Working girl.

I have friends that are stay-at-home moms, friends that are part-time working moms, and friends that are full-time (or more) working moms.  I’ve always just thought we do what we need to do, for our mental health, finances, or to fulfill our passions.  Just a couple years after we got married, I kind of dreamily discussed being a stay-at-home mom with J.  It was more of a “if we win the lottery” discussion than any firm plan.  I wasn’t even ready for kids yet, and didn’t think about it very often after that.  Fast forward 8 or so years, and not only am I a SAHM, I’ve been one for over a year, I quit my job 3 months before my son was even due, and I bake our own hamburger rolls. Yes, you heard that right.  The Murphy’s Law part of the whole thing is that I had just found a job and an industry that I was actually passionate about. 

As much as I liked my job, it didn’t pay a lot.  I ran the beer department for a large grocery store.  I basically did the ordering and talked to customers all day about craft beer.  I was able to meet some industry people, go to beer events in the name of research, and even went on a work trip for a week long class and took a national beer related certification class.  So, you can imagine the benefits outweighed the low pay. That is, until Desmond appeared as some cells in my tummy.  

J and I immediately knew, without even discussing it, that I would be a stay-at-home-mom.  Those lottery dream thoughts came back, only we realized it was really going to happen. And for logical reasons, too.  Day care is expensive, kids.

….

Last night I had my first paying beer gig in around 15 months.  It was just 2 hours of talking to customers about beer, something I used to do daily.  It was fun.  And I had all the feelings that I expected to.  Am I losing a piece of myself by not doing this more often? Money is good. I miss D. I wonder if dad can get him to bed ok.. I know he’s fine, I’m being ridiculous.  But I miss him.  I’m too shy to do this beer stuff.  But I’m having fun and dude, money.  This feels weird, like an old version of me.  D needs me close. And on and on, the whole night. 

Then something happened that I did not expect.  I picked up a pizza and drove home. Dad had been able to get D to bed, with ease. They had a great night and played cars.  We ate our pizza and watched tv and I had an Oberon.  Dad was tired, had to work early, and went to bed. I went to the kitchen and surveyed the damage.  As I was washing the dishes I had this huge flash of gratitude and appreciation.  I found myself happy to be in the home that I created doing this menial duty.  A quiet house, besides the running water, where I was able to almost secretly help them out, washing their bottles and plates.  

Maybe that’s what working moms get every day.  I mean, I know they also get stress and headaches. And much less sleep than I get.  But that little glance made me look forward to my next gig.  I’m not going back full time, or even part time any time soon, but a couple hours a week to make grocery money, and remember why I’m here would be welcomed and absolutely worth it.

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Working girl.