I am taking an “extended unpaid vacation” AKA: time off between work contracts. AKA: I am unemployed. To be specific, for the first time since having children, I do not have another job to go to. This is a choice I made and it is a new experience for me. I have always gone from one job to the next. I’ve been lucky if you believe in luck. And I’ve been successful b/c I work hard and am trustworthy if you perhaps value those traits.
For now, I am not torn between my career and motherhood. I don’t have to figure out the balance. I am all one sided now. The other half of me is on a hiatus. I’m not sure what that means to me or how I feel about it. I am confused about my new identity. But I can tell you I have time and energy for stuff I would have never been able to do before. I washed 10 days of laundry for 4 people in one day. I’ve made healthy breakfasts and dinners and fancy afterschool yogurt parfaits. Painted a bookcase, volunteered for JA, and attended a MORNING (!) PTO meeting. I am knocking it out of the park as a mom. Which forces me to reflect on, was I not a good mother before?
The biggest theme in my motherhood experience is that it is rife with doubt. What am I doing wrong? What am I missing out on? I’ve felt pain in my chest hearing my kids say that their friend’s moms spend the whole summer with them b/c they aren’t working, why do we have to go to summer camp? When they are grown, is that what they will remember? I want them to remember being happy, supported, loved, and inspired. And proud of having a mom that was a successful career woman in a male-dominated field. Can those things coexist? I hope so. But for now, I will take this gift of time. And hope the kids remember those few weeks when mom was home. And hope they don’t resent when I wasn’t.
Shout out to working AND stay at home moms and every combination.
Peace and love.