My friend Allison gave me an incredible opportunity last year. She invited me, along with a group of friends, to contribute to her blog www.amomknowsbest.com. As a successful newscaster Allison Alexander came with legions of followers. She was tolerant, and helpful with my steep technological learning curve. For a mom who had been out of the work force for over a decade, it was a perfect way to catch up on new advances in technology, and social media, and to hone latent writing skills. I am still learning, and technology seems to be evolving as quickly as I can begin to grasp each new tool. It occurred to me that it is not entirely unlike Motherhood, I’m just now catching on that as a mother your identity has to shift every few years. You are not just a mother, you are a mother of a newborn, or a mother of toddlers, a mother of school kids, a mother of teenagers…and so on and so on! The technology keeps changing just as I learn it! I can see that I’ll need to evolve with the kids various stages. Maybe I’ll be prepared by the time I hit the High school, college and empty nest stages……(o.k, bringing that up puts me in a full fledged panic, but I digress). I’ve been eagerly anticipating my current stage of motherhood, finally getting all my kids in school for a full day. Don’t get me wrong, I love m children from the depths of my heart, but come on ladies, if you have small kids at home, you are flat out lying if you tell me you haven’t fantasized about this moment too. So now I have time to ponder the yawning question of “What do I want to be when I grow up!?! I know, as a married mother of four in her mid-forties, I kind of am grown up. I also know that I am not the only one out there with an inner 21 year old, who looks around baffled some days thinking ”and who thought it was a good idea to give all of this responsibility to me exactly?!”. Despite that delusional youthful inner being, I do seem to find myself with all evidence pointing to truly, and actually being an adult! I suppose the lines that have taken up permanent residence on my face are Nature’s gentle reminder of such.
So here I am, a mature woman, almost thirteen years out of the work force, with finally some time to start thinking about what I’d like to be, along with wife and mother. I allowed myself to savor the first half of the year, and see what it really felt like to have time to myself again. I found the need to relearn time management in the paradigm of my new schedule, so that I could efficiently balance time for myself with accomplishing the day’s practical tasks. Entering the second half of the school year, I now feel it is time to start figuring out what I am able do for a job. There are a few parameters. Namely the aforementioned kids who need shuttling around in the afternoons, and said husband with primary career of varied schedule. Whatever it is I do, has to take place between the hours of 8:30am and 2:00pm. That pretty much rules out my previous work in Film Production and renders my Masters degree in Ethnographic filmmaking as obsolete. (a documentary on the anthropology of childrearing in the suburbs, I’m sure would fascinate the masses) So of course I’ve been reading a lot of Oprah and More magazine lately, and taking those quizzes to “find my passion”. (Off the bat, I’d just say, my husband, eating and drinking, travel, reading, skiing, movies…..)But I don’t think that’s what they mean. These magazines are full of women who turn their passion into fulfilling moneymaking careers! They are so inspirational, and yet that whatever it is going to be for me thing seems just beyond my cognitive grasp. Some of the tips the articles I’ve read advise things like; Figure out what you love to do. Think of something you loved to do as a kid. Look around your house and write down the things that point to a certain passion, such as books, art,travel, or antique collection. Once you figure out what you would love to be doing, research ways to make money on it. My Google search for “how to make money shopping” turned up at least seven legitimate ideas for how to do so. Other tactics include writing lists of the things you are good at, the things you would do if you were sure not to fail, and all the things that make you happy. Now cross reference your lists to formulate a plan. The things I tore out of magazines (this is a great method for formulating your decorating style as well) were all articles on socialpreneurs (I use this to describe socially conscious entrepreneurs, not social media entrepreneurs who also claim that title) such as Lauren Lauren and her FEED bags, Tom’s shoes, and Alex & Ani Charity by Design bracelets. My role models were real life moms who have found careers where they are making a difference globally, such as Navyn Salem and her Edesia factory that provides global nutritional solutions. I realized whatever it is I end up doing; I would like it to have a positive impact, not just a financial reward. I decided for my first step, to create this blog to explore my passions for travel, food, family, and global issues in one place. This is clearly a process, and work in progress, and as a Mom, I have a feeling that just when I get this part all figured out….it will be just in time for another Maternal identity shift!