Before marriage, I worked full-time, wedging college between shifts. I dreamed of family and home because secretarial work did not ring my chimes.
Empowerment or Imprisonment
It felt like a ball and chain around my ankle. No matter how interesting the office environment, I felt more imprisoned than empowered.
After my daughter was born, I never worked full-time again. Our finances were tight, but childcare, clothes, transportation, and lunches ate up my earnings. Taxes took the remaining pennies off the table. It just wasn’t worth it.
Job stress followed me home, creating a potentially abusive situation for my daughter. She was my grande opus, my one truly positive contribution. As an older mom, I had one chance to do it right.
The first five years of life are the most important in building trust, moral foundations, and preparation for school. I attended child development classes to guide me.
Full-time daycare was still not an option. I remembered the years my mother worked and I attended a daycare with good teachers, fun activities, and lots of free play on a playground. I could see sister’s school through the fence and spent my free play time searching for her.
Thus, I accompanied my daughter to daycare. She’d play with the kids and I assisted the teachers. I took my guitar and sang while the children danced. We especially enjoyed storytime.
New Career Options
As she grew more independent, I developed a modest career in storytelling. My gigs fit around her school schedule. I could be there for her and still bring home some cash.
Ultimately, we homeschooled. She attended my gigs, and I helped with field trips and get-togethers. Our lives intertwined, helping us discover new activities, talents, and friends. I led her and she led me. Now that was fulfilling.
Time to Separate
Eventually, we went our separate ways. Her childhood with both parents involved gave her the confidence to deal with frustrations and challenges.
Then came the inevitable mother-daughter passage when, in a flash of anger, she listed sins I’d unknowingly committed. I wondered if my decisions were worthwhile, but I remembered doing the same to my mom.
Despite my mistakes, though, I gave her all I knew how to give. I couldn’t have done so while working full-time. What’s more, those years gave us memories much better than any I would’ve attained inside a cubicle.
Careers are great for before and after child-rearing. When the children come, enjoy them without distraction. It’s worth it.