JILL OF ALL TRADES

Hi! I’m Karna Tecla.

As my children were growing up, I considered myself a mother with multiple jobs for which I became an expert, but never got paid. Don’t believe me? Ask any mother if these occupations and careers are not in their repertoire.

Of course, my children are now grown and live on their own, but hey, they helped me develop my abilities and interests. Now, I live with my truck driving husband (He now leaves on a Monday morning and is home by Friday evening. The previous companies he has driven for have kept him out for anywhere from two weeks to six weeks.) and my two dogs (Pepper and Nutmeg = the Spice Brothers).

As a writer, I pull from all of these occupations as well as the ones I trained for and the hobbies/activities I enjoy.

So, what do I feel knowledgeable about? Let’s take a look.

CHEF: I cooked for my family and the other people who lived with us. I always looked (Actually, I still look.) for interesting and tasty recipes and creating healthy concoctions that my children, my husband, and I would eat. Don’t get me wrong. I still cook. Check out Eclectic Recipe Book.

NUTRITIONIST: If I was going to cook, I made sure my kids ate a balanced diet. I kept some of the dinner table traditions I grew up with: milk, not pop, at meals; if it is served, you will at least try it; and most of the time, plates were filled before they got to the table.

LAUNDRESS: Did anyone else separate the whites from the colors, load the washer, transfer the wet clothes to the drier (or in the early days, hang them on the clothes line outside), fold/put on hanger, and put the clothes away? It was monumental task just to get the kids to pick their clothes off the floor and drop them down the laundry chute.

HOUSEKEEPER: Dust? Vacuum? Wash floors? Organize? Repair? Yup, I did it all. Add to that shopping and appointment making.

NURSE: Fevers, sore throats, runny noses? It goes with the parenting territory. Remove a splinter? I can do that. Cuts? Oh, yes. Scrapes? Yes to those too.

FINANCIAL GURU: Work? Pay bills? Balance the checkbook? Check! Check! and Check!

CHEERLEADER: I championed my kids in every sport and activity they decided they wanted to try: scouts, swim team, track, cross country, piano, band (one on the trombone; the other on the cello and then the trumpet), choir, writing.

CHAUFFEUR: It was my job to make sure the kids got to where they were going. They couldn’t drive. I drove to out of town swim meets and even a choir concert downtown Chicago. Oh, and by the way, these miles were all logged before GPS and cell phones which means I was a good travel planner as well.

TUTOR: Yes, it is a parent’s job to HELP the younguns with the homework, but NOT to do it for them. This required me to become an expert researcher in history and other social studies categories, science, math, English, writing, language arts, and music. Thank goodness I took classes in college in some of these subjects.

PROOFREADER/EDITOR: Yes, along with helping with the homework, I read and approved my kids work, OR sent them back to redo or improve. I did give them suggestions.

MEDIATOR/REFEREE: Two boys? Less than two years apart? Of course, the household needed a mediator, or the referee. It depended on the day.

COUNSELOR: I made my boys talk about the things that were bothering them: friends, girls, teachers, divorce (The boys’ father walked out in the fall of 1997. The boys were 11 and 13.)

ACTOR/VOCAL PERFORMER: I read to my children starting at an early age and changed my voice for the characters that came along. My interest in theater had surfaced when I was in fifth grade.

GARDENER: We planted flowers and vegetables. The boys helped and learned along the way. They helped with the yard as well.

PARENT: Oh, wait. That’s what I am. It encompasses all of these skills, chores, occupations, or careers – it all depends on how you want to look at your position to parent your children.

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