"Well, I don't work... outside the home, that is. So I find that I have all sorts of feelings about that. Should I have chosen a career path? Could I do more to relieve my husband's stress? Will my children respect me even if I don't acquire some type of worldly success? I could go on and on... all that to say that there are debates on either side of the fence, the sense that we haven't chosen the right path no matter what the choice was."
I sometimes worried that I'd shot my career (whatever that was going to be) in the foot. And that bothered me. I was never the type of girl who only dreamed of being a wife and mom. But if I hadn't stayed home with my young kids, I would've felt I'd be doing them a disservice. And there's the rub. It seems liked either way I'd be shooting someone or something in the foot. So I shot my career.
Only I didn't fully shoot my career. At least not fatally. Once I was able to get a full night's sleep and complete sentences again (smiles), I started writing freelance articles for regional parenting magazines. It didn't pay much, maybe $40 a month. But it gave me a creative outlet, and a different kind of satisfaction than I got caring for and teaching my young children. (I have learned to fight the urge to feel guilty saying that.)
And it gave me a way to get that satisfaction while still investing heavily in my family. I worked a few hours a month from home. Other moms may get that satisfaction through scrap booking, or photography, or running the PTA, but I am a words girls. I have to string words together.
So what have you shot?
How have you balanced the work-family thing? Do you have any regrets? What work, outside of your family, gives you a sense of satisfaction or purpose? I think we can learn from each other here. And I'll draw a winning commenter on Friday to receive a copy of my book It's No Secret.