Something has happened over the past three years – I’m pretty sure that I am no longer that interesting of a person. This is not to say that I was terribly interesting before motherhood, but I had an entire life that revolved around interests other than potential offspring. Since I stay home with the little guy, my daily interactions are often child-centric. And I find a lot of my free time when little guy is at preschool is spent volunteering at said preschool. Furthermore, I’m afraid that the most interesting thing about me now is that I am pregnant with our second child – further cementing my idea that lately, I’m about as interesting as a ball of twine.
I haven’t worked professionally since August, when I left my part-time college instructor position in Oklahoma in order to move here due to orders from Uncle Sam. I miss part-time professional Karen. While my long-term goals include going back to work full-time once the child I am currently incubating is in school, I’ve been flirting with the idea of dipping my toes back into the employment pool, at least part-time. Of course, being pregnant does complicate things a bit, as does the fact that there are a variety of factors that can impact our length of stay in the Washington DC area.
The cold hard truth is that seeking quality employment as a military spouse can be quite challenging. A lot of employers can be frightened by a resume that showcases four different positions in four different states in an 8 year span. And finding a position that fits either my undergraduate or graduate education and pays enough to make it worthwhile after childcare is enough to make my head spin. Again, I am not complaining, but simply pointing out how being married to a military member can impact the employment of a spouse. No wonder I am debating whether going back to school again. Hello, my name is Karen and I am in danger of becoming a professional student.
All of this talk isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy staying home with the little guy…I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. But now that he is getting older and more independent, I find myself entertaining daydreams of professional Karen. I know I need to enjoy the slower pace because I’m sure once the new baby arrives, I’ll be too sleep-deprived and overwhelmed to fantasize about power suits and weekly reports. But if I am being honest, my biggest fear with introducing another child into the mix is that I will become even less relevant and less interesting. The rational side of me knows that these thoughts are rubbish, but they still make their presence known inside my head from time to time.
Eleanor Roosevelt is attributed with saying, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Preach on, sister. Of course, like many things, this is much easier said than done but a healthy reminder just the same. Right now, I am a stay-at-home mom. And that is okay. I know I will have a professional life outside of the home soon enough – a professional life worth having. And in the meantime, I will continue to volunteer, take opportunities to explore uncharted territory, and hopefully carry on working hard to live my life to my fullest potential.