Revisiting Being a Stay-at-Home Parent

I am revisiting being a stay-at-home mom since the pandemic and brazenly quitting my job. I haven’t done this since 2007, and I have to say it’s interesting? Well, first off, looking for a job, particularly now, is fairly rotten. I hit up all the job sites, like Indeed and Glassdoor, in addition to going to actual websites of places I might like to work, and I have not had much success. It takes forever, and you have to enter a lot of search filters, leaving you eventually tired, exasperated and cross-eyed. Plus, I don’t even know what I want to do. I clicked on a wide array of positions, including being a Door Dash delivery person, an online social media designer, a development director, and a reporter. I freaked out that I’d get murdered with being a delivery person, so I opted out of that search.

But, then, I stumbled upon what may be my real talent and niche: Camp Counselor Philanthropist! Since school has yet to begin here in our town (first full day is October 13 #brutal), I started Camp Alex: Endless Summer. It’s essentially impossible for working parents now when kids are home all day, so I am helping them out while simultaneously entertaining my own children by having them over for camp. Win-win!

Here’s a look at Camp Alex. First, we have Puppy School, in which the dogs do math and get grades. The kids do “drop-off,” bringing the dogs upstairs with treats, and I do “pick-up.” At this time, I am versed on how well they behaved. For example, today, Poppy got an A+ and Winnie struggled with some addition and got a B+

Didn’t make Honor Roll

Around noon, we have lunchtime, which consists of whatever I can find in my fridge that they might like: edamame, french fries, grilled cheese and gummies.

Healthy!
Questionable

Next, we have play time on the trampoline and on the slide. One of their favorite games, which I created a long time ago as a disciplinary method, is “The Crab.” It’s really quite simple: find some tongs, and chase them around with the tongs biting at their ankles (gently, of course) and their knees. This is the crab! They absolutely love it, and it only costs a pair of tongs! Cheap, officious and fun. Next, we have pool time, in the baby pool, and finally quiet time with puzzles and crafts.

It’s interesting how we fall into things and unknown talents, like me being a camp counselor, during difficult times. I’m making the most of my staying at home during COVID, because I know it could be short lived. I don’t miss being in the office cubicle even one bit. The paycheck? Er, well, that’s another thing. For now, though, these kids laughing is a pretty good payoff.

My kindness rock garden

Retirement Ain’t Just for the Birds!

Since I retired a few weeks ago, life as an unmarried housewife has been, well, delightful! For starters, I have a savage tan. It brings me back to the days I used to pump gas as a dock master (er, “master” might be a stretch) and wear my royal blue Body Glove bathing suit on the beach without one drop of sunscreen in the 80s all day. My freckles speak to that, and I think I might even be growing some more. Punky Brewster is back! The wan and sallow glow I had in summers’ past from my overhead cubicle light is now gone. I’m more Baywatch than Dilbert–well, minus the you knows on Pam Anderson.

Okay, so what else has changed? Oh, I realized I have no clothes. I used to get dressed for work in the morning and put on my Mary Tyler Moore knee length Talbot’s skirt (super hot), a blouse, pearls, and some flats. Now, that look doesn’t quite jam when flagging down the ice cream truck on the beach or buying beach chairs and umbrellas at Christmas Tree Shop.

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Before Retirement

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After Retirement

Speaking of jam…I really might try to bring back Jams. Remember those? Those like flowered longer shorts from 1986 that look more like a man’s Panama Jack bathing suit than something any eighth grade girl would EVER wear now (well, yes, because they actually COVERED me, unlike the midriffs and short-shorts girls wear now). Jams? Might not be so hot on Tic Tock. And it’s all about the likes. Am I right? I could try to bust into a midriff now, but probs not the best idea when picking up the kids from camp. Wait, did I say pick up the kids from camp? Bwahah! What camp? No such thing! It’s back to Up my Grill camp here at Al’s, just like the good old days when the kids were toddlers, and they stayed in their pajamas till noon (okay, more like four), and I was the entertainment.

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Jams

 

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Dinner outfit=Same as breakfast outfit.

 

Okay, so what else has happened in retirement, besides the obvious attrition of my bank account, and not just from Roblox purchases? Well, I’ve enjoyed the crap out of my days. And the days go a heck of a lot faster when I’m not sniffing white out. Wait, what? I never did that. But, it’s been so nice spending time with my family and friends. I’ve also taken up gardening and am sewing a lot. Ha! Kidding. Come on now. Have we met? I still enjoy a cocktail at 3 and pretending I’m in St. Barth’s drinking rose while sitting on my backyard swing set. It’s almost the same thing, especially when I call the dogs in French.

So! So far, so good! I think I might ride this out a bit longer. Retirement is not for the birds. It might just be for me!