Wednesday, March 25, 2009


3: a field for or pursuit of consecutive progressive achievement especially in public, professional, or business life
: a profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent calling

I have sometimes envied my husband his career. This was especially true when our girls were younger and I stayed at home with them full-time. In those days, my own career was a recent memory. My job - where I was competent and successful. Where I did something once and it was complete. Where I interacted with other adults and had an office with a door I could close when I needed some quiet to think. Those were the days. I actually knew what I was doing.

Then I became a full-time mom and found out just how little I knew, just how incapable I am, just how selfish I am and many other unpleasant truths. So when J would head out in the morning for work, I was a bit wistful. In the workplace, I knew my role and knew I could fulfill it. My job as a mom? Much less clearly delineated and therefore more difficult to measure. Yet I knew I wasn't measuring up. Other moms I knew managed to keep their houses clean, their laundry done and their children fed seemingly without any problem whatsoever. Many of them even found joy in the doing of these things. Me? Not so much.

I loved - and still love - my children. They are amazing human beings that surprise me every day. They have traits I have never seen in other people and use their talents with a confidence I sometimes envy. They are bold, beautiful little girls who are becoming, before my very eyes, bold, beautiful young women.

But I like having pursuits aside from the rearing of these lovely ladies. I like having a part-time job using my administrative and writing skills. I like contributing to society in a way that I can actually see. But I don't really want a career anymore. I truly have no desire to pursue "consecutive progressive achievement." I want to write, I want to cook for my family, I want to help my girls become who they were made to be. I want to be who I was made to be.

J stayed up past midnight working and left for work before 6 this morning. Do the math on that. Not only do I not want a career, I don't think I could do it. I've settled in to the rhythm of my life (even though the rhythm changes frequently) and I like what it has to offer. I like sitting here on a rainy day, writing, even though there is laundry to be folded. There will still be laundry to be folded when I finish writing. In fact, there is almost always laundry waiting to be washed, dried, folded or put away in this house. But I'm OK with that. And I'm thankful that J loves his career. He loves the work he does and is fulfilled by it. He provides for all of our families needs and many of our wants. He is happy to go to work each morning in order to do this for us. And I am content with no career. Only projects, daughters and words. This is enough for me.


Variations On A Theme said...

This is so timely. A friend and I just had a conversation about the jolt moving from the role of a competent career woman to the clueless role of motherhood.

I think that's why I still dream about correcting pictures at the photo lab where I used to work. I knew what I was doing and I did it well. Being a mother is so much guessing and never knowing the result of my decisions...well, if they turn out well and still like me when they're old, then I'll know the results then.

WordGirl said...

Yes, work was easier for me than parenting is. You make a good point that we'll eventually know our results - but what a long time to wait to know how we do with such an important job!

Chocolate, Vanilla and Caramel said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! You practically reached inside my head and wrote what I have been thinking lately. I really have no desire to have a traditional job, in the sense that I did before I had my kids. An office job. I worked as an Executive Assistant and pretty much ran by boss's life. But I love how much more laid back my life is now. Not easier, by any stretch of the imagination, but better.

Thanks for your suggestion about the writing book. I will definitely read it once my classes are over.