Thursday, May 29, 2008

Career: Mom

I talked with a friend this morning on my way to work. Finally, things sound like they are falling into place for her success. She’s had a rough road that started with getting laid off from the company I still work for. In some ways, it’s been a blessing because it allowed her time to devote to her writing and film making, but financially, it’s been challenging. I’ve watched and listened over the years as she’s cobbled together jobs to make ends meet and networked with all kinds of interesting people to construct a creative lifestyle. In lots of ways I am jealous of her freedom and the ability to fully go for what she wants career-wise.

While I’ve been seated sedately behind my desk, cashing my bi-monthly paychecks, she’s been scrambling to make things happen. And I’ve… well, I’ve been collecting my paychecks. There was the time when I was working on the website, but that passed. The truth is, by the time I am done with work and commuting, I don’t have much energy left to do anything but eat dinner and hang out with Pete or friends.

Right now, I feel like I’m in a holding pattern. I’m not scrambling for anything but wooden baby toys and onsies. I mean, I’m GROWING A HUMAN! But it’s a rather passive thing. I mean, people in comas have brought a baby to term. I’m preparing to be a mom, which seems to involve a lot of reading, talking to moms, shopping and realizing that nothing will really prepare me for motherhood.

I remember prior to getting married thoughts I’d had about friends and their behavior (or mine) surrounding their weddings. Finally, I understood how they felt, and why certain actions of selflessness on the bridesmaid’s part are necessary. I understood after I was inducted into the Married Club.

The Mommy Club is a huge one with lots of different types of members, and I am preparing for my induction. I don’t think I am formerly a member until I am puked on, pooped on and get less than four hours of sleep in a twenty-four hour period. So looking forward to that!

Listening to my friend whose career is coming together (and has no spit-up in her near future), makes me envious (and so proud of her). I’ve always wanted a “career,” but more than that, I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom. A fast-paced, highly paid career mom isn’t the type of mom I want to be. At least not while my babies are small. I see the sacrifices executive mom’s at my company make. I see how much time they are away from their families so they can be successful. One executive that I know is regularly the only woman in a room full of men. That is a mom to be proud of. But me? I want to be around on the weekends without a blackberry buzzing me. I don’t want to be jetting off to New York for meetings. I don’t think I could go on location and produce a movie like my friend will do and also be the mom I envision myself being. (Of course she isn’t a mom yet so she’s not leaving kids behind.)

But, like my mommy friends tell me, I’ll probably eat everything I’ve ever said about parenting once I’m a parent. Maybe I’ll ride the coattails of my writer/producer friend and grab a wardrobe career on the way. Maybe you’ll see my name on the credits of a movie shot in Italy. If you do, know I did it with a baby slung on my body because after 37 years of wanting a baby, I’m not leaving her at home – career be damned.

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