Be wary the jobs you suggest to me

12 Jun

“Hey, we have openings for people to work with adults with disabilities. Would you be interested in this job?”

A very nice, lovely someone asked me this, not knowing the completely honest yet probably unexpected response I’d have.

“Dear God why? Why would you ask me that?”

Not my best moment.

She wasn’t the first to ask me such a thing. I inspire that train of thought in people. “You should work in special ed!” or “Have you considered started a program for children with disabilities?” My reactions are always similar – I’m startled, and blurt out something that is probably considered rude.

I know it’s meant as a compliment. I am vocal about helping those with disabilities, advocating for my daughter, educating people on what our life is like. They see me with Maura, us getting along famously, us working together, Maura happy and me pretty chill.

I make this shit look easy.

So of course, I would be inspired to make it all my life’s work.

I just can’t.

I’m fantastic with Maura’s disability because it’s what I know. I don’t know other disabilities as well, or some at all. I can handle autism because I’ve been around it. But otherwise, I’m about 10% better than the average person when it comes to all sorts of other disabilities.

I would make a horrible special ed teacher because I’d make a horrible teacher. I’ve never been inclined to teach. Actually, anything requiring a leadership position makes me break out into a sweat. The idea of running a program? I’d probably break out in hives. The idea of being in charge of a program makes me nauseated.

I know my limits.

These suggestions are usually given by good people who don’t have a child with disabilities. So they miss a vital point. That point? That I’m already doing this 24/7, 365 days a year, until the end of my time. I am living the dream, caregiving with the best of them, always on call, always on duty. When I’m not directly dealing with Maura, I would like to use my time in other ways.

Wow, that sounds selfish and horrible, doesn’t it?

Yet, no one suggests a regular mom do more regular mom things while her kids are at school. “Oh, you have kids? You should totally work at a daycare! You’re so good at changing diapers!” No, in those cases, people are all “You should totally pursue other interests, be a fitness instructor because you love running.” No one suggested I become a special ed teacher before I had Maura – and I have friends who *are* special ed teachers.

It’s okay though – I feel guilty about not wanting to work more with people with disabilities as well.

But also, I know  my limits.

The thing is, I have my own pile o’ issues to work on when I’m not keeping Maura alive. I’ve got 44 years of matching baggage to sort out while my anxiety hovers over my shoulder breathing heavily onto my neck. I’ve got weight to lose, and a healthy living train to get on because I have to live forever. I have a book to finish revising. I have laundry to catch up on, and groceries to buy. I have that day, once in a great while, where I recharge by hiding in my room binge-watching Netflix, because I don’t always handle stress well.

I also need to learn how to answer these questions with a bit more tact. That may take awhile, as I have a history of blurting out responses that require more tact.


Meanwhile, jobs I would trample over my own offspring for are as follows, so please, offer them to me –

  • working in a bookstore, because mama needs a discount on books
  • cocktail taster
  • hammock tester
  • permanent fixture at coffee shop
  • paid writer
  • museum wanderer
  • Lush bathbomb reviewer
  • foot model for all those “feet on beach” shots
  • paid shopper for Target
  • professional napper

Serious inquiries only.




9 Responses to “Be wary the jobs you suggest to me”

  1. Mara June 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    I’m a stay at home mom and I have had people suggest to me that I open up a daycare since “that’s what your doing anyway.” Some people suck:-/

    • Mara June 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

      *you’re lol

  2. Angel of Anthropology June 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

    It’s imperative to know your limits! And for goodness sake do not feel bad about sticking to them!
    It doesn’t surprise me people offer you jobs, I’m sure they don’t really think it through however as like you said, you are already doing this one thing 27/7 365 days a year PLUS have other responsibilities.
    I also wouldn’t worry too much about your tactful outbursts. Yes, it may be rude, but the person didn’t stop to think. Someone offering a person with no teaching education a job literally teaching is sort of frowned upon. Also that sort of thing could be inconsiderate to you. I had a well meaning person tell me I should get a career training dogs because I successfully helped a coworker train hers and they happened to overhear us talking about it. I was already working at a job I adored and this person tells me to get a new job just because I once managed to help someone train their dog? WTAF?? For the rest of my time at said job every time this person saw me they’d exclaim “You’re still here?” and the person once did this in front of my manager who I then had to explain it all to as she didn’t exactly want me to leave.
    It’s funny how people automatically think that because you are good at something you should make a career out of it. Sometimes the things I’m good at aren’t things I either want or can make a living off of. Also hobbies.

  3. Joy M Newcom June 12, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    Preach it!

  4. agshap June 12, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

    I was a stay at home mom of five; and everyone always said I should open a day care – why? I had my own day care. When they grew up and my youngest was 9 what did I do? I worked in a school (as a secretary) not because I loved kids (I did and still do) but it afforded the money I needed for my kids college and summers off to be with my kids…and now I am ready to retire and – read – nap – go to museums and coffee shops! (Or babysit my grandchildren – oops, back to kids again….never ending circle – lol)

  5. Widdershins June 12, 2017 at 10:41 pm #

    It’s that thing of, just because you do this well doesn’t mean you want to make a living at it.. Oh yeah, I scrolled through you list of jobs a bit too fast, the professional napper appeared in my brain as professional stripper! 😀

  6. Mel June 14, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    Definitely Lush Bathbombs reviewer. Jokes aside, I’m sorry that you hv to deal with people (unintentionally) making inappropriate suggestions for your work. :/

  7. DGGYST June 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    I love this mentality that EVERYTHING you do should be pulling in it’s own income. I cut my finger the other day while I was cooking and was like ” No no no no no, that blood is worth money! I can’t just give it away for free! Hurry, collect that shit!” I cant tell a goddamn joke anymore without ten people trying to put it on a T shirt and sell it on cotton bureau.

  8. Heather Roberts June 21, 2017 at 9:18 am #

    Love it!

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