There was a summer evening several years ago, when I was pregnant with Fruit Bat--so newly pregnant that the awful seasickness hadn't yet begun--and J. and I were at an outdoor party on a rolling estate.
I was seated at a table of attorneys. About ten of them. They spoke legal. Telling lawyerly stories I could sort of (just barely) follow. Follow, that was, until J. spewed out a latin phrase. He made everyone at the table laugh uproariously. Except me.
I sat there dumbly, the only one who didn't get the joke. I'm not sure if I've felt so stupid and out of my element since. I was just a poorly-compensated graphic designer for a stuffy inflight magazine, after all.
And now I think, but I was something. People respected me for my layouts and gave me mostly positive feedback. They gave me paychecks, too.
Being a mom is not nothing, of course. It's an enormous responsibility. An enormous privilege.
When you stay home with your kids, though, there is no one to tell you "Hey! Sweet save on the tantrum!" or "My, what a balanced and tasty breakfast you made for the children."
My therapist, who I haven't needed to see much lately, but who I went to last week for a tune-up, strongly believes I should get a part-time job. Not the kind of job where I blog at a coffee shop, essentially alone. Or where I write my fiction and pretend it's work. Also, essentially alone. But the kind of job where I check in somewhere and interact with other adults.
I agreed with her. I explained, though, that I am giving myself until Kitty Cat is in Kindergarten (Fall of '10) to find an agent or get significantly published or pull in new blogging jobs, to really launch the writing thing, before I succumb to the call of "the job". Not that I have anything against working. I don't.
I've just been home so long it's hard to imagine answering to a boss who isn't 4-years-old and who I can't manipulate with promises of licorice or doughnuts.
This SAHM gig makes me too hungry.
Too hungry for validation in a way I never was before. And I need to do something about that. Soon.