So in line with most mid-life crises, I have had a bit of a panic this week about my lack of career. MFP was out of town, my house was tidy and organized, my kids were happy and well-behaved, so suddenly I had this moment…
And I was like, dude, when all of these kids are off and on their own, which is going to happen sooner rather than later, what the freak am I going to do?
It’s the silences- when the to-do list isn’t very long– that these moments occur.
When MFP isn’t here to stir the you-know-what as dads tend to do.
It’s like, when the laundry is all folded and put away, when the kitchen is clean, when the errands are run…then what?
Will I start collecting something collectible? Or start cooking elaborate meals that take the whole day to prepare? Will I join clubs and get behind causes and join committees?
How do I know? I don’t, and I’m not feeling very confident about the direction in which I am heading.
I totally immersed myself into this parenting thing, because to me, that was most important. I didn’t want to lie on my death bed and say, “I wish I had been there for my kids when they were little…”
And I know that what I’ve done has been right for our family. But still!
It would be nice if I also had, like, a career as a human rights lawyer or something to fall back on, you know? Or perhaps a medical degree or a novel that just needs a few good edits.
Honestly, I am really enjoying having more time to spend with my youngest these days. He has been kind of shuffling along, following the rest of us around for years now. Each activity he did was based on convenience.
Now he has more of a say, and he is thriving. We have long winding conversations now that are uninterrupted. Not only that, but just when I thought I had him all figured out, the other day he drops a bomb:
“Mom, I don’t hate running.”
I did eighteen cartwheels on the inside, but then answered, “well, that’s good.”
So on the one hand it seems only fair that I give him some attention, the same that I gave the older two at this age. But it would also be nice to click around the house in high heels with somewhere important to be where they also gave me a paycheck.
These moments of panic are most likely quite natural for stay-at-home moms. And I believe there are several kinds of us. Some of us stay at home, but are constantly fidgeting around drumming things up, like small businesses or Tupper Ware parties (ok pick another Pyramid thingy). Something is always in the works, and the kids are along for the ride of whatever mom’s latest “thing” is. And there are also the kind that are well-moneyed, who spend their days busy in non-busy ways, like getting spa treatments and planning lavish parties.
Of course all of us have the same objective, and no one can say that one way is better than the other. But I have to wonder: why was I not the kind that was drumming things up? I should have been! I don’t have the option to do spa treatments, but I still get down on myself for not always looking for money-making schemes with kids in tow.
I really couldn’t handle it, and neither could my family. Even blogging pissed MFP off and he made me promise not to do it on the weekends.
And the thing that I did choose, besides some freelance writing, was coaching. Which is good and fun and all of that, and something I could totally geek out on and immerse myself in 24/7; however, there’s a catch.
Do I really want to make my life around a career that is dominated by men? Because you might think that we’ve come a long way baby, but we haven’t. I have stories, girlfriend.
So while I adore having private clients, I could not and would not want to work in coaching alongside *mostly* male coaches. (The Olympic story of Wayne van Neikirk’s coach was pretty darn inspiring, though.)
It is like microaggression central! (I have utmost respect for badasses like Elizabeth Warren, etc. who can stand up for themselves, but I just can’t find that voice.)
So anyway, I guess these ramblings are all thoughts streaming through my head this week, a week in which there was time to reflect on life and running and where I’ve been and where I’m going.
It’s a strange time, and I’m hoping I can deaden these feelings with a healthy dose of running!
I’m going to leave you with this post by Kara Goucher, because she describes what it’s like to be an injured runner so well.
Have a good one!