The past six years I have been working at home, freelancing, adjunct teaching and taking classes. I have been doing everything that I could think of to bring home a little bit of money, work on my resume while staying at home with my two girls. My mother-in-law lives with us but still works full time at 70 years old. She helps out with the kids when she is home. She really is the reason why I was able to complete another degree and survive teaching as an adjunct outside of my respective field.
Two weeks ago, her company made some major changes, changes that effected her schedule and ability to work. When they told her she must work on Sundays, she decided it was her sign to throw in the towel and finally retire. She has spent her life caring for others, providing for sons, daughter-in-laws and every grand-baby and great grand-baby that was blessed into her arms. I have felt her quiet and unassuming support which I am eternally grateful. Our family is ready for her to spend her time as she wishes from here on out. On the 19th she will officially have completed her work career.
With her retirement, my life will also change. I will work more hours during regular working times rather than in the wee hours of the night when my mind and body just want to drop into a deep slumber. I have struggled with the idea of finding a 9-5 job and just doing my freelance work on the side. With the girls cared for by their grandmother, I will have the time and ability to focus back on my career. In many ways this is what I have been waiting for. In other ways, I feel as if I never was able to enjoy being a stay at home mom. I simply could not allow myself to let go of my personal career goals and the need to prepare for my return to the workforce.
My big question now is how to I spend my time. Many of my friends I have spoken with and my husband believe I should continue on my current path of freelancing and adjunct teaching. This will give me the career building opportunities but still the flexibility we may like to have as a family. The security of the full time job is nagging at me. I see my friends with corporate jobs bringing home big pay checks and they seem to still have a great quality of life. I seem to have been scrounging for pennies and working every waking moment. I am not sure how this life quality will change with the extra time to work.
I am frustrated at myself for feeling lost rather than excited by new prospects. I asked my friend her advice. She gave up a very profitable corporate job to stay at home with her children and begin to build her own company. She is a few years older than I and she is a model mother, community member and career woman. She believes strongly in following dreams and doing what you love. She felt as if my “obvious talent” would drive my career and I should not give up. She also said that the 9-5 job was overrated and my girls will be grown in a blink of an eye. My husband believes I am gaining momentum right now and giving up on it would be a mistake. I feel two pulls still, one for the structure and security and the other to pursue a dream that is quite attainable. For the past few years I feel like I have been standing still but leaning forward waiting for the gun to go off to start my sprint. The gun will be going off very soon and I feel like I will be standing dazed and confused at the starting gate.