5/13/2013

When I grow up.

I knew from a pretty early age what I wanted to be when I grew up.

"I'm going to be a psychologist," I would tell people.  "That way I can figure out all these crazy people I know."

And I stuck with that idea.  From elementary school and all through high school, I just KNEW that I wanted to be a psychologist.

Even at 16, I clearly had all my issues worked out and I was totally ready to
figure out why everyone else in the world was so crazy.  


When I started college, I took a full course load of psychology and English classes right off the bat, totally ignoring those silly little "required" courses like math and history.  BOR-RING.

I loved studying psychology as much as I thought I would.  But then life happened, and I ended up turning what was supposed to be a "part-time get-me-through-college" job in retail bookselling into a 17 year career.

Oops.  Don't you just hate it when that happens to you?

Anyway, fast forward to now-ish.  For the last three years I've stayed at home with my kids. Being a full time stay at home Mama was really different for me, but I love every minute of it.  However, it has occurred to me a time or a hundred that in one short year Cooper and Zachary will both be in school full time.

And then what?

What will I do all day?  Sit on the couch and wait for them to get home from school?  Does this mean that when they are both in school that I should look for a "real" job?

I honestly don't know.

I know that if I want to get some sort of specialized training for something, now is the time to do that.  But the problem is, I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up.

I still enjoy reading about psychology, but I'm afraid that ship has sailed.  And the only job I've had in my adult life is in retail bookselling, and OHDEARGOD DON'T MAKE ME GO BACK THERE.

On the one hand I am and always have been of the mindset that if I am able to work, then I should work.  It's one thing to be raising kids all day, but quite another to lounge about watching daytime tv, eating bonbons and doing my nails.  Farm girl mentality and a deeply instilled work ethic run in my veins.  On the other hand, I love being home all day, I have enough projects to keep me busy well into the next decade, and the thought of having to go back into the workforce makes me all twitchy and angsty in a way that I haven't been since I DID have to go to work every day.

So maybe I will need to get a job, but a different sort of job where I don't have to deal with people so much.  Or at all.  Yeah, that sounds about right.

So what kinds of jobs are available for someone who only knows how to sell books but who doesn't want to work in retail?  Not a lot, I'm finding.

So I'm kind of stuck.  I keep Googling things like "best jobs for introverts where you are only gone from 8:30 am till 2:30 pm so you can get your kids off the bus every day" and "how can I make money while in my pajamas?"  That last one, it turns out, is totally possible if you're not picky about things like who your clientele is and the occasionally STD.

I looked at paralegal training, and I think I would enjoy the research/writing part of that, except - HELLO!  LAWYERS! and I looked at getting a real estate license because I can and have spent about a million hours looking at houses for sale, just because I like houses, and because the hours can be super flexible, but I'm not sure a totally commission based job is really my thing.  Plus, I'm kind of done with selling stuff to people.

I guess the other thing I should point out is that this isn't really a decision that is based around a financial need.  We are very fortunate that our bills are small, we've made a few smart (and a few lucky) choices with our money over the years, and R's salary more than covers our family's needs.  No, this is really all about how I feel about what I SHOULD be doing, even if it's not necessarily what I WANT to be doing, if that makes any sense at all.  I'm a duty fulfiller, remember?

So anyway, here I sit, thirty-something (ok, ok, nearly forty) years old, trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.

And I still don't have a clue.


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9 comments:

  1. I am faced with this very same "challenge" This fall they will all be in school full time.............
    I always said I would go back to work more full time-ish BUT do I really want to???

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    1. It's a tough call, isn't it? Part of me would really like to not go back at all, but the other part of me says it's something I SHOULD do... It's a lot to think about, isn't it?

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  2. I guess we need to figure out what's right for us not what we think we "should" do.
    When I think about it I also think, they get sick and with 3 in school it may be more often than any employer would be happy with.
    Also what kind of job will hire part time AND allow the hours to be between 8-3.
    I know I don't want to go back m-f..
    Seriously I've been a mom (with just a little work outside the home each week) for 11 years!!

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  3. I always thought I "should" go back to work when my kids went to school because that's what everyone else around me was doing. But then I realized that our lives are not like everyone else's and I thought about how I told my husband so many years ago that I would work very hard at being able to stay home to raise our kids. I re-worked my perspective into realizing that THIS is what I am now that I've grown up - I'm a mom and a wife and a friend, among others - and I am very, very good at it.

    And - Psychologists unite! I got my bachelor's degree in psych and went onto grad school, fully preparing to get a doctorate and spend my days in some ivory tower reading and writing and researching. I still dream of spending my days holed up in the library and rubbing tweedy elbow pads with big thinkers in a university, but it's probably not going to happen. I'm okay with that.

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  4. I always thought I "should" go back to work when my kids went to school because that's what everyone else around me was doing. But then I realized that our lives are not like everyone else's and I thought about how I told my husband so many years ago that I would work very hard at being able to stay home to raise our kids. I re-worked my perspective into realizing that THIS is what I am now that I've grown up - I'm a mom and a wife and a friend, among others - and I am very, very good at it.

    And - Psychologists unite! I got my bachelor's degree in psych and went onto grad school, fully preparing to get a doctorate and spend my days in some ivory tower reading and writing and researching. I still dream of spending my days holed up in the library and rubbing tweedy elbow pads with big thinkers in a university, but it's probably not going to happen. I'm okay with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For some reason it's really easy for me to be supportive of others who choose not to work - especially those who make a conscious decision like you have. You are doing what you want to do and what you should do and that's brilliant. I'm happier being home than I ever have been, and there is SO much that goes into running a home and a family and I feel completely fulfilled doing it. Maybe I just need to give myself the same courtesy I give others. I'm going to look for that book ASAP. Thanks for the "rambly comments." It helps to hear from like-minded people who have been in a similar place.

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  5. I have this book that I read a few years ago when I was struggling with this very same thing. It's called "This is not how I thought it would be" by Kristin Maschka. It helped me develop a perspective of my jobs as mom and wife as a real job and to see my work as having real worth. Because what I do is important and meaningful, even though society tells us in so many ways that we are not contributing.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for all the rambly comments!!

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    2. Sorry for all the rambly comments!!

      Delete

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