You know when you work with a guy and he's like, "You would like my wife" and you're like, "No." And then you meet her and you're mad at him for not introducing you sooner? Well, that's how today's bitch entered my life. I met Chrissi in 2006/2007 when her husband and I started working together. She was the foul-mouthed jokester my life was missing, and she's been cracking me up ever since.
It's funny, I've been friends with Chrissi through some ALL CAPS SERIOUS shit, but when I think about our friendship, I never think think about that stuff, I only think about how much fun we've had talking about ghosts, assuring each other we're psychic, and laughing at our husbands' shared obsession with COPS (both the show AND the profession). I feel like that's the sign of a good friendship. Meet today's bitch, my friend, and my hairdresser that one time, Chrissi Krause!
You’re a stay-at-home mom. How many children do you have?
I have 1.5 children. We will have number two arriving at the end of this summer…. God be with us.
What did you do before you made the transition to stay-at-home mom?
I worked as a Process Engineer for a cell phone insurance company, among other things…. Originally an Army Officer, then Regional Contract Manager for a logistics company, then as the Commercial Driver’s License Assistant Director for the state of Tennessee. You know, the usual. We won’t even go into the year I thought it was a good idea to throw all caution to the wind and become a hairdresser.
When did you first learn about that field of work?
My degree is in Systems Engineering and one of my classmates from West Point thought I’d be a good fit for an opening at the company she was working for. I figured, for once, I would use my degree (most West Point graduates don’t use our degrees because we go straight into the Army as active duty officers and then once we get out, we usually transition with the help of a headhunter that doesn’t necessarily place you with your degree).
What was your path that led you to becoming a stay-at-home mom?
That’s how I was raised. My mom stayed at home with my two younger sisters and I, so I always knew that when it was my turn, that’s how I would want to do it. I had NO IDEA it would be this hard, and honestly don’t know how my mom did it with three of us. I shudder to think what will be left of me in the fall when I have two!
Favorite piece of advice, parenting or otherwise?
Stop trying to do everything yourself.
Failure you learned from, or that helped you improve?
I learned quickly after having my son Max that there is zero control and zero planning. My personality and background before him don’t really mesh with the “go with the flow” attitude that you need when a little person comes along. I would get so frustrated, and felt like I literally couldn’t do anything, or go anywhere when we first had him because babies are so unpredictable. When I finally stopped trying to fight it and realized that one bad night, day, or even a few hours, didn’t translate to everything being ruined, I feel like life got a lot easier for me. Rather than doing everything myself, I learned it was okay, and completely necessary, to take one day at a time, and to ask for help when I needed it.
What would you do with 2 more hours a day?
Omg, if I’m not being OCD about keeping the house straight, my car clean, or the yard/flower beds nice, I’d redecorate/reorganize around the house.
Or read a magazine and do my nails.
I’m still super proud, and sometimes in disbelief, that I graduated from West Point. It was the proudest day of my life; I still think about looking up in the bleachers after our graduation parade and seeing my Dad beaming, giving me a thumbs up, and saying “way to go, Chris!” (he’s a grad, too, and my grandfathers on both sides were Army officers).
Obviously I love Max with everything in me and he is the best thing I’ve ever done, but he’s still a work in progress…. We’ll talk when he’s 18.
What’s the first app or website you open in the morning?
I’m really fortunate that my husband Mike is so involved and steps in once he gets home since I’ve been dealing with a small terrorist all day. After dinner, Mike usually does bath time and takes Max upstairs to play so I get to shower alone and either zone out watching TV or troll social media.
What’s the hardest thing about being a stay-at-home mom that isn’t obvious?
You’re doing it all. Well, I am. Errands, bills, laundry, dry cleaning, house stuff/yard stuff, groceries/dinner, keeping a small human alive… I tease Mike that he has a personal assistant and that I’d give anything some days to be showered, dressed, and drive away in peace and quiet each morning knowing that everything is taken care of and that Max is safe and happy.
What is one thing everyone gets wrong about stay-at-home moms?
“What do you do all day?” Dude. What DON’T I do? I get it if someone isn’t picky about their house being clean, laundry being done, etc., but I am. I can’t stand a mess, so there’s always something to do, and someone right behind me undoing it. It's the hardest job I’ve ever had.
Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?
Favorite snack (keep in mind I’m five months pregnant, so it changes) is currently tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with balsamic vinaigrette. Like, errrday. My maiden name IS Cicerelle, after all. So. Mangia!
All photos courtesy of Chrissi Krause
P.S. Meet last week's bitch: Labor and Delivery Travel Nurse, Rosalie Hunt Gunson!
P.P.S. Full list of My Bitches here.