Thursday, February 3, 2011

On Working

There are a lot of things I never really thought through when planning my career and my life. I entered college without having the first clue of what I wanted to be when I grew up, and consequently ended up double majoring in what I (thought I) wanted to do (at the time) and what my parents wanted me to do. I came up with some convoluted plan of how to make these two careers fit, because I am a middle child and want to please everyone. I had to go to more school first, then more school after that. Then I realized I had no idea what I *really* wanted to do, so I dropped out and started working in an office. By that time I was 26 years old. I had no idea that I would find said office job tolerable enough to keep doing it for the rest of my life, but I did (and got yet another degree since my job was in a completely different field than my first 3 degrees). Clearly, I am not good at planning.

I approached being a parent in the same half-assed manner. I met my husband shortly after I started working at The Office. We got engaged in October of 2008, and I got knocked up in January of 2009 (which resulted in changing about 9 million wedding plans, FUN). It’s not that I don’t understand how people get pregnant; I am very (over)educated in the sciences. We were at a place in our lives where if we got pregnant as a result of lax birth control policies, cool, if not, cool. Kid B arrived in my belly in much the same fashion.

Since we didn’t really plan to be parents in the same way that normal people plan for major life events, we didn’t necessarily have a lot of choice when it came to the type of parents we wanted to be. I owe approximately a small house in student loans, so I absolutely HAVE to be a working mom. I also make more money than the hubs, so if either of us ever could quit and stay at home, it would only work financially if it was Justin. And, to be honest, back when I should have been planning out the life I wanted, I had NO IDEA that I would have even WANTED to be a stay at home mom. I always had it drilled into my head to go to school and get a job, but no one ever pushed me to get married and have kids. I also only had about 3 months of married life before becoming a parent, so there wasn’t a lot of time to adjust and to think about what I wanted.

That being said, I really do love the life I have. Sure, if I could hit a magical do over button, I’d have a totally different career and a lot less debt. Maybe in that alternate life I would have married someone who made enough money that I could stay at home. But there is no do over button, and I love my husband and daughter and Kid B more than anything. Even though I always pictured myself in scrubs at a hospital instead of in business casual at a cube, I enjoy my job. I’m not so passionate about it that I’d stay if I won the lottery or anything, but it works. Justin and I have built a nice life for our family, despite the lack of planning.


Swistle said...

Sometimes it seems like planning screws things up anyway, like when people plan to do A and B and C and D and E before having kids, and then they finish E and they're in their 50s and whoops.

The Diniwilks said...

I know exactly what you mean, Swistle! It actually takes a lot of pressure off...I am not sure that I EVER would have felt 100% ready to be a parent, so who knows how long I would have put it off. At least this way I'll be done having kids at 32 :)

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