Is There Really Life After Childbirth?

Archive for the ‘work’ Category

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I can still remember the skeptical eye-rolling, head-shaking reaction I had when those “old-fogeys” lamented the end of letter writing. They felt that email had taken all of the personalization out of communication. What did they know? You were still communicating and you could do it faster than ever. It wasn’t until I became an old fogey myself, that I began to see their point.
So many of the things I took for granted that my children and their children would do in life have fallen by the wayside. Not all of these are bad. I love that you don’t have to iron anymore (although I am so proud of my wall-hiding ironing board, that I still force guests to check it out). I have even accepted those annoying phones attached to our bodies, since they have kept me from having a couple of false alarm heart attacks on more than one occasion. It’s the things that I never really thought about that I miss the most.
I never thought I would lose my job to people on the other side of the world. Luckily, my kids have adapted to that problem and are finding jobs in industries that still require a human presence. How long that will last remains to be seen. They don’t have careers anymore. The thought of staying with one company from beginning to end doesn’t happen very often. I can live with that.
The problem is…they don’t have fun at work anymore.
When I first went back to work (when my kids were in grade school), we still had pot lucks, Christmas lunches, surprise birthday cubicle decorating parties and all sorts of foolishness that is just not done in the corporate world today. Did we not get our work done? Yes, we did! And I didn’t have the overwhelming sense of doom creep up on me every Sunday night that I seem to experience today.
I will never forget my first attempt as a working mom to show how adept I was at running a home and having a career. We were having a pot luck luncheon and I was bringing a black forest cake. A homemade black forest cake. I was pretty happy with the results, too. Two layers of chocolate gooey goodness with cream and cherries perched on top…it was perfection. I wrapped it in Saranwrap (who had cake carrriers back then when we really needed them!) and placed it in the front seat of the car. I herded all the boys and their school paraphernalia into the back seat. Just as I began to back the car out of the driveway – whoosh – here comes a baseball glove flying over the seat and landing right smack dab in the middle of my cake.
I was too stunned to be mad. Why on earth would a kid throw his ball glove into the front seat? He had never done that before (or since, I might add)! Turns out, he didn’t know why either. It just seemed like the thing to do.
Well, I had no backup plan, no time for extra stops at the store. I dropped kids off at school and proceeded to work with my now deflated cake. I debated even taking it in, but for some strange reason decided to go ahead. The really interesting part? There was not one crumb left on the plate after lunch. It seems people at work will eat anything with chocolate on it, too, especially if there is a good story involved. And we laughed for years about the “puddle” cake I took to work.
Twenty years later, I’m back working for the same company. They don’t do lunches anymore. They don’t throw baby or wedding showers. They don’t have Christmas parties or dress up for Halloween. How sad is that? Now we get corporate emails wishing us a happy and safe holiday season. And the really bad part? None of them will ever get to taste one of my famous homemade black forest puddle cakes. Which is probably just as well, I don’t seem to remember how to cook anymore anyway!