Thursday, November 30, 2023

Not a Mom, Not a Career Woman

It feels so late. It's that time of year. The sun set several hours ago, but it's not time for bed yet.

I'm feeling reflective. Again, it's that time of year. I have my Xmas tree up with lights and ornaments, and the calendar year is coming to a close. Some things in life are going really well and some things are not. And, well, that's because that's how life goes.

I am in a much, much better place with infertility and living CNBC. No longer trying to conceive or adopt helps. Stopping trying and having that ending point--I really needed that. Then I could start to grieve. And that was a very long process. In a way, the grief is lifelong, but there's nothing like those first years. Of course, I didn't know I was grieving at the time. Learning that fact, as well as learning about the concept of disenfranchised grief, helped immensely.

All of my life, I thought I was going to be a mother. And then I gradually realized over a four-year period that I wasn't going to be. And it was really hard to process that. I had no idea what my life was going to be without raising the children I always dreamed of and assumed I'd have.

Now that I'm not trying to conceive or adopt AND I know I am not going to be a mother AND I've had years to process this reality, things are better.

It changed everything though.

And this week I've been thinking about how I was never interested in being a career woman. I always hoped I'd be a stay at home mom. And now... I'm... A woman with a job? I don't know. It just seems weird. I like working, but I'm not trying to have a career necessarily. I like my job, and I like getting better at it. But... I don't have kids to put through college or trade school, so I don't have to work myself to death. I'm not trying to build a resume or anything. I'm not climbing a corporate or clinical or any other kind of ladder. Plus, I don't plan on relocating for any job. 

I am where I want to be. 

I'm a divorced, childless middle-aged woman who's just trying to pay my bills and enjoy my life. And I've been thinking about how not having kids changed absolutely everything for me.

I had Day to Night Barbie (above) when I was a kid. I loved how her work outfit turned into a night outfit. But I never daydreamed about going to an office every day...

I *just* realized...  

I am a working artist.
I work to be of service to others, and I work to buy fabric. Hahaha. But true.

(And this is why I write... To figure things out.)


  1. I love this! (Figuring things out is also why I write). I think your conclusion is admirable. I was the most contented I've ever been when I was doing a mix of things career-wise and personally. Being of service was a major contributor to that. There's no need to blindly pursue career when so often it doesn't bring joy or satisfaction, but resentment, stress and exhaustion. I've seen it in others, and I've seen it in myself. And decided to step back.

    1. I think doing a mix of things is key for me too. I'm volunteering with our profession's state organization, and I have the monthly quilt guild meetings. I work at two different places when they need me. (Fortunately, one of those places needs me at least once a week.) And, as you made me realize, all of these things bring me joy or satisfaction. They do not annoy or exhaust me. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for this post!
    Society only seems to know these two categories: family people and career people. Strange, isn't it?

    Like you, I never wanted to be a career woman. I wanted to be a mom, but this did not happen. It took a lot of work to get where I am today, both emotionally and otherwise.

    I am so glad you can say you are where you want to be today. And I absolutely love this: "I am a working artist". <3

    1. It's very strange! And I've never thought about it before...

      There are more than two ways of living your life. There are more options than being a mom or being a career woman. Both are fine, but there's also more. But we only talk about those two. Why are there so many things not talked about?

      I don't need a lot of money, but quilting ain't free! There's needles, thread, fabric, batting, a sewing machine, cutting mat, rotary cutter, rotary blades, rulers, and so many other helpful tools. So, yes, I work. I am also healthy, able to work, and I like my job, so I like to work. But I primarily identify as an artist, not a worker.