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Alien Mom Wears Chicken Slippers While Bringing Home The Bacon
by Sheilah Bright

Recently, I finalized details of a national advertising campaign while wearing only a pair of fuzzy chicken slippers. The towel I’d wrapped around myself as I dashed to answer the telephone managed to wiggle down to my ankles sometime between "Hello" and "No, this isn’t a bad time at all."

For all my client knew, I was coifed, polished and sitting behind a desk stacked with color-coded project folders instead of Legos and half a box of Ritz crackers.

Now, there is another job that would allow me to make money in such attire. Freelance writing, however, is legal and realistically much more obtainable considering my age and the fact that I have given birth to three children.

When I left the corporate world seven years ago, I happily rid my life of pantyhose and office politics. Stress, anxiety and frustration, however, followed me home. When I’m working at the computer, I feel guilty for not spending time with the kids or the washing machine. When I’m folding clothes, I avoid the computer’s condescending glare.

In the alien-world of a work-at-home mom, someone always tugs at your shirtsleeve. Sometimes, it’s a 7-year-old with a runny nose. Sometimes, it’s the PTA bean supper chairperson. Sometimes, it’s the president of a multi-million dollar corporation.

My relatives question the legality of my work. Any day now, they expect federal agents to rush in and shut me down like they did Uncle Oscar back in the ‘20s. ("Explain to us again what exactly it is you do, dear?")

What I do is juggle. Words. Laundry. Parenthood. It’s a skill required for anyone yearning to work from their home. I have learned to simultaneously administer antibiotics to a cranky 9-year-old and fax a press release to an automobile dealer in Toledo. I can design a newsletter while curling my eyelashes, present a proposal while folding underwear and write magazine articles while draining pasta (WARNING: Noodles must be removed from keyboard immediately).

If surprises send you over the edge, I’d consider an office job. When you work from your home, it’s a given that your client’s call will be answered by a child declaring "Bright’s Funny Farm. Our Pets Are Called Food." The UPS delivery will arrive as soon as you step from the shower. Something sticky and purple will find its way to your paperwork.

But if you want to legally make money in chicken slippers and little else, this alien world will work wonders for you.

This article first appeared in Tulsa Kids.

© Copyright 1997, Sheilah Bright

Sheilah Bright, former newspaper editor turned freelance writer, has published hundreds of non-fiction articles, advertorials, newsletters and several short stories. A contributing editor to Oklahoma Today, she writes from her barn loft office and rides herd over a menagerie of cows, horses, chicken, dogs, ducks and kids.

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