I have recently decided to go back to work.  I say this with both elation and a heavy heart.  As I have been caring for my baby boy for 15 months now, it must be said that I am weary, and respectful, and disappointed.

When I got pregnant, I was performing in the ensemble of “White Christmas” at the Welk Resort Theater in San Diego.  We worked on Thanksgiving.  We worked on Christmas.  It was wonderful work, to sing and dance for people every day.  Like all things, it had its pros and cons, but I had put in a lot of sweat and tears to nab that job.  I drove home to eat with my family after our Christmas day matinee, and I had morning sickness.  I was 6 weeks along.  My costumes were fitting a little tight, and the world was looking a little different to me.  I was happy.  But I also realized I’d be hanging up my tap shoes for a while.  After the show closed, I spent the rest of my pregnancy sleeping in, reading pregnancy books, and eating.

I have not had a job since.

I am weary, obviously, because the job of stay-at-home mother is relentless and long.  I was warned.  I swear I was.  So many people remarked at how “lucky” I am to be able to get by comfortably on my husband’s salary alone.  I have been given the immense opportunity to be there for my children all day long, as my mother was.  But as time passed, I supressed the feeling that this job was not for me.  Some days were glorious fun.  Other days were full of anger, boredom, and desperation.  Depression, too?  I don’t know.

I was certainly respectful of my mother, and all mothers who stay home with pride.  I wanted to be fulfilled as they are.  But something is missing.  Something has changed, and maybe I believed that it was going to change back.

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want to be an actor these days.  Not at all.  I have many other interests, and I’m a whiz on the computer.  A few people have paid me to edit videos for them, but naptime and nighttime are the only respites from my rambunctious toddler.  So, that’s when I edit.  And it’s when I blog, too.

So, I found a daycare here in Glendale that will take Little J twice a week.  All day.  I wrote the check for the deposit, and suddenly I felt better.  I felt just a tiny bit free.  And to write these things brings tears to my eyes.  Here comes the disappointment I mentioned earlier.

I am disappointed to have been faced with so many preconceived notions about what being a mom entailed.  I always saw myself as a career woman.  My various definitions of “just a wife and mother” were all quite negative.  And I blame the United States public school system.  I blame television and movies, and the internet.  I blame Sally Ride, the first female astronaut.  I blame Sarah Palin.  Don’t ask me why, I just do.  Everyone says that being a parent is the most important job in the world, and then they turn around and ask me, “Do you work?”

Variations on these themes have been swimming in my head for many months.  I have been terrified to blog about it because I want to protect my deepest insecurities.  Today, however, is the day that I confess that I intend to cultivate another skill or two.  I am going to work from home part-time to see how it works for me.  Perhaps in another year I will change my mind.  But for now, I want the chance, even for two days a week, to be alone with my computer.  I endeavor to find a happier place in my mind and heart.  Since we all wish to “have it all”, both family and a fulfilling job, solid relationships and strong reputations, I think it needs to be said that I’m giving this new situation the old college try.

I’ll let you know what happens.

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