Friday I completed the first week of my new job. Full time. Me. In a basement somewhere in Baltimore County, MD. I am not going to give too many details of this job, since it would be in bad taste and judgment, especially when I’ve just started. It would probably be a different story if I’d been there for, like, twenty years or something, like MANY of the people I’ve encountered in the past week. But since it has been only five days, I’m gonna keep my big mouth shut on this blog.
In terms of how this new situation is affecting my daughters, their lives have not changed so much. Their father installed car seats in his car, so he now takes them to school in the mornings, which they love. They were already kind of used to staying at school till 3 or 4. Now I pick them up at 4:30, and half the time they want to stay later and play with their friends. The other half of the time, they’re looking pretty tired. As am I.
I think my transition is the difficult one. At least from my point of view. The past four years have been spent focused on how not to screw up the girls, but also how to not lose my self. This week I was feeling very lost. Identity as a mother, identity as an employee, identity as a wife. But the identity that should be the concrete (Beenie was asking me about concrete this week) foundation of all of those other identities, is sadly lack-luster.
Yes, my stress level went down at obtaining said job, but this week as I realized how it IS possible to have even less time with which to be a creative person than I had when I was home full-time with my infant daughters. I’d rather lose my artistic time to them than to a job. But this is what most parents of children struggle with, right? And they don’t have the 35 hour workweek that I do, or the ability to show up at 8 and leave at 4, like me. This is the least obtrusive full-time situation I can imagine, so I’ll go back Tuesday (thank you MLKjr/first federal holiday of my new job), bring my own coffee, continue trying to sort out the gigantic scope of work I was presented with last week, and look forward to getting my first paycheck on January 28th. Hopefully when my bank account swells, I’ll be able to get some perspective with all of this change. Another thing I will be able to do because of this job is help to get my family a mortgage on a house in the neighborhood where the public schools are free and good. Just like my parents did forty-two years ago when they were met with similar circumstances. My job is located in the very neighborhood we’re looking in, and once we’ve identified which house we can afford/like, that will be an additional benefit.
All of that said, I really just want to paint some paintings.
Working mom of small kids = bittersweet. Even though I spend a good portion of the day in my own head, behind a desk at work, I feel pretty disconnected from whoever it was I think I used to be. Who knows.
I take issue with your tags. Not whining. Non self-pity. Realistic, honest conundrum. Some choices are hard and some are harder. This is one of those fine-on-paper but incalculably hard types. Hang in. Good free schools are naught to be scoffed at. Nor is artistic need.