I know that a lot of the writing here has been a lot more focused on the high chairs than the high heels lately. Now that I’m entering year three of stay-at-home-mom status, as opposed to professional titled with benefits status, the heels are spending a lot more time in the closet. That, in and of itself, has been a hard adjustment for me. I wonder if I’m losing some part of myself. I used to scoff at what this non-employed gap would look like on my resume, and now I can see it – in black and white – and it scares me.
It scares me because I see the gap getting larger. We want more kids. Peanut’s getting more and more independent and as horrible as a transition as it would be for me emotionally, I could see him doing just fine in a pre-school or other child care arrangement if I were working. But new kids means I’d want to be home. That’s time that I feel blessed to have had with peanut and I’m honestly not ready to give that up.
What seemed like such an easy temporary career “lapse” is now a looming large reality of what the heck am I going to do later? I always knew I would go back at some vague point in the future. That point still looks very vague, and I think that’s what’s freaking me out a little bit.
Enter: the lunch. On a day when I was letting that big hairy spider weave me around the world wide web, I had come across an event of a professional organization I used to be a member of. An event that piqued my interest as a PR executive and a blogger. After writing about it and, as a result, getting the generous offer from a
neighbor friend to watch peanut so I could go, I signed up.
I ironed an outfit that matched, put on a belt, high heels and earrings, dropped the peanut off and headed to lunch. I ended up at a sort of out of the way table with just a few other seat mates, passed the bread, took a deep breath and waited. While I was sipping my tea, it came around to me: the dreaded “And where do you work?” question. Luckily, my PR background kicked into high gear and I heard myself try to make me sound interesting, realizing as I was talking that I was afraid to admit that I was much more of a stay-at-home-mom than the freelance PR executive (although I did get my dad that hit in the local paper!) I was painting myself to be. Then, I threw in, because it was related to the luncheon topic, that I was a blogger.
Someone asked where I blogged. When I answered, a lovely woman sitting next to me said, “I’ve read it.” WHAT?! Trust me when I tell you that this woman is in no way related to or living in a one mile radius of me. She even described the post she’d stumbled across. I believe I blushed. Hard. And did a little raise the roof happy dance inside my head (okay, I’m still doing the happy dance).
It turned my mood around. I gained confidence. I learned some interesting things about the challenges these individuals were facing in the social media space. I listened to the panel with a much more strategic and critical ear than I may have had I stayed in my meek, I’m not worthy, this is just interesting but not pertinent mindset. I came away with ideas. I came away with a bit more direction than I went in.
It felt good. It turned me on. Not in *THAT* way, but it turned something back on inside. Some part of me that has taken a back seat for a long time. It may still ride in the back seat for awhile, but at least now I know it’s still there and can ask it for directions every now and then.
Totally worth pulling those black Joan & David’s (that make any outfit feel fantastic) out of the closet in the middle of the day.