It’s Day 4 of Ice on the ground here in Dallas. Schools are closed. The kids are still asleep. Even the youngest, who awoke on Day 1 way before anyone else, has given in to hibernation. And, what’s a mom to do with all the peace and quiet? Clean the house? Finish the Christmas cards? Get “stuff” done?

No … Of course not.

“Quiet” signals prime to time waste time on the internet. So much fun. I’m getting caught up on all my friends have been doing. I got to see Jennifer, who writes beautiful books about the White House, and her kids playing with the First Dogs. I learned a thing or two from articles shared by friends. I especially enjoyed this one posted by my friend Amy. I might have partaken in a deal or two getting ready for Christmas, like purchasing these monogrammed playing cards. And I enjoyed the Crystal Charity Ball without getting dressed up. It’s a swanky Dallas thing that raises money for a great cause. Suffice it to say, we aren’t swanky. So we don’t go to the Ball. Still, seeing the pics led to my questioning whether or not we should have gone. Are we losers because we didn’t. Did we miss out on the “event of the season?!” That comparison stuff that tends to suck the air out of everyone’s sails is one product of social media that drives me mad.

Knowing the landmines around so much of the well-intentioned sharing, I try to avoid clicking on things that make me wish it was me. Maybe I need the kids to wake up so I can get back to noise. But, until then, I keep perusing. And avoiding potential self-questioning.

Next I land on what looks to be another interesting article. I click to link, eager to further my knowledge on a topic. I’m excited to peruse one of my old favs – that I rarely read anymore now that I’m long gone from the financial world where I lived in a former, pre-kid, life. – The Financial Times. Mmmm… it’s like grabbing for a comfy old shoe. Well, some of the time. Up until words like “derivative” and “macro-economic” blah-de-blah-blah enter the picture. Then I just pretend like I can remember. Which I can’t. But I can still take pleasure in the fact that I used to know what all that stuff meant.

But as I click to read, I’m met with a road block. Subscription:

FT

Apparently, I must subscribe in order to read the article. Financial Times does not fit in the budget at this juncture. But they do offer a “read 8 articles” a month option for free. Looks good to me, so I proceed to give them my email address and prepare to be enlightened.

Oh – but there are more fields to fill. “Required” fields.

FT Fields

Okay, I can do this. Or can I? My first road block: “Your Position” … My position? Here are the choices:

FT - Position

Where’s “Other” that just needs an “M” to be me – as in “Mother”. Okay, so – this little exercise is starting to sting. Apparently, in order to read an article, I must be someone. Since “other” isn’t an option, I try to find which category I could say I am without flying a big fat lie. I know a lot of you can’t relate to this, but as a former professional who left a significant area in her life to stay at home with her kids, I don’t need someone pointing out that I’m quite possibly “less than” since I don’t show up on a list at this point in life. In disbelief, I searched for the “Other” so I could check it and move on to read what I’m sure is an interesting article … so I can keep my hands in the tiniest bit of life outside of my home or my car.

After searching, to no avail, and submitting to the fact that I had to fill in the “required field” to be able to complete my free subscription, I tried to find the closest fit for my “position” description, realizing that I’m actually almost every category. Maybe not how they intended. But in reality, I’m all but a few:

  • Analyst – yes I analyze all day every day
  • Associate –  yeah, that too – ever entry level work
  • Business School – Academic … mmm-huh, yup, that too
  • CEO/President/Chairman – depends on the day
  • Consultant – always, see also tween/teen: “Does my hair look okay?” “Should I go to the party?”, “Well, what am I supposed to say when she’s so mean to me?!” …
  • Executive Management – solver of all disputes – “because I said so”
  • MBA studentalways learning
  • Manager/Supervisor – should we add referee, motivational speaker, counselor, …?
  • Other C Level (CFO/COO/CIO/CMO) … not sure what CMO is, but the rest, YES
  • Owner/Partner/Proprietor – see also: Baylor Medical Center Labor & Delivery
  • Professional – never, at least according to the kids: “Mahhwwmm!!!” “She’s SO embarrassing!”
  • Programme/Project Manager – yup: “Get your shoes, you have basketball in five minutes!” “Do you realize that book report is due tomorrow?” “Where’s your lunch?”
  • Senior Manager/Department Head – “Yes, until you’re out of this house, I am, in fact, the boss of you.”
  • Technical/Business Specialist – well, not so much “Wow! I never knew you can talk on the phone and play Candy Crush at the same time!” – terrific multi-tasking carpool tidbit.
  • VP/Director – always the director “I said crawl in the back! I don’t care if you sat in the back last time! You can sit there again. Okay? And everyone… Are you listening? Next time he gets to sit in the front. No discussion!! And quit whining!”

As if that exercise wasn’t enough, the next category was: “Your Responsibility” …. my word. Pouring alcohol in a now open wound.

FT fields 2

Still no “other” … but again. I don’t think I need to go through all the categories to point out, mothers do “all of the above” – and then some in every “Industry”, the last “Required” field.

In the end, here’s where I landed:

FT Final

What started with a bit of a sting ended with a filled tank. Being a mother may not make the list, but it’s found in every category on the list. And I love the thought of “Basic resources/mining.” Isn’t that the epitome of parenting? Mining the amazing resources hidden within the talented folks in our ranks.

Who knew that so much could be revealed in “Required Fields”

Thanks for walking the road with me.

-Kay

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