I kept telling people that my New Year's resolution was to stop applying for jobs. Sometimes, when I have a hard day with the boys or when I feel the financial stress of being a single income family, I look at job boards. It is like single people who sign up for dating services when they feel lonely and had a little too much red wine. At the end of 2012, I applied for two full time positions. Both positions were solidly in my career field. They were good salaries and had impressive job titles. I interviewed for both. And, as you might tell for the title of the post, I didn't get them. Either of them. The first position I applied for, I was okay to see go. I wasn't overly invested. But the second position, well, it was my dream job. It was serving as the executive director of an art council. It was a thriving nonprofit that housed a community theater, art classes, art shows, musical performances and an art gallery For me, it was like the holy grail of jobs. It blended my passion for the arts with my nonprofit background. When I applied, I thought it was a long shot. I've never actually been a director. But, the job was so perfect I had to apply. And, I not only got an interview, but I made it to the top two. In the end, I lost the position to someone who was local (it wasn't in my town). Truthfully, despite how amazing the position was, when they called to tell me they choose the other candidate, I felt this huge relief. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't a little disappointed. It isn't everyday that you get so close to your ideal job. Because of the nature of the job, it was a long and involved interview process and I felt myself already getting invested in the organization. But, back to my relief . . . . this would have been a really demanding position. I was torn up with anxiety over what effect this position would have on my family. I believe that mom's can have careers but I also know there is a cost. This wasn't a 9-5 job. There would be lots of nights that I would miss bedtimes. This job would have meant going back to work, in a big way. And, I just didn't feel at ease with the trade off. It would have been an amazing experience but I would have missed a lot of the boys' childhood.
Truthfully, I really don't know if I want to work full time outside of the home. I've talked about it before, but I worked so hard to be home with my boys. But, since transitioning to being home I feel like I have pushed and pulled to find a way to get out. It is just hard. You spend all the time (and money) on your education then spend all this time working just to find yourself at home wiping butts. Butts that I love very much, but still it is gross and not exactly 'maximizing my skill set.' I think I am envious of mamas who feel settled in their choice to be full time stay at home moms. It is just a constant struggle for me. I'm not really sure what I want to do from this point. The whole interview process gave me a taste of what is like out there and it really made me want to find a way to have a job that is somehow connected to the arts. Or at the very least, working in a nonprofit setting again. I'd love to find a part-time or contract job but I know those are few and far between. I'm still open to full time work, if I found the right fit. I've also thought about putting a little more effort into trying to work as an artist myself. But, then I come back to what is best for me and what is best for the boys. There is so much "mom guilt." I want to contribute to our household finances. We could greatly benefit from an additional salary Basically, being a mother is hard. There is always a give and take. It is hard to find the balance between your hopes and dreams and what is best for your kids. I'm a driven person. I always have been. And, once the super charged pregnancy hormones were gone I've found myself needing something to drive towards. I'm sure I am not the only mom who struggles with this. I just wanted to share a little bit of the journey I've been on and to ask for your help and support as I move forward. I do feel a peace, a peace that I am on the right path. I just don't really know were it is leading but I'm going to try to relax a little more and trust in the process and journey.
P.S. I guess this might seem like a weird thing to share. I know most people don't go around talking about jobs they didn't get. I just felt compelled to write about it. I feel like this is such a difficult and important topic for moms. The question of being a working mom or stay at home mom is huge. It is something all moms face. There are all kinds of factors and pressures. I know some women have no choice but to work. I realize I am grateful to have a choice. I just wanted to be vulnerable and share a little of my struggle and tension.