- I got married.
- I had babies.
- I raised my babies.
- I developed and kept up my skills.
- I got bored, but wanting to be a good mommy, I started a business.
- I went to college.
- I got an advanced degree.
Granted a few things happened in there that was not in the plan but were completely out of my control. Right before going to college I got a divorce. It was not my choice, however, not because we should have stayed married, but because I hate giving up, and losing to someone else. I lost to the younger, sexier, childless career woman. Go figure.
Now, I suffer not being able to follow my dreams even though all my children are grown. I have one step-child who lives at home and is a senior in high-school. She’s practically out the door now! Surprisingly even though I raised four children, including my step child, I am not really suffering that much from empty nest.
I am far too focused on survival.
Somewhere in this I obviously got married again (2008) and my husband experienced many of the same things I did including being laid off, divorce, bankruptcy, and a number of other issues. Suffice it to say, he now works for a wage less than he earned per hour in the 80’s. How demoralizing.
But, I’d be happy with a job that paid what his pays. I can offer so much to an employer. Of course, I don’t want just any employer. It is going to take being offered a good position at a University or Community College that has potential to help me move up in the educational environment that I desire. I do have a business working from home (http://www.barrypublishing.com) and while it is moderately successful it’s not my passion or dream anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I love working for my clients. (OK SOME OF THEM) I feel accomplished doing most of the things I do for my clients. But I want more. I want a real career in an educational environment. I want it enough to buy business clothing, get a real hair style, and wear uncomfortable shoes.
As a work at home mom, that is saying a lot. Being willing to get out of the bed and go out into the weather to work is a big deal when I’ve been able to support myself for the most part, working from home at my business before divorce, after divorce, and through remarriage. I’ve always found a way to bring income into the house. I’ve done “extreme couponing” , home child care, worked for Manpower as a temp, and had actual paying jobs that turned out to make me feel very unfulfilled and even abused, in some cases.
I really want a career. I want to be respected for my brains and not just my ability to cook a great meal, or kiss a boo boo. Not that this is not important, in fact I think it’s very, very important, but I think that society makes it impossible for me to recommend to my girls (all four of them) to put off their careers for motherhood. It makes me sad for my girls, because I enjoyed being a mother, and was more passionate about that career than anything. But, there is no job security in it. I know there is no job security at anything now, and that makes me sad too. But I know also that I am far worse off in terms of being someone a college (or anyone) wants to hire on a full time basis due to my years as a stay at home mom than my husband who never had a break in work other than while he was laid off. Therefore, I can hardly recommend to my girls to put motherhood first.
I did what I was supposed to do. What I was told was right, but what is the pay off? Sure, my kids are fabulous, but so are my working out side the home counterparts children. I feel like I’m really close to my kids but so are my working out side the home counterparts with their kids. My kids have no memory of me being home when they were infants. I am sure it was more for me than them since I remember it all. They’re loving, giving, wonderful girls, but so are my friends’ kids…. I would not trade having stayed home even if I could take it back though. It was, selfishly, the best years of my life.
Now though, I want to have the best years of my CAREER life and find a position at a community college or University that challenges me, teaches me, values me, and gives me that experience and outlet of doing something worthwhile for others. I can’t wait. I know it’ll happen eventually, I just don’t know when.