Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pondering my potential comeback...or lack thereof

I apologize for my absence. Just in case you noticed I’ve been absent.

I’ve been turning over some heavy subjects, not the least of which concerns whether I will have to return to work sooner than planned. (And pretty much anytime is sooner than planned, since I had cherished the hope that I’d simply be adored and supported comfortably by my patrons for the rest of my life. Don’t laugh; you know you hope for that, too.)

Now, please don’t misread my statement. I am not in a complete panic about the possibility of returning to work. There’s a not-so-small part of me that would embrace an opportunity to work outside of the home again. To work for pay again. To work for recognition again. To work at something I’ve studied and practiced and feel somewhat competent while performing. To be acknowledged by the rest of the working world. No, those aspects or returning to work don’t sound too daunting. My concerns run much deeper than that.

I fear that all the time and effort I’ve invested in my son will be lost. Suppose my investment should fade, those memories we’ve made become lost. Suppose his wild boy instincts are nurtured aggressively by an alternative caregiver, and my sensitive little sweetheart who loves to read and make his stuffed animals talk suddenly becomes a rough-and-tumble bruiser who thinks I’m a sissy neatnik. I know that will likely happen anyway… But does it have to happen already? So soon? I gave up a lot for this kid—and now he probably won’t even remember the bulk of my commitment, if it is to end at this point.

I also shudder when I consider that perhaps, no one will want to hire me. Why should they? What have I to offer? A frumpy housewife who’s been out of the workforce for over 4 years… My work experiences of late are probably not so useful to a potential employer. Yeah, I know there are lots of people out there touting the returning-to-work SAHM and how much common sense and no-nonsense attitude she brings to the office, but honestly, most of the folks spouting that opinion are—you guessed it—other SAHMs who are trying to return to work outside the home. The minute they see I’m not on LinkedIn, they’ll toss my skimpy resume aside like last week’s Us magazine. (Although, in honesty, isn’t LinkedIn just a work version of Facebook? “Connections,” “friends,” whatever you want to call ‘em—it’s all sort of high schoolish to me.)

And the biggest fear of all? That if I somehow can overcome everything, market myself successfully, iron a shirt and wear lipstick for a change, slough off the old homemaker/mom dinginess, and be a valuable commodity again, that it won’t be enough. Because, you see, it won’t be just me pulling myself up by my bootstraps and hitting the street, will it? No sir, it’ll be me…and thousands of other people who live quite near to me. Of which possibly hundreds are qualified to do the same sort of work I am seeking.

So, you can see why I haven’t had much to say of late. I’ve been thinking way more than I’d like to. Sometimes, it really does stink to be a realist.

Maybe next time, I can write something light and funny about my boy. I hate to milk him for amusing anecdotes like that, but I’m just not seeing much else worthy of sharing right now.

Stay tuned. And thanks for checking in.


Facie said...

I had to smile when I read your concern about what would happen to/with Marcus in the hands of another. I have the opposite problem. Since I have been umemployed, my child has become, at times, disruptive in school. She is not focusing as she used to.

She is now home with me all day (save for the 2.5 hours at kindergarten) and no longer has the structure before and after that she used to. I need to work on discipline big time. I also need to work on what I say to her.

Considering looking into LinkedIn. I know of one person who got an interview and another who got a job b/c someone looked at their profiles. This was last year and prior to that, when times were better, but you just never know.

Hang in there. That is all we can do in these tough times.

Mel said...

I'm hanging--not as if I have a choice, really. and I won't rule out LinkedIn completely. I don't suppose I'll be making lots of connections at this point, but you never know...

I guess I should just be willing to do whatever is necessary to get back in the market, even if I do think it's a sham.