I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant with my first child just before high school graduation. My friends went off to college and pursued careers while I cleaned baby puke off my last clean shirt and changed about two billion poopy diapers. They got degrees while I learned the words to every song on Blue’s Clues. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t.
I’ve taken college classes in the years since then, but I didn’t finish a degree. I’ve never had anything other than entry level jobs. I did join the Army eventually, but I only served for two years so it was never a foot in the door that it can be for some people. Because my earning potential was so low, it made sense for me to stay home with the kids and avoid daycare costs and that’s been my identity ever since.
I love being a mom. My kids can be challenging at times, but they are also charming and hilarious and I love them fiercely. I don’t resent the years I’ve given them, but this year when my youngest son started school full time I felt cast adrift. Now what?
My husband has a good job working as a contractor so it’s not necessary for me to get a job outside of the home. However, I feel that now that the kids are gone all day it’s time for me to find a new way to contribute to the family.
I am an indie published author. I have nearly 40 titles published under various pen names, but I’m not a very good marketer and they don’t generate much income. I love writing, but I’m easily distracted. I have six novels in progress that are at various stages of completion, but when the latest chapter of the Final Fantasy series was released, I dropped everything to play non stop for a week.
It’s been hard for me to make the transition from full time mother to whatever my new role is. What should my contribution to the household be? Income is an easy thing to measure, but it’s much harder to quantify what I bring to the table.
I keep the house clean and in the next couple of months we’ll be adding a garden and chickens. It’ll be my job to tend to those. I cook all the meals and do the grocery shopping. I help the kids with their homework and pick them up from school when they get sick. These things are all important, but are they enough?
I’m at an awkward stage of my life. I’m 35 years old, but I don’t feel much like a grown up. What scares me is that I might never feel like I’m an equal partner. My husband seems content with what I do for the family, but I’m not sure if I am.