Friday, October 17, 2008

They also mentioned becoming a book publishing professional...

So I'm sitting here eating pumpkin bread and taking a career quiz (which is exactly the same thing I did last night, only with empanadas) and feeling more and more grumpy. Maybe it's the sugar talking but does anyone else feel a profound sense of guilt over the fact that they stayed at home while their partner worked? I realize that this question applies to (counts fingers) very few of you but I've been feeling the squinty eye of shame and am twitchy to fix it. My husband works ridiculously long hours for a job he hates. I go to the pool. He spends an entire day lesson planning and teaches class at night. I get sleep-drunk kisses and make lunch. I'm not saying that motherhood is easy (we alllll know I'm not saying that) but I'm not hauling rocks. (For now. We haven't hit potty training.) I've considered getting a job but even at my best wage we'd still be trading work for childcare, and at least now there's a chance that I'll book a commercial or something. But I hate watching my husband dread his day. I also can't help noticing the fact that my infant is looking more and more like a child. Maybe it's the new teeth (the poor kid's got FOUR coming in, all at the same time) but he looks so pre-school, which makes me wonder what I'm going to do with myself once he IS in pre-school, which is why I'm taking career tests and eating unwisely. So far I've taken a somewhat floaty test that told me that I was an adrenaline junkie and should consult a Higher Power and one from the Princeton Review that told me I should be - wait for it - an actor or a writer. Granted it also told me that I'd make a fine archaeologist, antiques dealer, priest, cosmetologist, disk jockey, inventor, philosopher, and secretary, so there you go.

Any of these sound like something I should pursue? Because at this point I'm taking suggestions. (Although I can tell you right now that the Clergy is out.)

More on the boy tomorrow. I've got pumpkin bread to eat.

7 comments:

Missy said...

Book Publishing Professional. That sounds kind of fun. Maybe you should look in to that. Or write a book based on your first year as mother. I think that book would come easily. Could go fiction or non-fiction route.

Missy said...

Or as easily as a book comes I guess. Which really probably isn't that easy....

Ali said...

As someone who's been working on a book for almost two years now and is still on Chapter 1, I can safely say it don't come easy...

What, no antiques dealer?

Victoria said...

I'm with you on the guilty thing, though it's less about his feelings than mine--I worked hard to get into my extremely low-paying, horrible schedule job, and I miss it tremendously (even as I'm relieved not to deal with the politics and the heavy lifting). Is the quiz online, and may I take it, too?

Ali said...

You can totally take it online - just google "Princeton Review Career Quiz". I'd be curious if you felt like it helped...

Colleen said...

Hi Alisha--I'm no longer an at-home mom, but I was for eight years (just went back to work last August). Yes, I totally felt guilty sometimes. But, like you, I was (and am) working for low wages and can't find anything that pays more in this town, so it really wouldn't have made sense to try to pay childcare for two kids. I would have been working for about $10 a day. Last year, Dinah was in daycare & preschool and I was still working for almost nothing, but basically did it b/c I knew it would be a good job for me once they were both in school, and those jobs don't come open that often (I'm a teacher's aide at the girls' school, so we have the same schedule).

I did feel bad about it, and sometimes my DH would make comments about it that were hurtful like "if you'd ever start pulling your own weight around here" but other times he'd say how glad he was that I was home with the kids, that we weren't dealing with the constant daycare nightmares that our friends were, that he never had to worry about picking the kids up from school/rec classes/dance/whatever, and that I took care of waiting for repairmen to show up, taking the cars to the shop, running all errands, cooking and most of the housework.

Now that I'm back to work, we both miss some things about my being home (I obviously miss it a lot more than he does). But now, we take turns staying home with sick kids, he has to pitch in more around the house, and the errands just almost never get done.

On the plus side, I do feel a lot less guilty about taking off for Wichita with my girlfriends once in a while, or buying new clothes or shoes for myself than I did when I was home. I loved that time and I'm glad I did it, but in our culture, it's so hard to remember that we are doing an important job that is worth something when we parent our children, even if we're not getting paid for it. It was a constant struggle for me.

I'm sure this wasn't helpful at all--no solutions, just empathy! Good luck!

Ali said...

I love empathy. And I hear ya - except for the part about the errands not getting done now that you're back at work. Heck, my errands don't get done NOW!