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America Rejoices, Aunt Becky Changes Intended Profession


After I had Ben at age 20, I was left looking around and figuring out what the hell to do with my life. Professionally, I mean. I won’t bother getting into how PERSONALLY having a baby really crimps your style, especially when your kid is the one that screams like a banshee whenever he’s, well, awake.

I’d finished half a degree with a dual major in Bio/Chem, and had some pretty lofty Follow In The Males Of My Family’s Trek To Med School ideas of what I would do. Lofty, perhaps, but also the only damn thing I could think to do with my life. Whomever decided that 17/18 year olds should be in charge of choosing a profession is a wicked genius of a person (and also the reason majors like Media Studies are invented).

There’s a stupid commercial out there and the tagline is something like “Having a baby changes EVERYTHING.” I call it stupid, because I’m pretty sure that’s the most annoyingly obvious statement I’ve heard in my life, for a seasoned parent or not. But in the case of my schooling, it was irritatingly spot on.

Even if I’d been able to get into med school, which is either highly or only slightly laughable, as a single mother, I was aware that something was going to have to give. And if I’d chosen school, my son would be without a real mother at home (although I could have gotten a life-sized cut out of my picture and insisted that it follow him around creepily watching him as he went about his day), until he was approximately 26 years old.

Figuring I’d take my chances on extra-massive therapy bills for him later on (mental note: deposit money into Future Therapy Account every time I tell The Internet about my kid), I buckled down and made my choice: Ben.

Which left me with another choice: what the shit was I supposed to do now? I had to finish A degree in SOMETHING, and preferably something I could, oh, I don’t know, get a salary upon graduation WITHOUT asking if they wanted fries with that.

And as I saw it, my future was a toss-up between teaching and nursing. Neither of which were anything I’d ever considered as actual career options before then, so I chose what I considered to be the lesser of two evils. For approximately 12 minutes.

Yes, my friends, it’s true: I considered becoming a teacher for about 12 minutes. I even went as far as to try and say “I’m going to be a TEACHER” out loud. It was when I couldn’t contain my laughter AFTER that statement that I reconsidered my initial thought. The thought of me as a teacher was as laughable as the thought of me as a nurse.

I have the highest regard for teachers, really, I do. They’re tasked with wrangling OUR CHILDREN (or at least the children we know) all day long, and trying to teach them as they bounce off the walls like monkeys.

I pictured myself standing there in front of The Youth Of America, trying in vain to get the kids to stop eating each others’ boogers, my cardigan (I’d have to wear a cardigan if I became a teacher, this I knew) stained and buttoned incorrectly, my eyes puffy from a long night of drinking to make the voices go away, and I knew I just couldn’t do it.

This weekend, the care of 7 of The Youth Of America in my incapable hands, was like a vision into The Future That Could Have Been, and I hated every moment of it. As soon as we got there, the incessant questioning began. It’s like the kids could sense who was least equipped to handle their weird questions and glommed onto it.

“Why aren’t you serving pizza?” (the party was at 2:30 PM)
“Why are the cupcakes green?”
“I thought there would be more kids here” (me too, sweetheart, me too)
“Can we go to Pizza Hut?”
“Is Ben’s baby (points at Alex) a girl?”
“Why isn’t he a girl?”
“What’s his name?”
“Why’d you choose that name?”
“Are you having another baby?”
“Is it going to look like Ben?”
“Can I have some more money?”
“Can I have some more money NOW?”
“Why is that called air hockey?”

This was pretty much all I heard for the last 30 minutes of the party (thank you moon bounce for making them be quiet for an hour and a half), and while 30 minutes sounds like no time whatsoever, I found myself wishing that I had thought to bring a telephone number list to call their parents to pick them up EARLY. See, I’m not so patient. Or teacherly.

So, to all of the teachers out there, Aunt Becky salutes you. I consider you to be among America’s Finest; standing in the trenches and educating Our Youth while I hide at home. Away from the questions I can’t answer.

What job would YOU be unable to do, my Internet peeps?

48 Comments to

“America Rejoices, Aunt Becky Changes Intended Profession”

  1. On September 29th, 2008 at 11:53 am Karen Says:

    I have taught college classes and I am pretty sure I could high school kids. But little kids – like Ben’s age – uh. Not in this flipping life time!!

    God Bless the teachers.

  2. On September 29th, 2008 at 12:09 pm Rachel Says:

    I have a fear of other peoples’ children. They scare me, and I don’t want them around me because they’re scary. Funny how I never think my own are ‘that bad.’ I could never be a teacher, I much prefer to spend my day with seriously psychotic adults.

  3. On September 29th, 2008 at 12:13 pm The Mommy Says:

    I couldn’t even consider being a nurse. And my husband has 4 sisters, three of whom are nurses. Yoy! And two of those are NICU nurses. I just couldn’t stand to see that much pain and suffering in teeny, tiny babies on a daily basis. I’m pretty sure I would cry every day and who needs that! Although, I also think a lot of teachers cry every day, too. Both professions are noble. More noble than me, BTW.

  4. On September 29th, 2008 at 12:14 pm kate Says:

    I’m not proud of this, but I could never be a care-taker. There is no way I could work in a nursing home OR as a care-taker for someone who is mentally disabled. I just couldn’t. But I am soooooo glad that there are people out there who are good at it and enjoy it.

  5. On September 29th, 2008 at 12:14 pm -seraphimred Says:

    I just found out recently that a friend of mine I met in middle school, is a teacher. Of CHILDREN NO LESS! I can’t believe it still. she was the most brain dead person ever. Shocking I say!

  6. On September 29th, 2008 at 12:23 pm Tina Roggenkamp Says:

    Teaching. I majored in it for a semester and it was TERRIBLE. The people in my classes were braindead and the school system here isn’t so hot. Bleh… and other people’s kids that you can’t discipline? Not for me.

  7. On September 29th, 2008 at 12:25 pm Badass Geek Says:

    I would definately not be able to be involved in public transportation. I am too passive of a driver.

  8. On September 29th, 2008 at 12:40 pm Danielle Says:

    “(I’d have to wear a cardigan if I became a teacher, this I knew) stained and buttoned incorrectly, my eyes puffy from a long night of drinking to make the voices go away, and I knew I just couldn’t do it”<—-isn’t that us mom’s do on occasion? There is no way I could do anything that would entail me to think. Working at a bank? Nope, I’d have to do math *shudders*. I’m barley qualified to be a stay at home mom, just ask my son’s teacher. She’ll let ya know…

  9. On September 29th, 2008 at 12:51 pm Deb Says:

    Work at a freakin chuck e cheese – or anything like it!!! too many kids, not enough liquor – i meant not enough space, you know that’s what i meant. it really is what i meant…

  10. On September 29th, 2008 at 12:52 pm Daddy Files Says:

    Two years ago I decided I wanted to be a teacher too. Then I found out in Massachusetts you need to take the MTEL test first. So I took both parts and passed everything the first time.

    I thought I was well on my way to becoming the coolest high school teacher ever. I’d be young and hip, dispensing advice along with educational nuggets and each year I’d have that one special student in need who I helped out above all others and who’s life I enriched for all eternity.

    Then I spent a weekend with my wife’s 15 year old cousin and her two friends. Just 48 hours later I swore off the thought of teaching forever and prayed to God above that I would never have a girl.

  11. On September 29th, 2008 at 1:03 pm guilty noodles Says:

    I couldn’t ever be a “baby mama”. I know that’s not really a “profession”, but I could never put myself through pregnancy and give up the baby (and yes, I’ve been asked).

    No offense to the parents, but you had to deal with some bratty kids at your son’s b-day party. I’ve been known as the birthday party nazi, where I yell at other people’s kids who are obnoxious and threaten to take everyone’s cake or goodie bag privileges away if they don’t behave. My friends invite my kids just so they can have me yell at everyone.

    BTW- Those were some SERIOUS cakes on your earlier posts. WOW.

  12. On September 29th, 2008 at 1:06 pm Painted Maypole Says:

    ha ha. i love my job teaching music at a preschool, but don’t think I could be a regular classroom teacher

  13. On September 29th, 2008 at 1:13 pm erin Says:

    i couldn’t do any job that requires me to have direct involvement with the public, generally i hate people….i know that sounds bad but in my younger days after a stint working at DQ i came to realize that if i had to listen to someone complain about their $4 super value meal one more time i was going to loose my mind and take them with me….so i found a job post education that allowed me to focus mainly on a computer, best thing about a computer is it doesn’t usually talk back…. 🙂

  14. On September 29th, 2008 at 1:28 pm Em Says:

    Hands down – a hotel maid. It’s bad enough staying there and imagining all the things that went on before your visit. To actually clean up the mess, eww. That group doesn’t get paid nearly enough. Leave a tip!!

    Danielle – “There is no way I could do anything that would entail me to think. Working at a bank? Nope, I’d have to do math *shudders*. ” – have you seen the papers lately? I’m pretty sure that in the banking industry, thinking is not a requirement. You sound like you would run circles around the rest of the office.


  15. On September 29th, 2008 at 1:29 pm giggleblue Says:

    on-call technical support. people are stupid and i don’t want to deal with the fact that their cable box isn’t working because they HAVEN’T PLUGED IT INTO THE DAMN WALL.

    see, stressful.

  16. On September 29th, 2008 at 1:54 pm Becky Says:

    It’s so funny that you mention thinking about being a teacher for 12 min. I grew up wanting nothing else but to be a teacher, and I was going to be a 2nd grade teacher. I would play school with my younger brother and teach him everything I was learning in school. I was determined that this was my destiny. Until I got pregnant at 16. I did fine for a couple of years and then started working at the daycare my daughter went to. I was a teacher for the 4-5 year old class. It was then that I decided that I maybe didn’t have the patience needed to be a good teacher. Especially after doing it all day and then coming home to it in the evenings.
    So a teacher I not be!!!! But I praise all teachers just like you. They have to be wonderful people to do what they do. And I don’t think they get paid nearly enough!!!

  17. On September 29th, 2008 at 2:01 pm Vered - MomGrind Says:

    I’m with you on this one: I could never be a teacher. I’m just not patient enough.

  18. On September 29th, 2008 at 2:48 pm Sara Says:

    I will eventually be a special education teacher. Teaching is easy peasy. It’s anything involving needles or old people I couldn’t do.

  19. On September 29th, 2008 at 2:52 pm Anjali Says:

    Ditto teacher. Specifically, I could NEVER have been a preschool teacher. Even just thinking about it makes me feel queasy.

  20. On September 29th, 2008 at 3:23 pm mumma boo Says:

    Couldn’t do a food service job to save my life. Ok, maybe to save my life, but I’d really HATE it. I hostessed for one summer and that was enough. If the customers weren’t bitching about the waitstaff, the waitstaff was bitching about the customers AND the kitchen AND whatever else they could bitch about. Hotel service (maid, front desk, whatever) runs a close second. Ick.

  21. On September 29th, 2008 at 3:23 pm Comfort Junkie Says:

    I taught 3rd and 4th grade ESL last year. During one of our games the two problem children (one had SEVERE ADHD and the other was just a brat) got into it and both teams were yelling and screaming at each other for cheating, etc…

    I sent the whole class home. I told them all to get out and spent the next 30 minutes in total silence and peace grading papers.

    My best friend is an ER nurse. I could never, ever do her job. I was studying to be a divemaster but after a couple of scary dives with newbies, I decided I didn’t want the responsibility of life and death under 100 ft of water.

  22. On September 29th, 2008 at 3:37 pm Susan Says:

    I actually have taught – second grade, junior high and college. But anything younger than second grade, forget it. They have to be able to tie their own shoes and wipe their own noses and butts before I’ll mess with ’em.

    I could never be a medical person. The smells would frickin’ kill me.

    YOU, my dear, brilliant, talented, internet friend, should teach writing. I’m not kidding.

  23. On September 29th, 2008 at 3:47 pm chris Says:

    I’m still a teacher and the only reason I stuck around is because I got so use to the Summer Breaks, Spring Breaks, Holiday Breaks and President’s Day, Columbus Day, Dr. King Birth Day, Pulaski Day, Pick Our Nose Day, and Clean Your Ass Day.

    Now, this is a great deal! At least it’s better than Sales or Marketing, which my wife does…GOD BLESS HER HEART

  24. On September 29th, 2008 at 3:48 pm heather Says:

    Um, yeah, me either — only I took my time figuring it out. I spent my college days getting a BA and MS, taught for a while and wanted to DIE. I taught eighth grade. Eighth graders suck. Seventh not so much, but eighth graders did me in — one student in particular whom I will NEVER forget; little bastard (see why they aren’t crying in my absence?) Breathe people, I don’t teach anymore.

    I found out far too late that I don’t much like other people’s kids.

    What’s worse than this, though? Maybe being a mortician?

  25. On September 29th, 2008 at 3:50 pm Maria Says:

    I got a minor in education in college. Good thing I then realized I wanted to kill 99% of teenagers.

  26. On September 29th, 2008 at 4:04 pm Ginger Magnolia Says:

    I’m working on my secondary (Jr. High/High School) English teaching degree (gulp). I have been fighting it for years, but I’m pretty sure this is what I’m supposed to do.

    I could never work with blood/poop/other bodily fluids in any way. This would include any job requiring dealing with these things.

  27. On September 29th, 2008 at 4:21 pm Megan Says:

    I teach middle school, and I have no problem admitting that this particular career choice was a HUGE mistake. Anybody out there thinking of becoming a teacher? Well, don’t.

    Jobs I could not do? Definately anything in the medical field. I would no doubt pass out if I had to look at blood or needles. I don’t know how you did it…..

  28. On September 29th, 2008 at 4:47 pm Sandy Says:

    I’m TOTALLY with you. I went so far into saying that I would be a teacher that I actually did 1 (ONE) day of student teaching. The next week, I dropped out of college, got knocked up and never looked back.

    It scared the shit out of me and made me realize that I was petrified of other people’s children and the ones who didn’t petrify me were the ones so annoying that I despised their parents for creating them.

    That’s when I decided to be an accountant instead and pound on my computer and calculator in my quiet window-less office and let the demons take over – bwahahahahahaha!

  29. On September 29th, 2008 at 5:09 pm Sarah Says:

    Teaching for sure, and Nursing for DAMN sure!! I don’t know what either profession gets paid, but it needs to be doubled, if not tripled, IMMEDIATELY. I can’t stand other people’s children (unless I know and love them, of course) (not a lot of that going around right now) and the idea of touching other people, sick or otherwise, all day long just creeps me out. I didn’t marry you, or give birth to you, of if you did not have a direct connection to my conception, I do not want to touch you… especially if you’re sick. I am deeply greatful that there are apparently woman (some of them clearly witty and entertaining and good mommies that throw b-day parties) who actually *want* to do those jobs. Fascinating.

  30. On September 29th, 2008 at 6:52 pm swirl girl Says:

    I think I would rather chew off my left arm than home school. Seriously – chew it right off.

    I also could never port a potty cleaner.

    But – arent’ they about the same job?

  31. On September 29th, 2008 at 8:00 pm Io Says:

    Heh. Well, I taught high school briefly and it was okay, but at this point I can’t imagine having to do a job where I couldn’t bring my dog or don’t have beer in the fridge.
    Yeah, I’m spoiled.

  32. On September 29th, 2008 at 8:42 pm Lola Says:

    At the end of high school, I pretty much knew that I would not be capable of pulling off any job day in and day out if it required me to go to the same place every day and deal with the same people.

    That pretty much limited me as far as careers, and that’s why I’m a freelance court reporter. Different place, different people, whenever I feel like doing it. Oh, and no kids involved whatsoever. “Good” teachers and “good” nurses are heros! I’m no hero.

  33. On September 29th, 2008 at 8:46 pm Edward Says:

    OMG Ms. Aunt Becky I could of wrote this post! Have actually considered being a teacher….ha ha ha big fucken ha….I would tear my hair out, scream just leave me alone you little fuckers!

    O.k. being a parent is hard and trying to figure out what you can do with all of those credit hours and actually make a decent living is even harder.

    First I thought paralegal…then I went out and did it and realized that it does not pay and you have to be a mommy or wifey type to your very own attorney ass hole.

    Now I’m thinking court job…pays good for an entry level and can move up over time but the politics and catty bullshit (at least from what I hear) is real bad but hey….I can make a paycheck.

  34. On September 29th, 2008 at 8:57 pm c. Says:

    I can assure you the teaching thing ain’t that hard. You would have made a very fine high school teacher, I’m sure.

    To answer your question about the job I could not do, anything that involves feet. Podiatrist. Shoe sales(wo)man. The gal who gives me a pedicure. Feet: Ick. Yuck. Blech.

  35. On September 30th, 2008 at 12:02 am LilSass Says:

    My first day of teaching bilingual K-2 I had a kid stab another kid with a pair of scissors.

    Things I’d LOVE to do for a day: drive the bus, grocery clerk, cut hair
    What I couldn’t do for one minute: groom dogs, retail

  36. On September 30th, 2008 at 12:03 am kate Says:

    teacher, no.
    nurse, no.
    phone sex operator, probably.

  37. On September 30th, 2008 at 12:30 am foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    I went to college totally clueless about what I wanted to be, so I opted for a major in education, assuming I’d be a teacher. I knew, deep down, I was not the teacher type, but even deeper down was my utter ignorance for life. One day, while sitting in a lit class and analyzing some Great Piece of Literature, I looked around the room at the other fresh-faced high school graduates sitting in the classroom with me, all bleary and uniterested in the droning teacher, and it hit me that there was no way I could look out into a sea of faces like that for the rest of my life. Plus? I just like to read Romeo and Juliet without the analysis!

    I changed my major to Journalism that afternoon.

  38. On September 30th, 2008 at 12:57 am Jenn Says:

    Anything on camera. *shudder*

  39. On September 30th, 2008 at 6:35 am heather Says:

    I’ve actually done the only job I never thought I could do, and that’s wiping poopoo off an old person’s booty. While more poopoo was oozing out of it. I really don’t think I could be a nurse. I’m ok with blood, but caca makes me gag.
    Anyway, being a teacher wouldn’t be as bad as you think. You’d have summers off. LOL
    When my sister-in-law graduated from nursing school, we went to the commencement ceremony that was just for the nursing part of the college, and each graduate was allowed to thank someone, and one girl thanked her 3 year old son “for putting HIS life on hold so SHE could go to college.” Ummm, ‘scuse me, he had a CHOICE? Cuz I think he’s have picked having his mommy around. And how does a 3 year old put their life on hold anyway?

  40. On September 30th, 2008 at 9:43 am momumo Says:

    Nursing — I can’t stand sick people. My kids beg to go to their grandma’s when they are sick.

    I did the teaching thing for a bit — kids are fine, questions are fine, parents suck! They suck the life and enthusiasm right out of you — they HAVE to make up their minds, do they want to have babies forever or do they want to do their job and create responsible members of the community – because if they want to do their job, they are going to have to let their kid have some experiences without them hovering around fixing every little perceived issue that comes up. Remarkably, those kids who have parents who aren’t constantly hovering have way fewer issues, because in kid world, most stuff goes away all by itself – weird that. There is of course the other extreme, the parents who could give a shit about influencing their kids lives and have zero contact and don’t care where the kids are or with whom — creating little instant victims with no advocates — anyhow, parents make me crazy — of course, not any of the parents who will read this.

  41. On September 30th, 2008 at 11:09 am Collette Says:

    Wow! Your life sounds like mine, kid very young (21 for me), med school down the drain (good bye pediatric oncology), new career path ahead (hello analyst/consultant).

    I could never be a teacher either. I hardly have the patience for my children let alone 25 other children that don’t belong to me at all. And, my aunt is a teacher and is constantly complaining about the parents. I would need my husband to be a character witness at my trial if I taught. Ain’t gonna happen.

    And, because I am a total sissy, I couldn’t do anything that involved heavy lifting or manual labor. I am more of a work with people/sit at a computer kind of person.

  42. On September 30th, 2008 at 11:11 am andria Says:

    I taught school for eight years.

    LD, then third grade, then fourth grade, then first grade, then second grade until I quit and stayed home with my own personal screamer. I loved it. I was really, really good at it. Parents cried when I quit. Now, though, I would only do it again if we were VERY hard up for money because I would never have the patience after dealing with my own kids.

  43. On September 30th, 2008 at 11:25 am Miss Grace Says:

    I know I can’t do retail (I’ve tried), and I hate to admit it, because it makes me sound like a shitty person (because I AM a shitty person), but I don’t think I could work with the elderly, the handicapped, or the homeless, because they all make me sort of vaguely uncomfortable in a way that I don’t like to admit because I like to think of myself as someone who’s evolved enough that I shouldn’t be made uncomfortable. Eh.

  44. On September 30th, 2008 at 12:12 pm Kristine Says:

    I would not be able to do something which require much memorization. I am a figurer outter type, not a memorizer. So no pharmacist or doctor or historian jobs for me. I had to stick with numbers.

  45. On September 30th, 2008 at 12:24 pm trish Says:

    A teacher. A writer. Seriously, blogging and writing are totally different.

    Basically, anything that requires creativity and/or patience.

  46. On September 30th, 2008 at 12:42 pm kbrients Says:

    Anything having to do with blood. No nursing for me!

  47. On September 30th, 2008 at 3:44 pm ScienceMama Says:

    Apparently I am equipped for nothing. I don’t think I’m actually able to handle any profession whatsoever. Hmm, do you think I should stop putting that in my cover letter?

  48. On October 1st, 2008 at 10:40 pm excavator Says:


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