It’s May and it’s official: I’ve finally given up.  I’ve thrown in the towel.  I am waving the white flag of surrender (Well, if I had any clean whites to wave instead of the dirty ones at the bottom of my laundry bin, that is). 

You see, I have an embarrassing confession to make.  I can’t do it anymore and, at this point, I’m no longer afraid to admit it.  In fact, I’m ready to shout it out, like Julie Andrews, on every mountain top.  Let me explain.  I’m a mom and it’s the near end of the school year and I’m just too tired to care.

I can still remember myself at the start of September. I can picture her in my mind. She was confident, enthusiastic, idealistic, filled with fresh ideas of how to make the school year special for her children.  She was ready to take on the world.  She was going to be the best mom that she could be.  She had it all planned out too, this perfect version of a mom.  She was going to patiently help with nightly homework.  She was going to be a crafting whiz with school projects, armed with a supply of gun glue ribbons and scissors.  She was going to participate in every school function, including holiday concerts, bake sales and class trips.  It would be so easy too because she would be organized.  She even bought a new planner (pretty purple one with pink flowers), mapping out every single task on it and noting it on her phone calendar so it would ping gentle reminders to her.  She went shopping, determined to be the best dressed at pick up, so chic and put together that all of the other mothers would be green with envy.

I laugh at her now.  If only I could go back to September, I would shake her, shouting: “What do you think you’re doing!  Are you mad?”  Because you see, no one tells you (and I keep forgetting) is that it’s hard work to be the perfect mom.  It tires you out.  It beats the optimism right out of you. 

So now I’m in May, longing for June and I’m but the shell of that person I was in September. In fact, I do not even recognize her. I am not enthusiastic.  I am not idealistic. I am not ready to take on the world.  Instead, I am barely dragging my feet, limping along.  In fact, I am begging for a break. All I want is to lay on my back, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. But until then, I’m going to try to muddle through nightly homework doing my best not to shout, resigning myself to the fact that I will never learn how to use a glue gun correctly.  I will try not to be late to school functions as I lug around my planner, a mess of papers jammed into it, now with pencil crossings and red ink circles littering each page.  I will ignore the ping of my phone annoyingly reminding me how I am utterly failing at all of this and, finally, I will wear my mismatched t-shirt, sweatpants and Ugg shoes (even if it’s 70 degrees) with little or no pride left at school pick up.

Because, you see, at the end of the day, the only thing that truly matters about being a mom is what your kids think of you.  And the fact that my children’s faces light up every time they see me is all the proof I need to know I’m not doing such a bad job.  They think I am the best mom in the world! But they don’t really have a choice, do they?

Maybe there’s hope for me after all.  Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there.  I tip my hat to you (that is, if I can find it underneath the pile of clothes accumulating on the floor of my bedroom)


The Perpetual Paycheck-Guest Blog by Lori Rassas

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I’m so excited to announce the release of my friend’s book, The Perpetual Paycheck by Lori Rassas.  She’s my guest blogger today and I hope you enjoy her post.

In my new book The Perpetual Paycheck: 5 Secrets to Getting a Job, Keeping a Job, and Earning Income for Life in the Loyalty-Free Workplace,  I spend a lot of time talking about building meaningful relationships with the people in your network, just as you spend time building meaningful relationships with people in your personal life.

Think about it. We appreciate it when our spouse gives us a gift for our birthday, or when a friend sends a get well card when we’ve been home sick for a few days. But doesn’t the gesture mean just a bit more when it comes when we least expect it? Suppose your boyfriend sends you flowers today “just because,” or your friend drops off a freshly baked pie, because they thought you might enjoy it. These little acts not only build and solidify existing relationships, but make it more likely that we’ll remember the gift-giver in the future—not only on pre-determined occasions, but also “just because.”

In The Perpetual Paycheck, I present this information within the context of my advice that the best time to network is when you are not actively looking for, or desperately looking for, a new job.  Instead, anytime you come across information or an opportunity that might be valuable to someone in your network, you should send it along….just because.  I call these small gifts T.O.Y.s (short for thinking of yous), and it is these small gestures that will open the doors to unprecedented opportunities.

Remember when you send someone in your network a thinking of you at a time when you’re not looking for a favor, chances are they’ll remember your kindness down the road, when you actually do need their help. You can think of it as a “favor bank”—and while I am certainly not suggesting that you keep a ledger, in the loyalty-free workplace it’s always better to have more favors owed to you than the other way around.

So if you hear about a job opportunity that would be a perfect fit for a friend you lost touch with over the past few years, pass it along.  Or, if you read about a company’s search for summer interns, why not send a quick note to your former supervisor, just in case her son is still looking for summer work? 

There are jobs in the modern workplace but the competition for them is fierce, and effective networking is the best way to stay one step ahead of the competition.  And, networking in today’s workplace is much more than looking for a job or collecting business cards. It’s about building relationships with the people behind those business cards and LinkedIn profiles.  It’s about being generous when you do not need assistance, so that others will return the favor (and send you T.O.Y.s when you need them most.


Lori Rassas is an employment attorney and workplace consultant who recently published her second book, The Perpetual Paycheck: 5 Secrets to Getting a Job, Keeping a Job, and Earning Income for Life in the Loyalty-Free Workplace. You can connect with Lori on LinkedIn, visit her website at, connect with her consulting practice on Facebook at, or follow her on Twitter @lorirassas.

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