Everyone knows that motherhood has a profound impact on our lives, and nowhere is this more evident than in the workplace. It didn’t take long after I returned to work for the evidence to start slipping out. I pulled together some of my favorite episodes to make up this hilariously authentic list of 14 signs you’re the mom in the office.
1. You pull out some random scrap paper to make notes in a meeting and then realize it’s the chicken pox and lice warning from your kid’s school. “What’s that you’re writing on? OH GOD! Does anyone else feel itchy?!?!”
2. You use a pen with a wild-haired troll as the eraser, not because you’re being ironic, but because it is the only functioning pen in your work bag. (Personally, I’ve been known to use crayons, scented markers and #2 pencils. Can someone please explain why my kids beg for the troll pen and then only use my black bic?)
3. You sometimes accidentally refer to your department as your kids.
4. You find yourself using your best toddler crisis management skills to calm down an angry coworker. “Sshhh, why don’t we go and sit down over here and have a little snack. Do you feel better now? That’s a good boy!”
5. In the heat of the moment, you go through 15 names trying to come up with the one for the person you’re yelling to… including the names of your own kids, pets and a few cartoon characters. “Billy, Sandy, Mickey, Caillou, aw hell, whatever your name is, you forgot to bring your notebook!” (Oh wait, maybe it isn’t an accident that you refer to your department as your kids.)
6. You’re secretly thankful when your co-workers stayed out partying the night before and are now all hungover because you were sick of being the only one in the office with bags under your eyes. (Our kids will all start sleeping someday, right? RIGHT?!?!? Aw, damn.)
7. Thanks to the baby years, you’re the only one in the office who can catnap in a meeting without getting caught.
8. Your desk drawer looks like an aisle in CVS. “I’ve got cold meds, headache pills, Dora band-aids, Flintstones vitamins and a packet of Tums. What do you need?”
9. When your colleagues try to argue you with you, you send them to time out.
10. You’ve been caught cleaning your keyboard and desk with wet wipes.
11. You stay in the office past 5 p.m. because it is the only place you can get some peace and quiet. (I’d like to take this moment to thank my own daycare for staying open until 6 p.m..)
12. And on that same note, you actually look forward to Mondays because it means you get to go somewhere you can finally sit down for longer than 30 seconds.
13. When everyone else is talking about what they watched on TV the night before, you are the only one who says “Nick Jr.”
14. When the management need a project done with no notice, no budget and little oversight, you are the first one they pick. (Because really, after juggling two kids, two schools, 14 after-school activities, a house and a spouse, what’s a little work project?)
Hmmm, maybe being the mom in the office isn’t so bad after all.