Mini-Me is now larger than any of our fish, and most of the complicated bits are largely finished (eyelashes, ears, kidneys). This has indeed resulted in a marked improvement in my health. Yaaaaaaaayyy! I’m still eating almost nothing, and still moving cautiously, but I only feel properly (“imminently”, if you like) ill about 30% of the time – as opposed to 100% of every waking minute.
So I’m pretty chipper, despite not quite being able to take on students at home this week (I can sit up for half an hour most afternoons, but a full hour upright + mild brain activity is beyond me). On Sunday, I brushed my teeth for the first time in weeks. I didn’t use toothpaste and brushed section by section (“front top”, “back bottom” and so on), taking breaks in between. It took two hours altogether. On Monday it took forty minutes. Yesterday I was able to use toothpaste again for the first time.
*insert grateful ad for Extra sugarfree gum here*
I have only two weeks left of my first trimester (the 12/13 week barrier marks the time when normal folks START spreading the good news), which means I should have gained a little over a kilo – precisely the amount that I lost in weight just this week. On the up side, that means I’ve lost all the stress weight I put on as CJ and I were trying to conceive (which has its perks, but frankly I’d rather be as sick as I am than go through that don’t-know-if-we’ll-ever conceive-and-it’s-all-a-bit-weird experience ever again).
Also, I was given Mini-Me’s first mobile – which caused me to flip out both delightedly and immoderately. I particularly enjoy the disturbed expressions on the faces.
That mobile is the highlight of my week. I’ve hung it prominently in the living room, so I glance at it hundreds of times each day. My baby is on its way and all’s well with the world.
And so we move on to today’s actual topic: jobs I don’t want my future children to have.
Traditionally, parents like to be able to say, “My kid’s a doctor/lawyer/businessman/stock trader/prime minister/police officer” or similar. Who doesn’t want their kid to be fabulously important or wealthy or both?
Well – me. I think most of the rich professions come with too high a cost to the person’s home life, personal integrity, or ability to show compassion to people who need it. I’m a huge fan of a work-life balance.
And then there’s the other side of the “great” careers – writers, musicians, dancers, artists, and athletes. I definitely don’t want my kid attempting any of those. Those are the jobs with the least causal link between how much work you put in and how much pay you get out, which is really psychologically unhealthy. The entire writing community flinched when Snooki’s book was a New York Times bestseller (Snooki is a reality star who isn’t intellectually gifted enough to wear undies while doing cartwheels). My parents did a great job on encouraging my writing as a side job rather than full-time work. (The only reason I spend more time writing than doing paid work is that I developed an anxiety disorder that prevents me doing normal work.) I’ll be following their lead as I raise my own kids.
Finally, there are the caring professions – teachers, nurses, volunteers, aid workers, social workers, and counselors. I don’t want my kid doing those jobs either. They’re jobs that invade your home life and leave you poor.
So what kind of job do I want for my kids?
I want the kind that’s moderately interesting (but stays at work), that pays fairly (with regular raises in pay, good health and insurance benefits, and annual paid holidays), and that is common enough that if a bad boss comes along my kid can transfer to another section rather than enduring abuse.
In short, the public service is the best. There are literally hundreds of available jobs ranging from IT to training to legal to political work – and 99% are here in my home town. You can switch careers completely without switching departments (in fact, they’ll often pay you to go back to uni).
I certainly won’t prevent my kid from chasing whatever dream takes their fancy – but if they can follow in their father’s footsteps (CJ is a public servant and he really enjoys his workmates and job), I will be very, very pleased for them and their future family.
What is your perfect job? What is the perfect job for your children (imaginary or otherwise)?