I was visiting my mom and younger sister recently (with my boys) and my sister asked me this question (or some variation of it) and I struggled to put into words how I feel about this particular topic. I've been thinking about it for a couple weeks now, trying to find just the right way to answer this question and similar questions that I've been asked since choosing to stop job hunting and be a stay at home mom (SAHM).
In short: No, I don't want a career.
The long answer is a bit more complicated, so here goes...
Yes, I do plan on working again, when the boys start school and I have "free time." I do miss socializing with grown people and discussing things not related to the people that came out of me. I miss not having to guard my tongue and make sure I don't use any adult language that little ears might hear and little mouths might repeat. I miss being just a person, and only being responsible for myself for a few hours. I really miss not being interrupted every time I'm trying to talk to anyone about anything. I do not, however, plan to have a career outside of my home and family.
To me, a career is a high ranking priority. It takes up a bulk of your time and energy, adds stress and takes focus away from your family. For me, my kids are my highest priority and I plan to keep it that way. I refuse to let a career take me away from them. I had a career, granted it was short-lived, it did exist. I brought work home, in an effort to spend more time with Connor, but that wasn't quality time. I was neglecting something either way. I'd have a pile of papers to grade on the dining room table, or a screaming baby because he wanted something and I was too busy trying to prepare things for my students to help him.
My boys are my world. I plan to keep it that way for as long as humanly possible (without becoming a crazy clingy momma that follows them off to college and lives in the dorm across the hall). I plan on working at their school, as a paraprofessional or as a sub while they're in elementary school. Once they move on to middle and high school, I'll put more time and effort into my job, but it will still be a job to me. It will never take precedent over them and I think that a career must, at least sometimes.
I have the utmost respect for working and career moms. That takes a level of balance and time management skills that I simply don't have. I think it's amazing that there are parents out there who have figured out how to have successful careers and still prioritize their kids.
I have a bachelor's degree that I may never, directly, use again because I don't wish to go back to teaching (unless Texas massively revamps their system) and I don't have a desire to work for the government or in politics. History BA's are actually pretty limiting degrees. I would love to go back to school and get a Masters or even a PHD in Cultural Anthropology because I love learning and researching. Maybe one day I will, and then I could teach college. That's probably the only time I'll teach again. However, for the foreseeable future, I have no intentions of having a career. Just job(s) to keep me entertained outside my home and make extra cash for the boys college fund.
My children are my career.
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