Wasting That Degree
July 8, 2010
I didn't intend to be a stay at home mom. That's not because I loved my job (HARDLY), it's because we didn't think we could afford it. The plan was for me to go back part-time, but when the part-time option fell through, I just... didn't go back. Don't ask me how we're making it work because even though it's been over three years, I HAVE NO IDEA. Magic?
Having graduated with a highly lucrative English degree, I worked a string of strange and varied jobs before I had kids. The last one was at a publishing company, which you would THINK is a good fit for an English major type, but, well, no. It wasn't. I was unhappy. I didn't know what to do with myself. I spent about a year trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up and came to the rather unfortunate (for my pocketbook, at least) realization that there was pretty much nothing I wanted to do that 1) was any sort of normal 9 to 5 job or 2) paid you real money. Oh, and then I became a mom. Problem solved!
As it stands I have no plans to reenter the workforce any time soon. I don't want to go back to school, I have no interest in pursuing a career, I JUST DON'T. I have a friend who says my attitude might be different had I worked a job I actually enjoyed before I had kids and yes, that's probably true. But I didn't! So I don't! I honestly can't think of a Real Job I'd rather be doing than this one. And after a few years of immersion in the WOHM/SAHM archives of mommyblogdom, I have made my peace with this fact.
OR HAVE I? A week or so ago I was a bridesmaid in a wedding in which the other two bridesmaids plus the bride were Career Women. And they all happened to be in the same field. And there was quite a lot of Passionate Discussion around said field and their respective futures within it. PERHAPS I grew a bit insecure. A bit angsty. A bit OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!?!?! While the other girls chatted in Workplace-ese, about childcare arrangements and bosses and promotions, I was furtively eyeing the minibar.
It didn't help that on the flight to the wedding I read, with extreme fascination, the Atlantic cover story about the rise of women in the workplace and how we are basically kicking butt and taking men's names. Well, except for me. I am drinking wine with Betty Draper and talking about dinner party menus. Or something.
Well, that's not true. I know that suits and heels and ladder climbing is not for me. I'm interested in things I can do from home or remotely, with my own hours, with small groups of creative people. I no longer beat myself up about how un-career-oriented I am. I AM happy being home with my kids and working on my nerdy (writing on my website) and impossible (BOOK writing) pursuits during my free time.
But sometimes - SOMEtimes - it's hard not to think I'm somehow letting myself down, that I could be something MORE than Just A Mom. Even though I have this all worked out, I am 99% fine with my decisions, I totally feel like I know what I want in this department, that one percent can really throw me for a loop. SOMETIMES. How about you?