Monday, April 25, 2011

"Appreciation is a Wonderful Thing."

It is Administrative Professionals Week and another Secretary's Day is upon us. As a secretary, I know it's our day to feel appreciated for all the grunt work we do throughout the year.  Yes, I'll bring you your paper.  Yes, I'll type that memo.  Sure, I'll google that thing you saw in a magazine last week.
But there is a whole population of Administrative Professionals that are completely overlooked:  the Mommatary.

As a mother of a child with Autism, I never knew how valuable my multi-tasking and organizational skills would be. When The Boy was first diagnosed, I wasn't prepared for the amount of paperwork that would be involved.  No one tells you that you will be spending a lot of time on the phone.  No one tells you about the never ending list of emails to send out.  The letters you'll write.  No one tells you about all the appointments you'll need to schedule.  The seminars you'll attend.  The amount of research that is required.  All the books you'll read, the documentaries you'll watch, the diets or methodologies you'll google.  All this, while juggling the parade of therapists coming in and out of your home. 

Having a good memory - will not cut it.  And you will get to the point where I am right now.  If I don't write it down - I'll forget.  I used to be all about Excel spreadsheets and lists.  And those are great.  But I've reverted to good ol pencil and paper.  I have a monthly planner where I write it all down.  Every meeting, therapy session and appointment, every call, email and reminder to follow up.  Every person I meet or website I've visited.  Everything gets written down in the big black book.  I have alarms on my phone to remind me to check the book.  And I keep several To Do lists.  Because let's face it - there is always something to do.

It's very easy to see why so many moms quit their day jobs or as I like to say, the job that pays in money rather than poop diapers and kisses.  Having a child with special needs goes beyond any stressful full-time job.  Moms naturally take on the brunt of responsibility.

Personally I have a hard time delegating and I am always over worked and exhausted.  Because in addition to keeping track of The Boy's schedule and the family schedule, I do the food shopping and cooking.  I take care of the laundry and the cleaning.  I make sure the bills are paid - sometimes they're even paid on time.  And while at work, I manage my bosses schedules. My day begins at 5:30 am every morning and it often ends at about 1:30 am.  That's usually about the time when I fall into a deep sleep and my mental to do list shuts off.  Heck, I need someone to manage my schedule! 
Yeah, yeah yeah - Mother's Day is coming but that kind of appreciation is not the same thing.  The Mommatary deserves a day off but never gets one.  She rarely gets a thank you or a thumbs up for a job well done.  Nor does she expect it.  But still - it's nice to hear.

So to all you Mommataries out there - Thank you & Great Job!  Treat yourself to something nice - a manicure, a bouquet of flowers, expensive chocolate, a new dress - it's well deserved.  And pencil it in, that way you'll be sure to remember.    

Appreciation is a wonderful thing.  It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.  ~Voltaire


1 comment:

AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.