After one night, one wine-tasting event, it is clear that my mental health will be vastly improved by getting back to work. What is fabulous about my new business is that I work both at home and outside the home. All of the back office work is done at home, but the real fun is going into someone's home and conducting a wine-tasting!
For years I was in customer service at the front desk of hotels. Then it was in HR, basically being the front desk to 130 employees. Then more office management in a chiropractor's office and then for an American Women's group overseas. And in between children 2 and 3, Kindermusik. I have always had jobs where I had to interact with people. To make them happy and either make their stay as wonderful as possible, or their work or volunteer experience as enjoyable as it could be. Or dance and play with parents and their kids. My jobs have always been a source of joy for me. I am happy when I am making people feel good.
Then I became a mom. This job is far more challenging than any of the above. I'm still, in a sense, in customer service, but as most of you reading know, it is so very different. These customers haven't come here to have a wonderful time or relax or make friends or enrich the lives of their children. They've been brought into the world through no active choice of their own. They start knowing nothing and have to learn every single thing. And just when they get something down, or want to try something new and exciting, they often have someone (mom or dad) telling them to stop. They have a boss looking over their shoulder every second telling them what to wear, what to be, how to act, what to eat. No wonder they are so grumpy so often!
And in this job, I am grumpier than I've ever been. I never get a day off, I work overtime with no compensation and my customers are either constantly demanding something different than I'm offering or complaining about what they have or don't have. They pee all over the place, throw food all over the floor, make messes every where they go and generally drive me nuts. Even though I adore my beautiful, funny, charming, intelligent little ones... they do drive me nuts. And that disappoints me. I am disappointed in the mother I am. I want to be better, nicer, more patient. Yet, I try hard not to dwell in the land of mommy guilt and just try to do better and better. My kids are only children and I am only human.
And I am a human who is happy to have the opportunity to go back to work and do something as joyful as wine-tasting for a living! Everyone is happy at a wine-tasting. It's so fun and the lingering effects of a couple of hours carry-over for a long time. Long enough for my kids to see a glimpse of who their mother was before she was 'mommy'. And long enough for me to see her too. Welcome back, self.