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.

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