As a woman living in a varied society, I am aware that not everyone chooses to have children, and that parenthood is not for every person. My husband and I chose to have children, and may someday choose to have even more children. We make sacrifices so I don’t have to hold a job outside of raising my children, and that is a choice we have intentionally made after much thought and discussion. While we are living in the same society as everyone else, we don’t expect the rest of the world to accommodate us or make adjustments so that we may benefit. People help us, certainly, but we don’t continue to pop out children while expecting others to make exceptions for our family. Exceptions should not be made for those of us who voluntarily disrupt their own lives with children.
Except there absolutely should be exceptions because GET REAL. I am producing the future from my very loins and I’m frickin exhausted.
The one example that comes to mind over and over again is my doctor’s office. Now, I understand that the office only makes money if I come in and pay my copay and my insurance is charged whatever exorbitant fee a specialist deserves for 4 minutes of consultation. But I have been to several checkups where we literally just chat for a couple of minutes and then set up another checkup chat for a couple weeks out. And by chat, I mean 10 minutes with the physician’s assistant which she distills down to two lines of notes for the doctor, who comes in to say hello and “everything looks good, see you in two weeks”. I get that a Crohn’s patient isn’t a big money-maker. There is no cure, so you just prescribe drugs and periodically check in, which makes you very little money.
But let’s get real. I have two children, one of whom goes to school three days a week. So I make my doctor appointments for one of those three days if at all possible, so that I only have to drag one child to the germ-infested office. Archer is still young enough to be boobed whenever he’s fussy, so I can usually take him places without too much disruption. The nurse at the office calls and tells me she can’t submit the paperwork to my insurance to start Humira (fancy drug for Crohn’s) until I fill out paperwork in the office. This is weird, because I didn’t have to come in and do paperwork the last time I was on Humira, but I tell her I will come in on the next school day so we can get things in motion to start the drugs. I haul my squirmy infant to the office, and the lady at the front desk tells me the nurse is busy and can’t come out, but here is the paperwork. I must fill in…MY ADDRESS. The portion she needs filled out before I can start this drug that will hasten the conclusion of my prednisone nightmare includes my name, gender, and address. AND, they aren’t even the right forms! They’re for a guardian to sign for pediatric Humira. That nurse is lucky she didn’t come out of her office.
I have an extremely low tolerance for incompetence now that I have two kids. Also, the phrase I use most often since having a second child is definitely “I have two kids”.
I have two kids, I can’t believe you didn’t read the paperwork ahead of time and notice that I did NOT need to drive across town with my infant to fill it out myself, and also it’s 2016 couldn’t you have emailed this to me or something?
I need the roof and ceiling fixed immediately. I can’t just have a hole in my ceiling with water dripping out every time it rains. I have two kids!
No, mom, I don’t have time to get my eyebrows done by a professional. I have two kids.
And so on.
A vent on our roof came loose, which made it rain in our living room every time it rained outside. An elaborate system of buckets and furniture reorganization was the only thing keeping us mostly dry, until one genius who came to look at the roof cut a hole in our ceiling just to be sure the leak was caused by the vent and not plumbing in the ceiling. In a one-story house. Genius, I tell ya. So this lead to a much larger leak over a much larger area and still more buckets, and also little bits of plaster floating down every so often. Basically a water park to a two year old. Finally I got huffy with the roof people and threw down the “I have two kids” card, and they agreed to send someone out during a two hour window before the weekend or “sometime” the following week. I had a checkup chat scheduled during that two hour window, so I canceled the doctor visit in favor of the roof situation. The huffy front desk lady told me I’d have to pay $25 to cancel. Yea, well, if I show up I have to pay $35, so I’m coming out ahead.
The nurse called and actually scolded me for cancelling. “We are very concerned that you cancelled your appointment”. BITE ME. I’m a grown ass woman and I don’t need to show up in person and miss getting my roof fixed to hear “OK, looks good, see you in two weeks”. If I need a doctor, I’ll call. What I need is a dry living room.
Something strange and horrible happens whenever I pick up the phone. My health insurance insists I speak with one of their nurses regarding my disease after an incident like the flare I had recently, and whenever she calls she asks if it’s a good time. I’m never sure what to tell her. When she calls Archer is chewing a toy in his bouncy chair and Jackson is playing cars on the coffee table, so yea, now is a good time. But once I start responding to the questions and Archer hears my voice, he’ll probably decided he needs the Boob Lady to feed him right away. And then Jackson will see me holding Archer and immediately poop his pants and need more milk and stub his toe. It’s never a good time to be on the phone.
Worse than an incoming call is the dreaded automated labyrinth when trying to call your health insurance or, more recently, the specialty pharmacy that delivers my Humira.
“Please say your date of birth.”
“December twenty-fourth, nineteen I GOT A BIG POOP MOMMY eighty-five.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. Please say your date of birth.”
“December twenty WAAAAAAAAAA! JACKSON DON’T HIT YOUR BROTHER WITH THE EXCAVATOR.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. Please say your date of birth.”
There isn’t always a button to press to immediately speak to a representative, but there should be an option for ‘my kids are going to make this impossible’.
In short, I don’t need special exceptions made for me because I am producing the next generation’s doctors, lawyers, and other miscellaneous heroes who will help care for, and financially contribute to the social security of, their elders (you’re welcome, by the way). I just need everyone to do their job efficiently, otherwise you will absolutely hear my exasperated “I don’t have time for this. I HAVE TWO KIDS”.