Once in a while, something happens in our world to make us reevaluate where we are in life, what we became and where we are headed. Once in a while, certain events in our lives reawaken within us the desire to find the essence of who we were before we found ourselves buried beneath the weight of daughters, wives or mothers. For some, it might be mid-life crisis. For others it may be a new addition to the family or the death of a loved one. For me, it knowing that this time next year, my littlest one will be in school full day and wondering what I’ll be doing when he’s in school. Motherhood, as I knew it up till now, is ending and I need to fill the void it will create. I need to reinvent myself. Maybe I need to “find” myself.
Many years ago, I gave up my career as a teacher and decided to be a full-time mom. Some women are career oriented but I knew I needed to be home with my children and having done so, I can tell you, it is one of the hardest, unappreciated jobs in the world. I don’t look back on it with any regret and know that it was the best decision I could have made. And the fact that my teacher’s salary would have just barely paid for daycare didn’t really leave me many options either other than to stay home.
Somehow, the kids grew up faster than I expected and now I find myself trying to get my teaching credentials in order here in the state of New York. I’ve been told that despite having many years of teaching experience, I may need to do student teaching and will eventually have to go back to school and get a masters degree which, by professional estimates , will take about $30,000. The bigger struggle still is questioning myself, “Do I really want to teach anymore?” But what else am I qualified to do? Being a mom and teacher are all I really feel trained for. Hence my need to find myself!
The thought of going back into the workforce after so many years is a little daunting. Also, there’s still the desire to want to be home for my children, be home to greet them, help them with homework, talk about their day, and still be a mom. Unfortunately, society places such a premium on work outside the home that we fail to notice the value in having a parent, mom or dad, stay at home to raise the children. That’s why so many moms turn to real estate, jewelry making, selling Avon or some other home-based business so they can fulfill their need to “work” and be there for the children.
I recently met a woman who gave up a marketing career to stay home and raise her only child. Being handy with the sewing machine, she started making ladies handbags at home, in her dining room. After overwhelming response from family and friends, she started designing and manufacturing the handbags to sell to retailers all over the country. She has rekindled an old wish.
The ideal job for me would be one which had no set hours, no office, and no boss! What I really want….need… is to be my own boss. Being a children’s writer, would be a great option if I could get myself into the industry somehow. A few years back, I started writing children’s stories. I spent countless hours sending my manuscripts to many publishers. But just like in show business, for every Dr. Seuss, there are thousands and thousand of would-be, wanna-be writers just struggling to find a publisher. I know, J.K. Rowling and Dr. Seuss were rejected a 100 times before they became big. So I guess I still have many more rejections to face if I want to see my dream to reality.
In the meantime, I keep thinking about my other options and the next “million-dollar idea!” I know it’s out there. Who would have thought that kids all over the nation would force their parents to buy useless rubberbands in the shape of cars and dinosaurs? If Sillybands can make it big, well, I’ve got a couple ideas of my own! Now I just need to find time, money and most importantly, ….guts! Let’s see if 2011 is my year.