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What Do I Do Now?

Once upon a time, there was a girl who thought all she wanted was to be married to the man of her dreams and have beautiful children. She never thought of much more than that. When folks asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up she replied, “a wife and mother”. Maybe that’s due to the fact that her own childhood wasn’t picture perfect. She didn’t live in a traditional family. She grew up in a “broken home” where her parents were secondary caregivers and her grandmother raised her.

The girl grew up dating many boys and then marrying the worst possible mate she could have picked. Was she possibly looking for that father-figure she didn’t have? Needless to say, this strong-willed girl corrected her course and met a man who would be her equal and partner. They married and produced two of the most beautiful children the world has ever seen. These two kids are so completely different from each other. One is very easy going, non-verbal, and happy most days. The other is out-spoken, out-going, and happy most days. Both kids are the apples of their mother’s eye…and father’s for that matter.

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

Somewhere along the way, the mother lost her own way. She became something that was expected of her. The doting wife, the loving mother. All of those things that she wanted…but there was something missing. She, herself, was missing. She couldn’t figure out what she wanted from life anymore. She couldn’t decide what to do with herself. Now that both of her kids are in school during the day, she is not needed as much as she was before and life is feeling kind of wonky to her. She doesn’t know what to do with her time and so she is feeling kind of left out of life. Out of sorts, if you will. She’s not quite sure how to go about getting on with her own life. She misses music, and writing. She misses friends and socializing. All of her friends have jobs now, and so she sits at home watching TV and twiddling her thumbs waiting for someone to need her again. While her daughter is asserting her independence (as a first grader) and her son is leaning on his healthcare worker more and more and her husband is out making a difference and doing what he loves, she’s at home thinking about how she can get healthier and save money and do something worthwhile with her life.

What will she come up with? What will she do? What should she do? At this point, she’s completely unaware. She thought at one time that going to college and finishing her degree in business would be the thing to do. She was so excited about the prospect, and had even been accepted to a few different schools, but then it was decided that to spend that kind of money to finish something she probably would never use was pointless. And then she thought maybe getting a part time job and working while the kids were in school would be a great idea. But she went on several job interviews and got nothing in return. Very few nibbles. This woman is talented, and very good at her job outside of the home, but no one will give her a chance to prove it. It’s starting to feel like she’s pretty useless unless her family needs her. And that is not good for anyone.

How will she get over this feeling? Maybe she’ll blog about it. Maybe she’ll wallow in her feelings. Maybe she’ll say, “forget this shit” and get on with life. All I know is that through it all, her family will be there for her. And she will try to do it with a smile. Most days she’s very happy to do the laundry and grocery shopping and cooking and cleaning for her family. Some days she wishes she could hire a maid to do it all so she could stay in bed with the covers over her head and forget her responsibilities. She knows she’s not alone in this feeling, and that helps her not to feel like such a slug. She knows she’s lucky to have the life she has and she and her husband have worked very hard to get to this point. However, she can’t escape the nagging in her head that says, “You’re too smart to sit at home waiting on your family to need you to do their laundry”. She needs something more.

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