I set myself up pretty well for a bike commute.
Hope Solo could kick a soccer ball to the university from my house. I couldn’t. But Hope Solo could.
I’ve got a vintage English commuter, with a low crossbar and chain guard for those long skirt days. I even had my seamstress retrofit a book bag to the handlebars.
I live off a bike route and every morning you can see the bike commuters glide down the slight slope, sun at their backs, helmet donned, right pant leg rolled, panniers or messenger bags full, surely securing some type of MacBook.
It was all ready to go.
Then I tried to find a job.
A month later….I was still trying to find a job.
Has anyone else out there tried to find work lately? One that helps offset the cost of the daycare you’ll inevitably be using? Maybe also lets you work, I don’t know, hours similar to those of your daycare? One that perhaps that requires some of the skills you acquired before pushing out babies?
It ain’t pretty.
Since I am a mother and have time and wage requirements I wouldn’t have if I were childless, I couldn’t be a picky as I would have liked. I tried to find a job I could commute to on my own power, but location ended up being the first luxury to go when the job search stretched from days into months.
I was pregnant when I left the workforce five years ago and I found myself doing what many other newly stay-at-home mothers naturally do – focused solely on that growing life form in my body that was about to wreak havoc on my once, I couldn’t get iTunes to recognize my iPod was the worst part of my day– life. So I didn’t keep up with my work references or update my resume as often I should have because it’s really hard to picture going back to work when you’re trying to figure out how to get crayon, ball point pen or poop off the walls.
But moms know software applications just as well as the next person – it’s just that instead of quarterly reports and tri-fold company fliers, we’ve used them to manipulate photos for showy Christmas cards, create intricate family slide shows and craft preschool or neighborhood newsletters. We can certainly plan and pull off large social gatherings. And time management skills? Puh-lease. If you think about it, a working mother is going to be one of the most efficient workers you can hire. You better believe you’re going to get that report by the end of the day because I’ve gotta leave on time to get the kids. We use the water cooler solely to hydrate and our breaks to compare preschool tuition. You’re getting the better end of the deal by paying me an hourly wage, boy.
So I’ve digressed a bit.
I found a job. It pays a fair wage, the hours are flexible, and the family that runs the business is lovely. But it’s too far to commute by bike. And I really do need to get the kids immediately after work. So there it is: Zero Waste Mommy drives her 25 mpg-in-the-city import to work and back four days a week. You can’t win ’em all.