I didn’t set out to do this.
Writing this. Right here, this blog that you’re reading. In fact, I didn’t set out to be part of this team or this blogging network or even to write blogs at all. This was never my plan.
Let’s take it way back.
Once upon a time, I was an over-zealous, self-righteous, elitist college student who was determined to validate her existence with lofty degrees and professional credentials that commanded people’s respect. I dreamed of writing, yes, but I wanted to write academic books that made me sound really smart. Higher education was my ideal because, in my mind, that was where I would get ideas for all my super smart books. If I am highly educated, I said to myself, I will be highly valuable.
Because deep down, I didn’t really think I had anything worthwhile to say on my own.
My educational pursuits came to a sudden halt when I gave birth to my first child during grad school. I initially planned to continue, but due to departmental constraints, I ended up simply bowing out and looking for a big girl job. If I excel in my career, I said to myself, then I can be a strong, feminist role model for my daughter. I remember opening the Yellow Pages (in 2008, it may have been the last physical phone book I ever actually read) and flipping through categories to see what sounded interesting. Then I called businesses in those categories and asked if they were hiring. That’s how utterly clueless I was as to what I wanted to do with my life.
While my bizarre method actually did produce a pretty decent job, it wasn’t as fulfilling as I expected. I just need to find the right job for ME, I said to myself, then I will truly “find myself” and discover my self-worth. Including my time as an undergrad and a GTA, I had eight different jobs during the first six years of my marriage. My last job was a temporary gig where I did some writing, and I told my husband I wished I could do just that. He said these words to me: “Babe, I don’t care what you do. Just pick something and stick with it.”
It was then I decided to become a stay-at-home mom. At that point I was just a few weeks shy of delivering my 3rd child, so it wasn’t like I was brand new to the momming deal. However, I was still trying to find my stride in that role. I more often felt like a kid with a super-long babysitting gig than an actual adult parent, so being a stay-at-home-mom seemed like the perfect way for me to embrace my identity. This is the one thing I can do with all my heart! I will be a great mom, I said to myself, then I will feel like a real grown-up, and people will treat me with respect.
Maybe you’re noticing a pattern.
To continue reading, please visit Knoxville Moms Blog, where this post originally appeared on June 29, 2017.