to a state where I would be worrying about the same things that everyone else was worrying about at my age, rather than cancer. And here I am – wish, granted! So I really can’t complain. (Although, ask me how I feel a couple months from now, and I might be singing a different tune…)

I also had another dose of perspective and reminder that life is pretty great last week when I celebrated Passover with my family. Passover is my favourite Jewish holiday, and last year, I had to miss out on the celebration. Reading that blog entry is actually quite painful, as I can so clearly remember exactly how miserable I felt on that day, knowing my family was together, while I was lying on my couch, feeling like I wanted to die. But that dark memory managed to make this year’s holiday hold extra significance for me, on a personal level. I was so grateful to be surrounded by my family and once again enjoying a tradition that has become a meaningful anchor for me each and every year.

I now always have this nagging worry of, What if this is my last <insert special occasion/milestone/holiday here> ever? And as much as it can be troubling to have those types of thoughts swarming through your head, it sure does manage to make every moment that much sweeter.

Happy Passover/Easter/holidays to all my lovely readers. Remember to enjoy your family, your friends, and all the little things that make it all worth it.

Dressing up and moving on

UPDATES!

1. Next week I am walking the runway in the Well Dressed For Spring Fashion Show, supporting Wellspring. All the models have some sort of connection to cancer, and most are media personalities or executives. I am neither of those, but apparently I still made the cut.

Today I got to go to Holt Renfrew (our high-end fancy-shmancy department store, for my non-Canadian friends) and meet with my stylist, Christopher. YES, I HAVE A STYLIST. Christopher pulled several different outfits for me to try on, which was pretty much a dream. I wear $9 jeans most days, so this was a tad different from what I’m used to. I was a bit nervous going in, worrying that nothing would fit me properly. In fact, last week, when trying on a bunch of dresses from my closet, I had a bit of a breakdown when I learned that none of them fits me anymore, due to my new implants that don’t really move or squish in the way natural breasts do/should. So I now have a bunch of nice dresses I can never wear again, which is a bit sad.

I was worried something similar might happen at my fitting today, but it did not. Luckily, Christopher picked stuff that I was comfortable in and that wasn’t a far stretch from what I would wear in my daily life. The complete outfit costs more than my entire wardrobe at home (which really doesn’t say much… I am pretty cheap). And I even get to wear Prada shoes, which hopefully, I will be able to walk in without having a Carrie Bradshaw fashion roadkill incident. The whole thing was really fun and made me wish I were a rich celebrity with a personal stylist and a giant closet full of fancy things picked just for me. Sigh. But it will be fun to pretend and play dress-up, if only for a day.

2. Next week I’m getting my port removed. Remember my port? I have had this thing implanted in my body for a very long time. I don’t ever look at it or think about it. It’s just there, and I’ve gotten quite used to it. But now that I’m done with the whole drug pumping bit, I no longer have use for it, so it’s time to yank ‘er out.

The port removal is very symbolic to me, because it truly marks the end of that phase of my life. However, I can’t help but worry that taking it out will somehow jinx my health, and the cancer will come back, and I’ll need chemo again, and they’ll have to put the goddamn port right back in. I realize that type of thinking is illogical, but the thought has crossed my mind. Nonetheless, it’s time to come out, and that’s a good thing. More cutting, more stitches, more scarring. Just another day.

3. Last, but not really least… I have given notice at work that I will be leaving my job. So, I am looking for a new job. And as much as I really wish I could skip the whole job search/application process and just send an email saying, “I had cancer and have been through a ton of shit and have quite a bit more life experience than can ever be summed up on a resume and I deserve a friggin’ break, and I am pretty much awesome at everything so just hire me and let’s be done with it,” I can’t really do that because I would come off as completely insane and slightly hostile. So I’m on the hunt, looking for the next thing in my life, and excited for the future… and hoping it doesn’t take forever to get here.

(P.S. Anyone out there hiring and in need of a brilliant, hard-working, all-around fabulous employee? Remember, I had cancer, therefore you should probably try to help me out. It’s kind of your duty as a fellow, compassionate human being.)

(And yes, I have no shame playing the cancer card. I totally earned that card and will do with it what I please.)

(But seriously, if you want to hire me, get in touch. Besides the whole cancer-killing superhero thing, I’m fairly awesome at doing many other things.)

ronburgundy