Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Are There Any Aptitude Tests For Moms?
Let me take you back my friends to 1994. Girls were wearing body suits (which were like adult- sized onesies), we were rocking out to a brand new soulful alternative artist named Jewel, and I was in the 7th grade just starting Jr. High.
Braces, acne, bad hair, jeans that tapered (not of the skinny sort that we all wear now...of the high-waisted Mervyns variety that my mom would buy me); you know the drill.
It was at this point in my educational career that the ever-brilliant "Counseling Office" decided to visit one of my classes to tell me what career I was best suited for.
(On a side note: Seriously? Why now? I can't drive, hold a job, or change in front of other girls in gym. Is this the best time for me to decide my future path in life? If you think about it, it had roughly been a decade since I was potty trained, after all.)
So the school counselors come in, give some spiel about how we should decide now so we know what future classes to take and where to go to college...yadda, yadda, yadda.
And this may surprise you, but I didn't need them; I already knew what I was going to be.
Of course I was going to be a doctor. Wasn't everyone? Doctors were important. They were smart. They usually had sports cars, big houses, and boats (not that I knew ANY doctors on a personal level, but that's how I imagined them to be). I couldn't count on marrying a doctor either (I mentioned the acne, right?).
So the decision had been made. Go on your merry way, counselors! Help the other poor saps in here who aren't so sure.
Then they handed us a four or five page questionnaire with questions like:
If you had to pick one thing to do in your free time, what would it be?
A. Planting a garden
B. Reading a book
C. Watching a science documentary
D. Playing with your old Barbies and trying to hide it from your friends
(Oh, wait. That last one wasn't on there? Well, it should have been.)
I was no dummy at 13. Awkward yes, but dumb, no. I knew that if you answered with the "Reading the book" type answers you were going to end up as a "Librarian" or "Teacher." So I did what anyone would do. I fudged my way through it and answered what I thought a doctor would answer.
And what do you know? The test told me I should be a DOCTOR.
It wasn't until I realized years later that I didn't care about anatomy, hated the sight of blood, got weak in the knees when anyone talked about their feet, and couldn't watch a needle go into an arm that I realized that I, in fact, was pretty well suited to being a teacher.
So that's what I did.
And I loved my job. I really did. I didn't love every minute of it or all aspects of it, but overall, it was a great job for me, and there are days I wish I were there again.
Here's where I have a problem now. Teaching is not suited for the mom who wants to work part-time or a few days per week or create her own schedule or leave her work at work while she has little ones at home. I think when your kids are of school age, it can be a great job for a mom, but until then (and even then) it is hard to do.
So, here I am. Many years past 13, and still asking, "What should I be when I grow up?" I may teach again, but honestly, I've been wondering if I have it in me still. At this point I'd love a little more flexibility.
Can anyone out there tell me what I can do that has more flexibility? Should I just go back to school? Should I get some sort of other training? Is there a trade school of some sort that might give me a skill I could capitalize on.
Where oh, where is my aptitude test now when I really need it?
(Note: I know I am about to have my third child and all this talk will be put by the wayside for at least a year, if not more. I'm thinking for the future here...something I should have done many years ago.)