Skip to main content

Settling for Motherhood

I'm not embarrassed to admit that I don't make a lot of money. My salary has actually decreased since I graduated with my M.A. No worries, though. I spent most of my twenties feeling bad about, complaining about it, and feeling like the man had done me wrong. Now that I'm in my wiser thirties I have stopped the bitching and moaning and have accepted my salary and place on the professional totem pole.
Recently, my equally wise colleague said her teenage son told her she has settled. Her position as a part-time career advisor and full-time wife, mom and carpool lady just doesn't cut it in the eyes of her aspiring musician/comedian son. Ten years ago, I would have supported the kid by guffawing at any woman who chose wifely duties over a competitive career and all the fame and fortune that accompanies a high profile position. I've wanted to be a number of things when I grew up: lawyer, interior designer, flight attendant, Peace Corp volunteer, historian, museum director, international woman of mystery and a writer living in an historic house with a John Deere tractor, in a gorgeous New England town. No matter the professional scenario, no man or child were in the picture, just me and maybe a cat.
When I finally chose to aggressively pursue a career path, it only took a few years to become tainted and realize the rise to success was going to be a lot harder than I'd planned. And a lot less fulfilling. It's lonely on the bottom if all you think about is the top.
Having Caroline actually freed me from the man's chains. I don't think of motherhood and wifely duties as an excuse to escape from the grind. I consider my present roles to be an open door, that once walked through, presented me with a whole new set of goals and aspirations. It's been refreshing to stop worrying about promotions and focus my attention on being a good mom with a clean house. I'm low on the totem pole at work but I actually enjoy what I do because I'm not looking over my shoulder to see who's noticing how great I am. If I have a bad day at work I get to go home and get lots of love from my daughter, who doesn't care that I'm just a "coordinator" because at home, being a coordinator is a very important role. Somebody's got to figure out how to get us all dressed in clean clothes and fed each day and I'm glad that person is me.
So, did I settle for this life? Heck no! I chose it and I love it, although I am still working on getting the historic house and tractor and I'm waiting for this blog to turn into that killer book deal.

Comments

I think you laid it out quite well. Believe in your motherhood, all really is possible.

Popular posts from this blog

I Love Otsego but I Love Andy More

Growing up, my big brother was your typical older brother. He loved to torture me and his favorite hobby was making me mad or making me cry. He took my own stuff and made me buy it back from him at a yard sale. He put dog crap in my socks and sneakers. He threw spit balls at me, pinched me and never let me win at any games. Despite his daily doses of teasing and displeasing me, I did notice that he wasn't particularly interested in other people making me mad or making me cry. I'm not saying he was ready to fight on my behalf, or ride up on a white horse to protect me, but he was pretty firm in his position as the number one bane of my existence. Despite the fact that he no longer tortures me quite like he used to, our relationship has left a lasting impression on me, long into adulthood. As a self proclaimed arm chair therapist, I take note that I have been trying to work through that relationship for years-with Andy. Poor Andy had no idea that, when we started dating, I'…

Holiday Letters- in Two Versions!

I don’t know about you but I love a good holiday letter. Nothing sends me into a tailspin of self doubt and depression like reading the carefully crafted story of the highs and accomplishments of those in my life. As the letters flow in, alongside the photos of the beautiful smiling faces of my loved ones, I curl up under a warm blanket, look out at the bleak, gray winter skies and think: what the fu#k is wrong with me?We are so fortunate, due to modern technological advances, to be able to experience this self doubt an average of 20-50 times per day as we addictively scroll a variety of social media channels. Yet nothing truly confirms our own personal inadequacies like a yearly summary of others’ successes and happiness neatly packed in an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, folded in thirds and slipped into an envelope alongside a card collage of beach shots, matching sweaters and smiling, happy faces. I, too, have sent along such letters to accompany our smiling happy faces, providing thos…

An Open "PM" to Polly

Hey Polly, it’s me- Melissa. Can I call you Polly? Because I feel like I know you. Do I know you? We’ve been in the same social media circles for many months now.I see from your profile that you went to Cornell. I have a lot of friends that graduated from there. It’s an awesome school. What year did you graduate? I also see that you’re self-employed. I really respect entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. What’s your business? Are you a photographer because your Facebook profile picture of Doubleday Field is fantastic.I see that you don’t have any Facebook friends, Polly. I understand that. Are you lonely? It can be really lonely around here. Listen Polly, this election got really nasty but at the end of the day are all neighbors right? Do you want to meet, do you want to talk about it? Haven’t seen you on social media since the election. I totally get where you’re coming from, Polly. It’s been hard for me, too. When you put yourself out there with really strong opinions pe…