How Do You Rate As A Working Mother?

Hi! It’s Lea Wait, and I’m deep in a manuscript, under deadline. So I looked through an old file, desperate for an idea for today’s blog. And I found a quiz I wrote years ago. In those days I was the single parent of four, and I was playing around with the idea of writing a humorous book on parenting. Instead, half a dozen discarded projects later, I wrote my first mystery.  

But for today ….get your pencils ready, working mothers of the world …..!

1. You plan an addition to your family a) as soon as your pension is vested; b) as soon as your youngest is out of diapers; c) as soon as bigamy is legal; d) are you kidding??

2. Your last “splurge” purchase was a) a week in the Bahamas. Alone; b) a baby-sitter and an evening out with your husband; c) two months supply of diapers; d) ear plugs.

3. What is your child wearing right now? a) the coordinated outfit your put out last night; b) that pink and purple outfit your baby-sitter loves so much; c) whatever was clean this morning; d) clothes. you hope.

4. When do you plan your weekly menus? a) you don’t – your housekeeper does; b) when you’re cutting out grocery coupons on Sunday; c) on the way home from work, while you’re debating the nutritional values of pizza versus fried chicken; d) plan? menus??

5) The last time you called in sick was a) when the labor pains started 12 hours before your scheduled leave of absence; b) when the baby-sitter had the flu; c) when your husband and the baby-sitter had the flu; d) you don’t remember; you ran out of sick days two years ago.

6) A supportive husband is essential to the peace of mind of a working mother. Your husband is supportive a) whenever support doesn’t include changing diapers; b) whenever there are no baseball, basketball, football or hockey games on television; c) when a doctor certifies that your temperature is over 103; d) when you threaten to get a divorce and give HIM custody.

7)  A working mother should take time out from her stressful world to pamper herself. The last time you took a long bubble bath was a) on your honeymoon; b) the day you were nine months pregnant and couldn’t get out of the tub until your husband got home from his softball game; c) the day Sean poured all the soap flakes into the bathtub; d) Two years ago on the thirteenth of April.

8) When you have some free time you can be found a) planning a romantic evening with your husband; b) alone. asleep; c) Brushing your teeth; d) doing volunteer work for Planned Parenthood.

9) The best advice you could give to a new working mother is a) postpone the wall-to-wall carpet purchase; b) move next door to a 24-hour day care center; c) Learn to love strained bananas; d) know you will have to make some compromises and give up some of your favorite activities. like sleeping.

10. Keeping yourself healthy is vital to your physical and emotional health. Your exercise program a) includes aerobics classes three times a week and long walks on weekends; b) would be more meaningful if you didn’t fall asleep before your husband every night; c) alternates runs to the ladies’ room with lunges for falling glasses of milk; d) will start tomorrow. maybe.

11.  Right now your kitchen looks a) immaculate. you did the breakfast dishes before work this morning; b) OK. You don’t use it much anyway; c) as though your three pre-schoolers made breakfast; d) Well, you remember that earthquake last month?…

12) When your boss asked you if you’d heard what the weather would be for his big golf game Saturday, you said, a) just a moment; I’ll call the weather station; b) someone in the elevator told me it was going to rain; c) it’s going to pour. it always does on the only day I have to do errands; d) Mommy thinks you should wear your boots and take your umbrella.

13) You brought work home from the office, your child is having a temper tantrum (he doesn’t like the hot dogs that were on sale,) and your husband walks in, feeling romantic. You: a) smile sexily, hand your husband the telephone and the babysitter’s number, and promise to get up at dawn to finish the office work; b) hand your husband the hot dogs and the child and tell him you’ll be free in an hour as you head for the den with your briefcase; c) Wonder how Bill Cosby and his wife always managed to be available and sane for both each other and their children; d) Scream “You don’t have any idea of what I’m coping with!” and burst into tears.

14) You’re in conference with a major client, about to close the biggest deal of your career. Your secretary hands you a note saying, “Call babysitter immediately. Jennifer just drank a bottle of bubble stuff.”  You a) tell your secretary to call your husband; b) excuse yourself, call the baby-sitter, remind her of the number of the local first-aid squad, and arrange to meet her at the emergency room in half an hour, c) as you back out the door, tell your client what happened and promise to call her the first thing in the morning; d) know in your heart this is not the kind of crisis Donald Trump has to deal with.

15) You wake up to the sound of the phone ringing. It is snowing, and your child’s day care center has closed for the day. You know your office stayed open during the Blizzard of ’88.  You a) call your mother 90 miles away to ask her to come to baby-sit. maybe the roads aren’t all that bad; b) call in sick, c) pack a suitcase full of toys and take junior to the office with you, hoping the boss called in sick; d) call your office and ask to take your last 2016 vacation day.

SCORING:  Give yourself 4 points for every “a” answer; 3 points for every “b”; 2 points for every “c”; 1 point for every “d”

45-60 pts: Congratulations, Super Mom! Your life is so organized only your daily calendar knows for sure.

30-45 pts: Not bad – now, do you remember the names of both your children AND your boss?

20-30 pts: Face it; you’re human. Treat yourself to an hour’s quiet. You may remember who you were P.C. (Pre Children)

below 20 pts: Cheer up! It could be worse. You could get a puppy for Mother’s Day!



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5 Responses to How Do You Rate As A Working Mother?

  1. MCWriTers says:

    And now they’re grown and having to cope with this themselves, right?

    This reminds me of that tv ad where both parents grab their briefcases and head for the door, while the baby is sitting there in here highchair.

    Actually, I don’t know how you did it, even with your mom as a backstop. These days, though, it does seem like there’s more equality. It used to be that in custody proceedings we’d ask the custody-seeking dad questions about names and numbers of doctors and dentists and the kid’s health issues. These days, the dads might be able to answer.

    Still frustrating that we live in a country that treats childrearing like a hobby. And, in some segments of the population, wants to force more of it on women.

  2. Wow, Lea, I admire you with 4. My two feel “old” to me now–kindergarten and second grade–I was home with them almost every minute till kindergarten, and having 7 hours to write and work is still a shock like a plunge into…warm water. It’s great, but I do miss them. However, I think having two keeps things a little (lot) saner!! It sounds like you made it through with humor and mercy…which makes you a 60 pointer in my book 🙂

  3. Barb Ross says:

    As to # 14, that happened to me, only the note my admin handed me said, “The dog has been in a fight at doggy daycare. They’re taking him home, you need to go meet them.”

    At that moment, I said to my admin, “I have now received every call from home a person can possibly get.”

  4. This is making me reminisce, in that thank-God-I’m-not-at-the-daycare-and-diapers-stage anymore way. I was usually the “D” mom, despite working from home for the past decade.

    You know, my youngest is 11, and I think I’m STILL trying to catch up on all the sleep I missed between 1992 and today.

  5. And my youngest is 17 so we are starting the whole college app process again, which (sometimes) makes me long for the days of preschool and playgrounds! I was just thinking the other day how much pizza we ordered when our 3 were small. Many, many, many slices later…

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