A few weeks ago my best friend, who is pregnant with her first child, wrote me an email regarding the transition from working full-time to being a full-time stay-at-home-mom and asked me if I ever planned to return to work. This is a topic that is never far from my mind...adjusting from being a full-time member of the work force to being the slave of a tiny tyrant (I may be exaggerating slightly) is one that I still struggle with. A lot. I actually had a dream a few weeks ago about being back at work in the antiques gallery and helping to identify an unknown DC cabinetmaker...exciting stuff, I know.
Would I like to go back to work? Most definitely. However, the sad fact remains that most military spouses face an uphill battle in the quest for employment regardless if children are in the picture or not. There's not much call for someone with a masters degree in American Decorative Arts where most military posts are located, unless we happen to find ourselves back in northern Virginia, which is possible, but unlikely. And now with number two on the way...well, that pushes the timeline for my possible re-entry into the workforce back a couple more years.
Ever since I made the difficult decision to not return to work there have been many times where I've felt as though I've lost just about everything by which I used to define myself. This feeling has only intensified in the months since our move to El Paso; I think it's a direct result of the fact that no one down here knows the version of me that existed in my life before kids and that makes me feel very isolated and lonely sometimes. Don't get me wrong--I love Sammy and our family and I've been privileged to make some very awesome friends since moving here--I know that I'm incredibly lucky that we can afford for me to stay home and raise our son. I often get down on myself because I don't feel completely fulfilled by motherhood alone; I know many people who would give their right arm for the chance to be home full-time with their children and that makes me feel even more guilty.
I hope that I'm not the only out there that feels this way, so now the question is how should I go about dealing with these feelings; I'd love to hear your thoughts.