Friday, June 18, 2010

friday forte: so what is it all about then?

is it me or my reflection

friday forte: in which i blog about my midlife crisis and you read about it, dammit!

Tum te tum. So what have we covered so far?
Well, we've been thru looks, appearance and wardrobe (still working on wardrobe, apart from the shoes).
I've muttered on about childcare solutions and failures.
I've hinted at relationship woes and successes.
We've covered finances, ageing and dabbled in pregnancy matters via events around mother's day.

What's left?
There's an awful lot left (she says menacingly, looking daggers at anyone who dares to check a watch or try to leave early).
My career, godammit! *growls*

To be completely honest I put the career on hold when we emigrated to Canada in late 2001 (my choice). Once we got here the lure of part-time work at the weekends was, meh, not that enticing (poorly paid, not in my field of interest) so we recklessly spent our free time exploring our new home. Instead of paid employment I volunteered while mr. ebb was at work in The Big City. I helped coordinate continuing education for local veterinary surgeons (yes, I built that website too!) and kept up with my own professional development in return. I taught adaptive snowboarding on a local mountain and gained both CASI and CADS (level II) teaching certificates as a result. And I virtually lived at Vancouver Aquarium with its incredible volunteer program - I taught marine mammal biology to schoolkids, transcribed interviews for a book, dabbled in graphic design, helped cover the news desk, got dirty and smelly at seal rehab (during the first icky trimester of pregnancy nonetheless), and brushed up my admin skills in the volunteer office. (I was busy). I gained my Bronze Fish pin in my first year there.

So I got pregnant too; a sort of traditional posted overseas, expat, trailing spouse kind of thing to do. It made sense - my eggs weren't getting any younger, indeed they were probably frying as we debated, and when would we get the time to pursue fertility like this again?

The Wee Guy arrived, we became parents and I became a fulltime SAHM .... and mostly it wasn't too frightening. I did what my mother had done for me - I stayed at home while the Wee Guy did his infancy growing up thing.

He's now in school full time - he still needs me to be around, but I now have this chunk of childless time in the middle of the day, not really long enough to do anything out-of-the-home constructive with but long enough to make me wonder, "what the heck am i doing now?"

.... which is the crux of my question. What exactly am I doing here now? What should I be doing? Where should I be doing it?

I'm over the 'it being a complete luxury' to stay at home - we don't need two incomes so far, end of discussion. We only have one child, one car and few expensive tastes (shoes don't count - I get most of them at thrift). Should I feel guilty for being at home 24/7?* Should I feel guilty at wanting to resume some kind of career? Should I feel guilty for 'wasting' my education? How many shoes is too many?

But, what about security, financial security, job security and all that jazz? I am financially dependent on my husband, for today, tomorrow and into retirement now. My job skills are not current - if he loses his job it is unlikely that I can just pick something up to keep us afloat. And what about retirement? - he now has to think in terms of a pension for two ........and all of this because we chose to raise a family and have a parent at home for the child we are raising.

I would like (and it may be lala cloud cuckoo fantasy land in reality) to work out something which would remove so much of the burden from my husband, which would allow me to contribute to the household budget in a meaningful way ie. not just pouring it into childcare, which would provide a satisfying out-of-the-home life for me, but still allow us to parent our child in the way we choose to.
Is this too much to ask? And what exactly am I asking for anyway? What exactly am I prepared to give up in return? Do I have to give up the SAHM-deal in return for the kind of career/financial/not-just-a-mum existence I'm envisioning? Will the extra work be worth it all?

Yes, I know - back to the gin and the Valium! Thanks for reading :))


* Hell, no!


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