Ever since I've been staying home to take care of children, I've discovered the cliché is true. The grass is always greener. When I was working and pregnant, did I hope to stay at my job for the rest of my life? No! I couldn't wait to quit. To think, I could just give it all up--office politics, business casual, supervisors, smelly breakrooms...
But now, what do I miss? Working, of course! Ah, I think nostagically, there was once a time when people gave me money. And when I worked overtime, they gave me even more! I may have fallen asleep over my paperwork some days, but there was that bank account balance that made it all worthwhile.
Who knew I would miss business casual on the days I don't get my shower? Who knew I would miss deadlines and responsibility and accountability? Who knew I'd miss the smelly breakroom that was a lot quiter and cleaner than my kitchen? And who knew I'd miss the sense of accomplishment I would feel when I got something finished, and it stayed that way?
It's not all horrible. It's really not. I sometimes need to remind myself of that. Like when I start watching the clock at noon, for example. Didn't I do that before, when I was in the "world of work" anxious for quitting time? (By the way, don't you just love that phrase? I bet no other mamas at home ever feel like gainful employment is a planet away).
Don't think I'm not tempted to go back to work. I am so jealous of my lawyer friend, my nurse friend, and my teacher friend, I'm green enough to be a tree. They all found ways to work part-time. They get real, actual money in their bank accounts.
I chose this. That's what I keep telling myself when I don't get any time for myself and I'm so bored but I can't do anything I like because the children destroy any of Mama's personal property they can get their sticky little fingers on.
I don't want a J-O-B full time, 9 to 5 gig. No. But I do want some money. So I've tried just about every way of making money from home ever invented. My husband and I bought rental property. And sold it. I advertised to teach music lessons. No takers. I started a multi-level marketing business. Got pregnant and couldn't handle it anymore. I wrote a novel--seriously. Waiting to hear about that. Designed a web site for my own music advertising business. Never launched it. If there's a money-making idea I haven't tried, you can bet for sure I've at least thought about it.
So I don't know what I'll do. I don't know why none of my ideas have worked out. Is the cosmos trying to tell me something? Like my place in the world is here at home forever?
I used to believe I could do anything I wanted. When I was in school, I double majored in music and French, and I graduated with Honors. That included a huge list of extra reading as well as a thesis which I wrote and defended. And now, well, I feel like I'm spinning in circles. Every day. I know it's not true, but sometimes I wonder whether I can do anything at all besides take care of kids (I know that's no small feat either, but it feels small since I do it every day).
You might think the obvious answer is to go back to work for a while. Get a real job for a few months or so, inject myself with a huge dose of self-esteem, and then come back to Thomas Tanky and Baby Cranky.
Nah. Because then I'd want to quit.