I remember it well. It was a crisp morning in February. I found myself walking hand-in-hand with my daughter to our first mommy-n-me toddler class.
Flying Solo with Two Carry-Ons: As I crossed the busy parking lot, I witnessed mothers rushing to get their kids to school on time. One mom was barking at her preschooler to hurry along, while the poor child was crying ... screaming that she didn't want to go. Another mom was frantically quizzing her third grader minutes before the spelling test.
Suddenly, I stopped in my tracks. It was at that very moment that I realized ... I was now one of "those" women. You know the type ... stay-at-home moms. Instead of wearing the latest trends, they wear khakis and a T-shirt, which usually has stains. And forget designer shoes; they're in Keds. No power lunches for these ladies -- they're sitting through playdates.
I sat through the two-hour class trying to make small talk. I thought to myself, "I have nothing in common with these women. They're moms and, well, I ... am a producer." Technically, I was clearly a mom. I quit my job producing for a nationally syndicated show about a year earlier to raise my family.
I started having flashbacks to my previous life ... images of me traveling the globe ... chasing down Michael Jackson, O.J. Simpson, and Tonya Harding. I even escaped certain death while covering a story on the "killer" Kern River. Wow, those were exciting times.
Suddenly, my journey down memory lane crash-landed in reality-ville when a toddler, who was awkwardly trying to stand up, smeared his freshly painted green hand on my designer jeans. Who am I?!
For days and weeks afterward, I was tortured by this question as I obsessed over it. I was having an identity crisis. For 14 years, I was a writer and producer. Now I'm a mom? What's up with that?
I called my support system -- two of my closest friends who, like me, quit producing to stay at home with their kids. They just laughed at me and welcomed me to the club. The advice I received ... "Just tell yourself you're a producer who is taking a hiatus to work on a personal project." Gee, thanks.
So after diving into a pint of Rocky Road, I decided to give it a try. That was four years ago.
I now happily "produce" the annual school jog-a-thon and the best darn birthday parties around. The other room moms have nothing on me, and my people skills have landed me a seat on the PTA board two years in a row. As for writing ... I can come up with one mean newsletter.
I'll have you know, this is truly the best career move I ever made. I can't imagine ever doing anything else. Now, it's all about comfort. Uggs have replaced my Jimmy Choo's. And who cares if I have a cute little thumbprint of paint on my clothes? I'm working on the best production in the world, and my ratings are measured with hugs and kisses.
Now all I need ... is a raise.