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A Mom's Job-Related Risks

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Guest blogger Michelle Kemper Brownlow: I went into motherhood knowing there were risks. I could lose the baby at the grocery store. The baby could eat kitty litter. My husband might set up camp on the couch until the kids left for college. Then there were the dangers of driving the soccer-mom mobile ... and so on and so on. Well, either I am a total klutz (as some would agree with much passion), or this job should come with special insurance!

emergency room
When my two kiddos were in preschool during the week, I decided to start my own bath-and-body-product company, and it went crazy. I was making soap and mixing sugar scrubs throughout the night. I could dye lotion and mold lip gloss in my sleep. One night, I was rushing around getting some last-minute soap-slicing done for an upcoming craft show. Now, I was using chemicals and dyes all the time, and was super careful. Normally, I used a spackling knife to cut my soap, instead of a regular knife. But not on this night. The craft show was just days away, and I needed to speed up the process. I didn't know that my husband had just sharpened our knives, and with one careless slice, I lopped the end of my thumb off. Yes, it was laying next to the neatly sliced soap on my cutting board. That was nine years ago, and the tip of my thumb still tingles and hurts.

When the kids were a little older, I opened my own craft store. One day, I took an ass-over-teakettle spill down the hardwood stairs, landing against a wall on my head. I couldn't blame it on the carpeting; maybe whatever I was carrying had thrown me off balance? Anyway, I had a huge lump on my shin and a big bump on my head. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone I'd fallen, so it remained a secret ... until I thought the lump on my leg had turned into a blood clot. My doctor was professional about it: He called me "dopic," which is a Pennsylvania Dutch word that means "idiot." Nice.

My store was sold, and I once again got the crafting itch as Christmas rolled around. (Are you seeing the pattern here?) I decided to hand-make all of our Christmas cards. I had recently bought all of the supplies needed to emboss paper, so I decided that that would be the technique I would use on the 80+ cards I was going to try to complete while my kids were in school. I tend to be a bit frugal when it comes to spending money on craft supplies, so I bought everything except the heat gun that you use to heat the paper once the embossing powder is applied. So, I stamped all the cards, sprinkled on the powder and, without skipping a beat, turned on one of my gas-stove burners and began applying heat. You know where this is going .... When one of the cards got a little too close to the burner, I almost burned the friggin' house down!

I'm hoping my new career as a children's author assumes less risk. Only time will tell.


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53 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jonie October 15, 2010, 6:58 AM

A little late now, but a hair dryer works well on embossing powder.

Liesl @ The Momoir Project October 15, 2010, 7:57 AM

This is hilarious in its honesty. Thank you for sharing!

michelle October 15, 2010, 2:59 PM

Next time you get the urge to do something craft-y, go shopping or pay someone else to do it. I know I said in an earlier post that you spend too much money, but maybe we should rethink that if your health and safety are involved!

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