I think I should start and end my days saying that in the mirror for awhile. A big part of me has always wanted this, and I’ve dreamed about it for a long time, but I think I’m still a little bit in denial about the whole thing. This month I unintentionally became a (mostly) stay-at-home mom. You know all of those ARRA-funded jobs? They’re beginning to end. And due to a budget change, mine was one of the first.*
In the beginning there was fishing,
artwork (or as Evie calls it “Ark-t work”),
and playing a little too hard.
Then came poop. Poop on the floor. Poop painted on the wall. Poop on a little sister. The next day, poop on our shoes leaving an ECFE open house at which I thought I lost my 3 year-old (the curse of 2 self-assured, independent peanuts in a classroom full of activity, and likely over the technical fire code capacity). The three of us girls began our stay-at-home stint cold turkey and I think on day 5 we all sort of freaked out.
You know that “elevator pitch” we should all have? It’s the answer to “What’s next for you, and how can I help?” all job seekers should be easily prepared to answer. I don’t exactly have one. I want to make a career transition, but doubt my ability to earn “enough” income if I do. And I also want to try on this stay-at-home mom gig long enough to know if it fits. So I shrug, point to my kids, and mumble something about how they keep me busy. But the truth is I’m on my target job boards every day; I steal time to do the kind of creative writing I’ve neglected since graduate school; I get out to teach studio dance and conference break-out sessions; I write grant proposals, respond to art exhibit RFPs, and research literary journals to submit work to; and when I’m really smart… I remind myself how quickly my kids are growing and I take them for a walk, chase them around the back yard, bake cookies during nap time, and make a disaster out of the dining room in the name of “ark-t work.” Like all of life’s challenges, the poop fiascos have subsided and we’re all a little less freaked out. Maybe next month I’ll have a new elevator speech to proclaim confidently. But honestly? Right now I’m trying to take it all one day at a time. Thanks for hanging out with me as I do.
*Please note: I believe in the ARRA funding program and what it’s done for our country. I also knew my job would end within the year — I just expected to have another one lined up.