Sitting at my dimly lit table, facing the tidy kitchen so I can ignore the toy-strewn family room behind me, I revel in this moment because it feels like I’ve come full circle. When I think back to my very first job, ALL the way back when I was 12, I was a mother’s helper for the family two doors down. My younger sister always came with me, and together we would bring arts and crafts, invent new games, spend days at the park, help run their lemonade stand. We practically lived there each summer, and I loved every second of it. As I got older, if I wasn’t at their house I was playing with my younger cousins, shuttling around my step-brothers, working in the gym day care, caring for senior citizens at their homes.
No matter what my job morphed into, I was always “mothering” on some level.
Tiny Morsels is the culmination of decades of wandering down new career paths, some that were SO CLEARLY not for me…I’ll get to that in a minute, and some that helped me grow. During college, in my search for a career path that spoke to me, I took a job as a Production Assistant at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.
Hold on, I should back up.
I went to college, originally, pursuing a degree in Music Therapy. After several summers volunteering alongside trained Music, Speech, Occupational and Physical therapists at a summer camp for special needs children, it felt like the perfect fit: I played piano, loved working with children…undergrad major declared! One semester’s worth of non-stop practicing and 8:00am sight-singing lessons later, a professor sat me down and said,
“Look. You know all the techniques and can write all the action plans, but your singing…
It’s just not therapeutic…for anyone.”
Cool cool cool. I will just show myself out then.
Enter the 2006 Olympics: AKA a serendipitous excuse to delay declaring a new major. I turned 19 my first day on the job and spent three months getting Olympic venues ready, keeping them running 24/7 , and tearing them down at the end. It was thrilling and exhausting, and it opened my eyes to the world of broadcast journalism.
Ultimately I graduated with a degree in secondary English Education and tried to find a teaching job in a district that was laying off many of its first-year teachers. Luckily an old friend and fellow educator-in-need-of-employment was up for a bit of a detour. We got jobs as ski instructors at Breckenridge mountain, following in the footsteps of both of our ski-pro fathers, and spent two winters teaching 3-6 year olds how to stand on their skis, drink copious amounts of hot chocolate, and sometimes get on a chairlift.
I wasn’t as die-hard as my friends and fellow instructors; I only taught part time, and the majority of my days I spent tutoring one-on-one at a private learning center down the road. I helped students who thrived in non-traditional settings for various reasons, and it is one of the happiest times of my life. Living alone and being single in a mountain town had its challenges, and eventually I needed more consistency and moved back to the city, but I will always miss the afternoon rain storms cooling off our little tree house of an office and the families I helped while there.
Back at a lower altitude, I took my first public school teaching job and taught high school English and Journalism for three years.
Ok. Here is where I want to fast forward and move the story along. My mom infamously uses “long story short” at the end of the LONGEST stories ever told. So.
Long story short: Loved my students, got burnt out, met my future husband, switched careers, became a banker, started investing in real estate, got married, moved to Washington, got my real estate license, had the world’s cutest baby.
Oh and somewhere in there we got the world’s best dog. She’d be pissed if I didn’t include that detail.
Since having Maya and trying to figure out when my “maternity leave” ends, I feel like I’ve been fighting the most obvious and natural path for me to walk right now. I am a new mom in every sense of the word. We are almost a year in and every day is full of unmarked obstacles and hazardous terrain. I’m still up at night googling “is it normal if…?” and I’ve yet to figure out how to consistently get myself showered and dressed before starting Maya’s day. I’ve been many places and had many titles, but as I look back at this resume of life experience, I’ve always been caring for and educating others.
Maybe you’re here because you, too, have a baby born in quarantine whose friends are mainly plants and pets, or you want to learn more about baby-led-weaning (the non-judgey, purely for fun kind). Maybe you need help budgeting for the cascading waterfall of expenses that you now face.
Maybe you also curse like a sailor when you’re fired up and love a rye whiskey. I don’t know.
Either way, I’m glad you’re here!