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ad_lucem
01-18-2010, 09:05 PM
I wish they had a pill to cover this the way everything else seems to be remedied by the pharmaceutical industry.

My husband generally rolls his eyes with a, "Oh yeah, you're soooo old, high mileage, the engine is corroded. I'll have to trade you in for a new one." Of course, he's nearing 40, but he has a career. He's kind of "set". Besides, in my sexist little brain, men tend to get better with age.

I tell myself it's different for me. I'm female and I've been staying at home (well, off and on) for nearly a decade in an effort to raise the kids. I've done some volunteering, gotten some education under my belt, and worked freelance on horribly paying, soul-crushingly depressing projects from time to time.

It feels like I should have done or been more by now. I cringe whenever it comes time to list "occupation" on some form. The option can't be student anymore, because I'm not one of those. I don't have a job, so I can't list the position title.

What am I left with? Homemaker? Housewife? I might as well list brain-dead-intellectual-void-abandon-all-hope-ye-who-enter-into-conversation-with-me.

Everyone tells me "having children and raising the next generation is the biggest job in life". Okay, yes, my kids are important. But, I would like a little intellectual fulfillment and accomplishment besides the title of "Suburban Breeder of the Month". A quiet life of stoical desperation is so early-last-century.

29 arrives this may, 30 comes next year.

Anyone else experiencing/experienced this?

KTC
01-18-2010, 09:08 PM
Word of advice: WHO GIVES A SHIT.


I've done my duty for the week.


PS: That means, it doesn't matter. Live your life. Get through it. With or without a 'career' the end result is the same. YOU DIE. HENCE...who gives a shit.

What you do outside of work-time is FAR more important than what you do on the clock. LIVE YOUR LIFE.

Kevin, who is 43 and not into caring about shit like this.

KTC
01-18-2010, 09:14 PM
No need to tell me to fuck myself...I mean really. I was sincere. You're worrying about nothing. You're valuable as you are. You don't need a career to make you more 'worthy'. I was being sincere. I don't appreciate you telling me to go fuck myself.

CaroGirl
01-18-2010, 09:15 PM
I agree with Kevin. I'm sort of, somewhat, -ish the same age as he is and with that *ahem* age comes perspective. I have a so-called career and it's the biggest bullshit to think it's in any way important. My family and my writing fall so far above this "career" it might as well not appear on the scale at all.

Silent Rob
01-18-2010, 09:18 PM
I agree with KTC. You make your choices, you do your thing. What's important is that you don't stop looking forwards. And don't regret stuff, there's no point.

I just turned 30 and, apart from being even more devilishly handsome, I'm still exactly the same as I was when I was 29. If I felt like my career defined me then I'd take up base jumping and try and end it all quickly. That's no way to live.

ad_lucem
01-18-2010, 09:18 PM
No need to tell me to fuck myself...I mean really. I was sincere. You're worrying about nothing. You're valuable as you are. You don't need a career to make you more 'worthy'. I was being sincere. I don't appreciate you telling me to go fuck myself.

It's something to me, and if you find it that irksome that someone mentions a worry you find trivial, then ignore it. Why come off like such a prick?

Great, you never worry about such silly things. Here's a fucking medal. Congrats.

KTC
01-18-2010, 09:21 PM
It's something to me, and if you find it that irksome that someone mentions a worry you find trivial, then ignore it. Why come off like such a prick?

Great, you never worry about such silly things. Here's a fucking medal. Congrats.


What a lovely person you are. Maybe you should find a career.

bettielee
01-18-2010, 09:22 PM
I turn 39 this year. It'll be my last birthday, by the way!

I sort of get where you are coming from - but you have a family and kids. I do not (don't want them btw) so at least you don't have the whole judgement thing of others who think you're wasting your life writing stuff that will probably never see the light of day, and you couldn't even bother to produce some Grandchildren and get a house.

Oh sorry. Projecting.

But seriously. You are just reaching your peak. If you aren't happy with how your life is, or how it is being perceived, you are the only one who can change it - you have plenty of time!!

lucidzfl
01-18-2010, 09:23 PM
Are you still writing? I would kill to be able to stay home and write so I'm really jealous.

In other news, I just made my wife turn in her two weeks notice this morning. She's going to fulltime stay at home wife now. My life is going to improve drastically at this point. She doesn't seem to have any issues of self worth about it. I just hit 30 btw and feel like all the best years of my life are ahead, not behind.

NeuroFizz
01-18-2010, 09:23 PM
NOTE added in edit - I missed all the drama while composing the following, in case it seems "detached."

First of all, you are talking about a second career for yourself. What you've done, raising the kids, is a career no less valuable than your husband's career. A joy of having kids get older is it frees up the child-raising spouse for personal development (including in a career) and it opens up the possibility of greatly increasing the overall family income. Here's one approach you could use--work backwards. It generally takes 25 to 30 years in a career to build a good retirement account (for some occupations it can be less and for some it could be more). If one generally retires at 65 years (may be possible to work to 70), that means one could wait until the 35th to 40th year to still get that retirement account built. So, as long as the family is not wanting in a financial way, you have a good five to ten years to find that great occupation. But use the motivation in the anxiety you are feeling rather than proctrastinating. Now is the time to think about any training or schooling that will blaze the path for your personal development or career interests.

lucidzfl
01-18-2010, 09:24 PM
Dang this thread got rough quick!

Silent Rob
01-18-2010, 09:26 PM
I
If you aren't happy with how your life is, or how it is being perceived, you are the only one who can change it - you have plenty of time!!

Yes! That! That's exactly right.

ad_lucem
01-18-2010, 09:30 PM
What a lovely person you are. Maybe you should find a career.

Likewise. I think professional heckler might suit you well.

KTC
01-18-2010, 09:32 PM
Likewise. I think professional heckler might suit you well.

I do think that's enough. I think the fuck yourself was a little over the top...now, you're just going too far.

lucidzfl
01-18-2010, 09:32 PM
Chill homeys! You guys are pulling some time-out worthy stuff!

KTC
01-18-2010, 09:38 PM
Chill homeys! You guys are pulling some time-out worthy stuff!

I don't feel that asking someone to slow down on the name calling is pulling time out worthy stuff.

And no worries...I have employed the magical ignore button...magical because it made the 'go fuck yourself' comment magically disappear.

ad_lucem
01-18-2010, 09:42 PM
Chill homeys! You guys are pulling some time-out worthy stuff!

I'm done. KTC is on ignore.

Just one last thing: I didn't put in the original thread anything resembling "Please, I would love to chat with someone interested in condescencsion aimed at evidencing just how 'above-it-all' they are." I was just wondering about the BTDT people who got over it and moved on...or just a little support.

FWIW, staying home means being in charge of a lot of menial, repetitive tasks. The recognition paid to at-home parents is by-and-large lip-service--similar to grade school teachers, nurses, and others in caregiving roles. Not saying they aren't important, but don't let people tell you otherwise. There's certainly no money in staying home. In fact, right now, I'm home mainly because I have no chance in hell of entering the workforce and...even if I did...child care and expenses related to working would eat away any benefit to the endeavor.

Maybe "career" is the wrong word and "calling" would be more apt.

lucidzfl
01-18-2010, 09:44 PM
I'm done. KTC is on ignore.

Just one last thing: I didn't put in the original thread anything resembling "Please, I would love to chat with someone interested in condescencsion aimed at evidencing just how 'above-it-all' they are." I was just wondering about the BTDT people who got over it and moved on...or just a little support.

FWIW, staying home means being in charge of a lot of menial, repetitive tasks. The recognition paid to at-home parents is by-and-large lip-service--similar to grade school teachers, nurses, and others in caregiving roles. Not saying they aren't important, but don't let people tell you otherwise. There's certainly no money in staying home. In fact, right now, I'm home mainly because I have no chance in hell of entering the workforce and...even if I did...child care and expenses related to working would eat away any benefit to the endeavor.

Maybe "career" is the wrong word and "calling" would be more apt.

So whats the core problem? Do you not feel as though you get enough recognition for your contributions or do you not feel as though you're contributing enough?

Or are you just going crazy from staying home? :)

ad_lucem
01-18-2010, 09:54 PM
So whats the core problem? Do you not feel as though you get enough recognition for your contributions or do you not feel as though you're contributing enough?

Or are you just going crazy from staying home? :)

Bingo.

It's been about a decade with minimal adult conversation and one too many attempts at assimilation to the assorted mothers groups available.

Even if sane and sober to start, you end up crazy.

ETA: If for no other reason than you start to fear 1) this is all you are capable of 2) people believe this is all you are capable of 3) you might start resembling the other stay at home mother's you've met over the years.

And before anyone says anything about the vaunted task of mothering...

Think about this... do you think any of the following sentences have ever been uttered in the history of mankind?

"Are you kidding? Is she qualified for a leadership role? She's been home for ten years raising children! She can do anything!"

"She was an at home parent until each of her children reached college. And with a track record like that, you know you're dealing with a shrewd professional."

lucidzfl
01-18-2010, 10:00 PM
ACK! That sucks.

I would hate to have to try and make friends with other moms. (Were I not a dude, and fantastically dude-like)

At least you have us for adult conversation....

Oh who the hell am I kidding, most of us don't act like adults on here either :D

scarletpeaches
01-18-2010, 10:00 PM
Yet another reason why I will never have kids.

Anyway, yeah. Try being 33 and having nothing.

Seriously, anyway...on my thirtieth I stayed in bed all day and cried. People said, "Oh you're still young." Usually in that patronising voice with "I don't care," as a subtext. Well maybe I was. Maybe I am. But I don't have what I want. What that is, is inappropriate for this thread.

How did I get over it? I don't think I have, and I won't, until I have that sense of achievement and even then, who knows?

I've never felt the 'need to breed' and no-one's ever pressured me into it apart from a few idiots who tell me I'll change my mind when I meet the right man* so that's not the issue in my case.

It's a longing to make your mark on the world, I reckon.

I dunno. I don't have any solutions. Just sympathy. I'm still working through it myself.

*John Mayer, sterile. And naked. With chocolate sauce.

CaroGirl
01-18-2010, 10:01 PM
I've been all kinds of people. I was a SAHM (stay-at-home mom); I've worked p/t and had the kids in daycare; I've worked f/t with the kids in care; and I've worked f/t with the kids in school. The most satisfaction I ever had was from being a SAHM. I loved being there for my kids, taking care of my home, planning and cooking meals (love to cook). I've had more satisfaction from doing those things than I ever got from working. The most I've got out of working is a paycheque.

What you have to realize is that satisfaction comes from within. What other people think about you and what you do is irrelevant. If YOU'RE happy being at home, that should be enough for YOU. If you aren't satisfied with that life, you need to do something about it. But don't look to change your life to meet anyone else's expectation or you'll only regret it.

bettielee
01-18-2010, 10:05 PM
I don't feel that asking someone to slow down on the name calling is pulling time out worthy stuff.

And no worries...I have employed the magical ignore button...magical because it made the 'go fuck yourself' comment magically disappear.

but you were pretty harsh.... you said you didn't give a shit, and suggested she was somehow lacking because she did...

just sayin'....

and ad_lucem - maybe people don't say "she's a mom, she can do anything" - but YOU know that! You should be able to funnel that into anything.

ad_lucem
01-18-2010, 10:06 PM
ACK! That sucks.

I would hate to have to try and make friends with other moms. (Were I not a dude, and fantastically dude-like)

At least you have us for adult conversation....

Oh who the hell am I kidding, most of us don't act like adults on here either :D

Oh, I'm easy to please on adult conversation. Adult conversation basically means: nothing involving cartoon characters, nothing involving diapers/diapering, the ability to drop a mild obscenity without anyone's eyes popping from their sockets, and any conversation where NO word can be outfitted with the suffix "-kins" or "-pie".

Being mildly obnoxious, sarcastic, borderline offensive, or just plain rude does not disqualify as failing in the "adult" conversation arena. It may be immature, but plenty of things which are immature are enjoyed/used by adults.

lucidzfl
01-18-2010, 10:10 PM
Back to the point. I don't think 30 is old. If I did, I'd be pretty upset. You're still like 2 years away from being thirty! One thing that I did to lessen the blow of my turning three - oh was to make a big production out of it just for me and my wife.

We went to vegas and on my birthday I treated myself to a 750$ meal at Chef Tom Collichio's restaurant Craftsteak.

Will I ever ever do that again? Fk no, not unless I get like $150K three book deal lol. But it felt VERY irresponsible, and I felt like thats what I needed to do. For me, with all the shit going on in my life, I am responsible 24/7/365. Blowing off steam is a great, great thing. Maybe you should start saving now for a trip, or something really fun to do on your birthday. That way, instead of dreading it, you can look forward to it.

PS. My wife turns 30 this August, and I think we're doing a cruise, or a stay on an island somewhere. Her choice. And she spends about 20 minutes a day just looking up ideas, and has a blast thinking of the possiblities.

Life is all about spin :)

lucidzfl
01-18-2010, 10:11 PM
Oh, I'm easy to please on adult conversation. Adult conversation basically means: nothing involving cartoon characters, nothing involving diapers/diapering, the ability to drop a mild obscenity without anyone's eyes popping from their sockets, and any conversation where NO word can be outfitted with the suffix "-kins" or "-pie".

Being mildly obnoxious, sarcastic, borderline offensive, or just plain rude does not disqualify as failing in the "adult" conversation arena. It may be immature, but plenty of things which are immature are enjoyed/used by adults.

I propose then, an entire thread, adult only, relegated to nothing but dirty jokes!

:-)

Weiner and fart jokes are especially prized.

tjwriter
01-18-2010, 10:15 PM
My biggest regret is that I'm in Corporate Hell instead of being home with my kiddos. After settling into a routine during maternity leave with Kid Two, I loved being with my girls. I know that Kid One needs me to be with her more.

I've found the various adult contacts I needed online, thank goodness, so being home wasn't that bad for me.

After Kid Three arrives, something's going to change. It has to.

NeuroFizz
01-18-2010, 10:17 PM
There are some people who respect the efforts and difficulties of full-time kid raising. Some are called kids, but they usually won't admit their respect until they are older and have kids of their own. And some are called husbands, excepting the ones who suffer from a small particle of brain in their heads. But it seems you don't want to hear that, or you feel that it's not true. And you've stooped to some of that yourself when you stated you didn't want to turn out like the other stay-at-home moms. I can't emphathize with your frustration, but I can sympathize. And I can say that not everyone devalues full-time child rearing like you seem to think. But how about trying the positive approach? Identify something you'd like to do for personal development or for a possible career and get your husband to buy into it. Give yourself a chance to try things outside of the home. It may take a bit of a sacrifice (which should be shared with your husband), but a positive, active and engaged parent is a much better role model for those kids than a bitter, the-world's-against-me anger farm. Marriage is a compromise. You have sacrificed to allow your husband to develop himself and his career. It's time for him to give back, even if it means he has to get much more involved in some of the "chores."

You are right. All that initiative and problem-solving ability won't show up on the resume. But it will be very apparent as soon as you make the jump into the working world.

ad_lucem
01-18-2010, 10:20 PM
Yet another reason why I will never have kids.

Anyway, yeah. Try being 33 and having nothing.

Seriously, anyway...on my thirtieth I stayed in bed all day and cried. People said, "Oh you're still young." Usually in that patronising voice with "I don't care," as a subtext. Well maybe I was. Maybe I am. But I don't have what I want. What that is, is inappropriate for this thread.

How did I get over it? I don't think I have, and I won't, until I have that sense of achievement and even then, who knows?

I've never felt the 'need to breed' and no-one's ever pressured me into it apart from a few idiots who tell me I'll change my mind when I meet the right man* so that's not the issue in my case.

It's a longing to make your mark on the world, I reckon.

I dunno. I don't have any solutions. Just sympathy. I'm still working through it myself.

*John Mayer, sterile. And naked. With chocolate sauce.

I actually started out saying "I'll never have kids".

I pictured myself, geology major that I was, completing school and traveling the world making all sorts of interesting discoveries. Life was going to be filled with mountain climbing, lab experiments, presentations, papers, maybe teaching, and lots of exploring. I was going to be the quintessence of the smart, modern female. I was going to make my mark.

Nope.

My body had other plans despite pills, shots, and all sorts of other things. Unplanned, planned, unplanned (died), planned (wanted a girl, at least), and unplanned (shouldn't have chickened out about the sterilization). And that's how someone who never really set out to be a parent ends up with a minivan and living in the suburbs.

It sneaks up on you. And you love your kids when they get here. And you make the best of it.

Of course, my plans have changed a lot. Now, I'd be happy just feeling I'd made a mark (other than in breeding...realistically, a kid's accomplishments are their own...I don't really believe in giving special kudos to the parents for making a good child...children make themselves in so many ways...our job is go give them the space to do it, encouragement, and try not to kill them).

I wouldn't blame you if you never had kids. Plenty of people do it and live good lives. It's not like parenting is the be-all-end-all of existence. If it were, the wellfare rolls would be filled with satisfied and fulfilled individuals.

tjwriter
01-18-2010, 10:21 PM
What Fizzy said.

lucidzfl
01-18-2010, 10:25 PM
I am curious though... You're on a writing site. You obviously have the time to write.

Why in the world aren't you focusing all your energy and time at getting published. Thats more of a mark than 99% of geologists. Even if you only make 10K a year from writing, thats 10K you could use to travel? Obviously you're surviving now off the single income, anything else you make could go straight to the fun-bank.

ad_lucem
01-18-2010, 10:31 PM
There are some people who respect the efforts and difficulties of full-time kid raising. Some are called kids, but they usually won't admit their respect until they are older and have kids of their own. And some are called husbands, excepting the ones who suffer from a small particle of brain in their heads. But it seems you don't want to hear that, or you feel that it's not true. And you've stooped to some of that yourself when you stated you didn't want to turn out like the other stay-at-home moms. I can't emphathize with your frustration, but I can sympathize. And I can say that not everyone devalues full-time child rearing like you seem to think. But how about trying the positive approach? Identify something you'd like to do for personal development or for a possible career and get your husband to buy into it. Give yourself a chance to try things outside of the home. It may take a bit of a sacrifice (which should be shared with your husband), but a positive, active and engaged parent is a much better role model for those kids than a bitter, the-world's-against-me anger farm. Marriage is a compromise. You have sacrificed to allow your husband to develop himself and his career. It's time for him to give back, even if it means he has to get much more involved in some of the "chores."

You are right. All that initiative and problem-solving ability won't show up on the resume. But it will be very apparent as soon as you make the jump into the working world.

I'm not trying to suggest that it should be devalued.

As for the other stay-home-moms. I've tried "mom groups" of every stripe. I used to be very positive about the whole thing in the past, but it's been 10 years. When I say "turn out like them" in a negative way, I mean turn out like the bad stereotypes I've met in flesh-and-blood. People who have, for one reason or another, let themselves go both mentally and physically.

I can imagine a time when, perhaps, they were great conversationalists or had a promising future in some line of work be it art or business or science... but now atrophied.

I need to find an outlet beyond the on-line world.

Some people can do that, but I need face time with other people. I'm generally a very active person. I want to be going and doing all the time. When I'm not...not a good thing. I need a project. I need to feel driven toward a goal and excited about life. That's more to the point than "no career".

I fear floating aimlessly, never making a mark, and letting my brain ooze out my ears in the process.

I don't want to go to my grave feeling like all I did was kill time.

aadams73
01-18-2010, 10:33 PM
When I turned 30 I started writing, and at 36 I'm doing ok for myself.

But, seriously, don't sell motherhood short. I'd love to be at home raising kids AND writing. The idea of making a home for a family makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Maybe you need to find something you can do at home. Best of both worlds.

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking other people's choices are somehow more valid. They're not. Don't use them as a yardstick. Create your own goals and take real steps to reach them.

ad_lucem
01-18-2010, 10:34 PM
I am curious though... You're on a writing site. You obviously have the time to write.

Why in the world aren't you focusing all your energy and time at getting published. Thats more of a mark than 99% of geologists. Even if you only make 10K a year from writing, thats 10K you could use to travel? Obviously you're surviving now off the single income, anything else you make could go straight to the fun-bank.

Well, I have been. I've been subbing like a fiend, I just don't say it.

I've even got the recent rejection letters to prove it! :tongue

Surviving...yes, well, some days better than others, but surviving. No savings, massive debt, and haven't taken a vacation in years, but no one is dead yet! :) So...bonus!

Fran
01-18-2010, 10:34 PM
I'm 32 and I don't have children or a career. The most significant thing that's ever happened to me is a nervous breakdown at 26 which left me unable to work for three years. I'd achieved precisely nothing in my life at all until I got my Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate last month. I don't have a teaching job yet, so as it stands I've still achieved nothing. But I don't care.

The thing is, surviving mental illness to the extent I suffered is an amazing achievement. It's not tangible; I can't hold it in my hands and show it to people. But if I never have any success in my life I'll know that I'm a strong, capable person and it doesn't matter if no one else can see it. What I'm trying to say is, feeling fulfilled doesn't have to be a public or showy or something anyone else would ever care about. When you find a job again and enjoy it it doesn't matter if you change the whole world, as long as you change yours. Good luck whatever you decide x

kayleamay
01-18-2010, 10:38 PM
When I saw thisthread taking a turn south I vowed to stay out of it. Yet, here I am. Says something about my will power, doesn't it?

I have been a stay-at-home mom. It was rewarding because it allowed me to be with my children when they were very young, but there were times when I craved social interaction that didn't involve Teletubbies.

I have had a career and had to use daycare. It was rewarding because I was doing what needed to be done at the time (bread winner), but I hated not having more time with my kids, and always being tired when I did.

I now have a career that allows me to work nights, so I can be home with my kids before school, and home when they get back, and most of the time I feel my work is meaningful. This means sleep deprivation for me, but it is the best scenario for the rest of my family. So, even though I am tired, I feel both my time at home and my career are rewarding.

My point is, regardless of what you pursue, if you strive for some type of balance you will eventually find it. But, there is always a price. You need to decide what you are willing to compromise and what you aren't.

As for turning 30, maybe you should embrace it rather than mourn it. You're only a day older than you were yesterday, afterall. We're all aging. We all will eventually die. We only have now to enjoy, so why not live it with a passion?

brainstorm77
01-18-2010, 10:42 PM
I wish they had a pill to cover this the way everything else seems to be remedied by the pharmaceutical industry.

My husband generally rolls his eyes with a, "Oh yeah, you're soooo old, high mileage, the engine is corroded. I'll have to trade you in for a new one." Of course, he's nearing 40, but he has a career. He's kind of "set". Besides, in my sexist little brain, men tend to get better with age.

I tell myself it's different for me. I'm female and I've been staying at home (well, off and on) for nearly a decade in an effort to raise the kids. I've done some volunteering, gotten some education under my belt, and worked freelance on horribly paying, soul-crushingly depressing projects from time to time.

It feels like I should have done or been more by now. I cringe whenever it comes time to list "occupation" on some form. The option can't be student anymore, because I'm not one of those. I don't have a job, so I can't list the position title.

What am I left with? Homemaker? Housewife? I might as well list brain-dead-intellectual-void-abandon-all-hope-ye-who-enter-into-conversation-with-me.

Everyone tells me "having children and raising the next generation is the biggest job in life". Okay, yes, my kids are important. But, I would like a little intellectual fulfillment and accomplishment besides the title of "Suburban Breeder of the Month". A quiet life of stoical desperation is so early-last-century.

29 arrives this may, 30 comes next year.

Anyone else experiencing/experienced this?


Having children is awesome or I think so anyway. I cannot have them. Just be thankful for what you have at this moment and the rest can be worked on if you want it bad enough. BTW happy pre B day! :)

tjwriter
01-18-2010, 10:43 PM
People who have, for one reason or another, let themselves go both mentally and physically.

I can imagine a time when, perhaps, they were great conversationalists or had a promising future in some line of work be it art or business or science... but now atrophied.

Wow. I've probably let myself go some phyiscally. With work and kids and all that home stuff, I don't have a lot of me time, so I don't exercise like I should. I've never been a fan of makeup really, so I don't bother with it too much. My hair is presentable, but not "done".

Mentally, I find lots of things to stimulate me. I read research that interests me. I have debates with really smart people here at AW in P&CE. I can stimulate my mind all day long with the internet.

And perhaps all those people who let their promising futures in whatever field shrivel away found something they felt was worth more of their time. Their priorities may have shifted and they may not have felt like they lost a thing.

As Adams said, don't use other people for comparison. I think you can do something that would make your life feel meaningful. You just have to figure it out and chase after it.

Crap happens and life will never go as you expect (I'm sure you know), so you have to make the best of what you have and find a way to feel satisfied with some part of it.

Sophia
01-18-2010, 10:46 PM
I pictured myself, geology major that I was, completing school and traveling the world making all sorts of interesting discoveries. Life was going to be filled with mountain climbing, lab experiments, presentations, papers, maybe teaching, and lots of exploring.

I understand that longing, and empathize strongly with your posts. The posts where people have said that their career didn't define them really surprised me. I had assumed that having something you could say you 'did' was the requisite to having any kind of social life, so you could justify your existence. It helped me to hear otherwise. Is there any way you could do a part-time post-graduate degree locally, as a mature student? There may be opportunities available now that weren't when you were doing your major: research trips where your children could accompany you, for example, if your husband looking after them at times isn't a workable option. I agree with the other posters who have said that it's up to you, and want to add that it is possible, but you need to believe that and look for opportunities to make it happen. Maybe you could speak to someone at your local university and find out what they offer. There might be a position on a one-year course with a requirement that you assist a researcher, for example, which could be a valuable experience that you can then use as a stepping stone to the next point.

Smish
01-18-2010, 11:28 PM
I can sort of sympathize. I'm also your age, and finding that my life turned out quite differently than I had planned. My friends and I call it the late-20s curse.

I do have a career. I spent most of my 20s in college and law school and working myself to death (and now I'm starting to notice wrinkles when I frown. Sigh).

What I don't have is a husband or a family. So, I actually envy you a bit. Sometimes I think it'd be nice to have someone to come home to after a long day at work. Sure, the cat greets me at the door. But only because she wants food...

:)Smish

lucidzfl
01-18-2010, 11:31 PM
The grass is always greener. This much is true. I missed out on college experiences (drinking, etc) because I was studying or working. I now have a successful career but I kinda hate that I never got to "be a kid"...

I blew off some steam hanging out in bars for a few years after me and my ex split up and that made up for it a bit. But you can't have a real job (for long) and drink all the time and stay up late every night. So, back to being mr Responsible...

NeuroFizz
01-19-2010, 12:41 AM
Just to let y'all know, having a penis doesn't necessarily remove one from the things being discussed in this thread.

So between my last post and this one, I finished up the half-full load of laundry whites because Little Fizzy only had the socks that hurt his feet in his drawer--it rained yesterday, followed by warm sunshine, and they found a mud puddle and I told them to go ahead and have fun with it to the tune of two pairs of socks each (they went back for a second mud-stomp). And I had to fix two different lunches because the two of them never want the same thing at the same time. And Little Fizzy downed his piece of cherry pie I baked on his special request (not the frozen kind, either) and he did so without so much as a thank you, but I know he appreciated it because of the way he mowed it. I had to pick up the litter from three band-aids, one string cheese wrapper and put away a half-consumed bag of ChexMix that was left between the computer table and the couch. Then I had to take the kids to a friend's house, who will take Fizzette to her dance class (with LF tagging along) because I have to come in to work on this holiday for a conference call with 8 or 9 people from around the country. I'll have to rush back to pick up the kids because I've only narrowed their dinner selection down to three options, all of which require modest preparation. On the way home I'll have to stop at the pharmacy to get a prescription, then get them to agree on one of the three dinner choices (good luck to me). Then when their little bellies are full, I'll have to load and run the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, do the full laundry load of colors (including the mud-caked pieces) while I make sure they have all of their homework done. And I'll put off planning my lecture for tomorrow because they will have to be bathed and put to bed after they watch some special show on TV they've been dying to see. Then, I'll still put off the lecture preparation because once they are put in bed I'll probably want to sit down in the quiet and catch up on my e-mail and AW stuff, knowing I'll have to get them up early so I can drop them off at school at the earliest allowable time so I can hustle back in to work and get that lecture put together. And I'll have to apologize to the graduate students for not organizing a first-of-the-semester lab meeting this past week because I had to switch my time with the kids so the ex could go to a Yoga retreat that counts to her 500-hour teaching certification (she already has the 200-hour certification). Right now, I am heading off some of the lecture stuff by digging out my notes while I compose this post and while I'm waiting for the conference call to begin.

Thinking back, I haven't had a conversation with another adult for the entire long weekend, but I did help Fizzette with her mini-loom that makes colorful kitchen hot-pads (and I accepted with great enthusiasm the hideous pink-and-white one that her mother helped her make). And I did help Little Fizzy put together his electric hot-wheels track even though the noise gave me a headache. But I know I'll get some good double-barreled snuggle time on the couch when that TV program comes on, and I'll think about how quiet and lonely it'll be when they do their half-split time with their mother and I'll have plenty of time to get caught up on my lectures and my meetings with my graduate students. And I'll get to use that pink and white hot-pad to take the next hot casserole out of the oven, and then I'll hang it back up where it can be seen from anywhere in the kitchen and beyond. And I'll probably fall asleep on the couch. Again.

benbradley
01-19-2010, 01:25 AM
http://irenejackson.blogspot.com/2007/11/if-i-had-it-all-to-do-again.html

KellyAssauer
01-19-2010, 02:17 AM
Hey, this is why we're here!

So many writers began their careers as writers much later in life than ourselves, so I don't see that being an issue!

For that matter, a lot of those writers didn't do anything, I mean besides write, many became professional do-nothings after just a few novels! So, see! You've done more than that already! Wow!

And don't be concerned about turning 30... the next big "milepost" after 30 is 65! That's a long, long, looooong haul in-between! =)

Oh, and one other thing, lemme see now, since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I need to get this phrasing just right:


I'm done. KTC is on ignore.

I love you for this!

(yeah, I'm pretty sure I got that right...=)

-Kelly

ad_lucem
01-19-2010, 03:47 AM
Wow. I've probably let myself go some phyiscally. With work and kids and all that home stuff, I don't have a lot of me time, so I don't exercise like I should. I've never been a fan of makeup really, so I don't bother with it too much. My hair is presentable, but not "done".

Mentally, I find lots of things to stimulate me. I read research that interests me. I have debates with really smart people here at AW in P&CE. I can stimulate my mind all day long with the internet.

And perhaps all those people who let their promising futures in whatever field shrivel away found something they felt was worth more of their time. Their priorities may have shifted and they may not have felt like they lost a thing.

As Adams said, don't use other people for comparison. I think you can do something that would make your life feel meaningful. You just have to figure it out and chase after it.

Crap happens and life will never go as you expect (I'm sure you know), so you have to make the best of what you have and find a way to feel satisfied with some part of it.

I just want to qualify what I said: not *all* people who stay home with the kids do this. Nor am I really comparing. Just reporting what I've witnessed and where I don't want to go.

Maybe the ladies at the park who are pushing 300lbs and have nothing to chat about but the latest reality show or diapering mishap are happy. My step mother in law and sister in law are that way. They certainly seem to be happy. (Or, one was, until the gastric bypass and plastic surgery. Now she's skinnier but seems less happy.) They've found their niche and have others to chat with who seem to "get" them.

I'm still hunting a niche and that feeling of being "bien dans sa peau" as it goes.

There are a variety of things I've knocked off the list of directions I'd like in my life: I don't want to spend a lifetime sitting on the phone as a customer service rep, I would prefer not to clean toilets for a living, I'm not keen on becoming a school secretary and I'm not particularly interested in truck driving, either. This is not to say that people who do these things are "bad"...just that it's not a direction I'm looking to pursue.

If a person can be happy in their own skin doing any of the things above or looking like Jabba the Hut in a Layne Bryant sweats and talking ad nauseum about the finer points of the last Real Housewives of Georgia or wherever...more power to em'.

I just know I'm not comfy in my skin right now, and I certainly wouldn't be if the above were true.

I guess my main expectation was to have found a niche by now. I'm not happy about being niche-less.

Silver King
01-19-2010, 04:38 AM
Regarding the earlier tone in this thread, please let's not forget the golden rule here, which is to respect one another. That means choosing our words carefully so as not to cause offense whenever possible. Even if you mean well, it never helps to take on an abusive or condescending tone. And I've learned that the hard way, believe me.

Also, it's not a good idea to retaliate via PMs or rep comments. It might feel satisfying for a moment or so, until you realize that you've lowered yourself to the exact level that you are railing against.

Remember that everything we say here, all of it, is a living record of who we truly are on this site.

aadams73
01-19-2010, 04:43 AM
There are a variety of things I've knocked off the list of directions I'd like in my life: I don't want to spend a lifetime sitting on the phone as a customer service rep, I would prefer not to clean toilets for a living, I'm not keen on becoming a school secretary and I'm not particularly interested in truck driving, either. This is not to say that people who do these things are "bad"...just that it's not a direction I'm looking to pursue.


Sometimes those jobs are just stepping stones, things you do until you force the next opportunity to open up. They may not be the best jobs for you long term, but they might increase your sense of value and prevent you from being so bound to the house and your current rut.

ad_lucem
01-19-2010, 04:44 AM
Just to let y'all know, having a penis doesn't necessarily remove one from the things being discussed in this thread.

So between my last post and this one, I finished up the half-full load of laundry whites because Little Fizzy only had the socks that hurt his feet in his drawer--it rained yesterday, followed by warm sunshine, and they found a mud puddle and I told them to go ahead and have fun with it to the tune of two pairs of socks each (they went back for a second mud-stomp). And I had to fix two different lunches because the two of them never want the same thing at the same time. And Little Fizzy downed his piece of cherry pie I baked on his special request (not the frozen kind, either) and he did so without so much as a thank you, but I know he appreciated it because of the way he mowed it. I had to pick up the litter from three band-aids, one string cheese wrapper and put away a half-consumed bag of ChexMix that was left between the computer table and the couch. Then I had to take the kids to a friend's house, who will take Fizzette to her dance class (with LF tagging along) because I have to come in to work on this holiday for a conference call with 8 or 9 people from around the country. I'll have to rush back to pick up the kids because I've only narrowed their dinner selection down to three options, all of which require modest preparation. On the way home I'll have to stop at the pharmacy to get a prescription, then get them to agree on one of the three dinner choices (good luck to me). Then when their little bellies are full, I'll have to load and run the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, do the full laundry load of colors (including the mud-caked pieces) while I make sure they have all of their homework done. And I'll put off planning my lecture for tomorrow because they will have to be bathed and put to bed after they watch some special show on TV they've been dying to see. Then, I'll still put off the lecture preparation because once they are put in bed I'll probably want to sit down in the quiet and catch up on my e-mail and AW stuff, knowing I'll have to get them up early so I can drop them off at school at the earliest allowable time so I can hustle back in to work and get that lecture put together. And I'll have to apologize to the graduate students for not organizing a first-of-the-semester lab meeting this past week because I had to switch my time with the kids so the ex could go to a Yoga retreat that counts to her 500-hour teaching certification (she already has the 200-hour certification). Right now, I am heading off some of the lecture stuff by digging out my notes while I compose this post and while I'm waiting for the conference call to begin.

Thinking back, I haven't had a conversation with another adult for the entire long weekend, but I did help Fizzette with her mini-loom that makes colorful kitchen hot-pads (and I accepted with great enthusiasm the hideous pink-and-white one that her mother helped her make). And I did help Little Fizzy put together his electric hot-wheels track even though the noise gave me a headache. But I know I'll get some good double-barreled snuggle time on the couch when that TV program comes on, and I'll think about how quiet and lonely it'll be when they do their half-split time with their mother and I'll have plenty of time to get caught up on my lectures and my meetings with my graduate students. And I'll get to use that pink and white hot-pad to take the next hot casserole out of the oven, and then I'll hang it back up where it can be seen from anywhere in the kitchen and beyond. And I'll probably fall asleep on the couch. Again.

No, having any sort of genitalia (male, female, some combination) or none at all for that matter wouldn't keep someone from being bored with housework or from having an existential crisis. At least, this is what I imagine.

Although this is slightly OT for your post and mine. I really feel for the dads who try to stay at home. I can't even fathom how challenging that road would be to walk.

My sahm angst and ennui, at least, fall into a more socially acceptable mold. The sahd is even more niche-impaired. It's a pitty, because I think many guys would be stellar at-home parents (also, teachers and nurses).

ad_lucem
01-19-2010, 04:48 AM
Sometimes those jobs are just stepping stones, things you do until you force the next opportunity to open up. They may not be the best jobs for you long term, but they might increase your sense of value and prevent you from being so bound to the house and your current rut.

True. I'm just saying as "life-long occupation". Everyone has their less than thrilling/stimulating work experience to make ends meet or fill time. There's nothing wrong with honest work.

I guess what I'm warry of is becoming one of the bar patrons outlined in Billy Joel's Piano Man :D

ad_lucem
01-19-2010, 04:51 AM
Regarding the earlier tone in this thread, please let's not forget the golden rule here, which is to respect one another. That means choosing our words carefully so as not to cause offense whenever possible. Even if you mean well, it never helps to take on an abusive or condescending tone. And I've learned that the hard way, believe me.

Also, it's not a good idea to retaliate via PMs or rep comments. It might feel satisfying for a moment or so, until you realize that you've lowered yourself to the exact level that you are railing against.

Remember that everything we say here, all of it, is a living record of who we truly are on this site.

So, I'm guessing this would be a bad moment to point out that I forgot to add "..and the horse you rode in on"?

Just kidding. Kind of. Sorry for being characteristically juvenile. I'll hit the ignore button sooner in the future. Promise.

semilargeintestine
01-19-2010, 04:55 AM
29 arrives this may, 30 comes next year.

Anyone else experiencing/experienced this?

I'm only 26 (well almost), but the way things are looking, I probably won't have a career before 30, so yes. It is bothering me.

aadams73
01-19-2010, 05:06 AM
True. I'm just saying as "life-long occupation". Everyone has their less than thrilling/stimulating work experience to make ends meet or fill time. There's nothing wrong with honest work.

I guess what I'm warry of is becoming one of the bar patrons outlined in Billy Joel's Piano Man :D

Heh. Nobody wants that. Spend too much time in bars and eventually you become sad furniture.

I'm just saying that maybe some of what you need you can get temporarily someplace else. Plus, extra bucks while you're working toward the career you choose. And it will get you out and way out of mommy mode.

NeuroFizz
01-19-2010, 05:15 AM
No, having any sort of genitalia (male, female, some combination) or none at all for that matter wouldn't keep someone from being bored with housework or from having an existential crisis. At least, this is what I imagine.

Although this is slightly OT for your post and mine. I really feel for the dads who try to stay at home. I can't even fathom how challenging that road would be to walk.

My sahm angst and ennui, at least, fall into a more socially acceptable mold. The sahd is even more niche-impaired. It's a pitty, because I think many guys would be stellar at-home parents (also, teachers and nurses).
As I'm finding out quickly and by the seat of my pants, being a single parent (even if only half of the time via shared custody) means doing it all--running a home, taking care of the kids, and earning a living for the kids and the home (and for the ex as well). I used to respect single parents who managed to hold it all together and give their kids a stable, loving upbringing. Now that respect is compounded and profound. If any of you out there are children of a single parent who did his/her level best and pulled you through to adulthood, give him/her a call and explain what it all means to you. Do it now. And even if you grew up in a two-parent household, call up the primary caregiver and tell her/him as well. It'll make their day. I can't do that any longer--my Mom passed more than ten years ago.

Silver King
01-19-2010, 05:36 AM
...I'll hit the ignore button sooner in the future. Promise.
I usually offer that suggestion as a last resort. Often we can get past our differences, when we are no longer angry, without cutting others out entirely. That's not always possible, of course, which is why the Ignore function is available.

As much as I love this place, as I know many others do, it can be a real drag at times. All it takes is one comment out of left field to throw us off our game and make us feel like crap. Even if the intention isn't there, the damage is still done and affects us in a hurtful manner. And that's one of the reasons why it's so important to be mindful of what we say here. That doesn't mean we have to sugarcoat our comments, but we shouldn't dip them in lye, either. Somewhere between the two there's a balance which isn't that hard to strike, one where we can convey our thoughts effectively without harming anyone.

ad_lucem
01-19-2010, 05:48 AM
Heh. Nobody wants that. Spend too much time in bars and eventually you become sad furniture.

I'm just saying that maybe some of what you need you can get temporarily someplace else. Plus, extra bucks while you're working toward the career you choose. And it will get you out and way out of mommy mode.

I was working part-time/volunteering until I got sick/found out about the pregnancy. Mostly, the got sick part. Valley fever has been kicking my ass for the last several months...thought it was just pneumonia and other things. It turns out the immune system really isn't worth much when a body is pregnant.

I tried to keep it going, but it wasn't fair to the kids I was working with for me to be there sick or miss so much time going in and out of the hospital/being laid up.

The last 6 months or so have been very isolating and most of my normal activities have been curtailed.

backslashbaby
01-19-2010, 06:05 AM
Find a course or research project that is short-term and you can get into and make plans and go. (Check out Oxford for short courses, btw). Repeat as often as necessary. Your husband is going to have to make this a priority, too.

Or consider having your husband take off a few years while you build your career.

There is no reason you should be the sole 'at-home' if your heart burns for professional growth.

And no, I don't want to be a mom; it's too hard. I want to be an aunt :D I was a nanny in college, and children are lovely. But caring for children is not something everyone can do all day and night for years. That's why there are hopefully 2 parents in families, or summers spent at Grandmom's, etc. So Mom can go on that dig in Egypt (etc ;)).

jennontheisland
01-19-2010, 06:25 AM
Mom groups. *shudder*

I've spent the last 10 years working and am just now getting to the "career" I want. And it involves going back to school for a degree. I'm 35.

You've still got time. 30 seems like some big weird round number, but really, not much changes when it's on the other side. Same concerns, different number. Now, I'm looking at graduating from college close to 40. Will I be able to make my career goals? Maybe. I know there was a bit of panic at one point but I've decided it's not worth the energy to worry about it. I'm going to do what I want and I'm not going to freak out if my name doesn't get carved in stone for all to remember.

Have you thought about going back to school? Do the grad school stuff. Teach. You may have bypassed the travel and field work, but it could result in publishing credit and part of the original dream.

wrangler
01-19-2010, 06:36 AM
I wish they had a pill to cover this the way everything else seems to be remedied by the pharmaceutical industry.

My husband generally rolls his eyes with a, "Oh yeah, you're soooo old, high mileage, the engine is corroded. I'll have to trade you in for a new one." Of course, he's nearing 40, but he has a career. He's kind of "set". Besides, in my sexist little brain, men tend to get better with age.

I tell myself it's different for me. I'm female and I've been staying at home (well, off and on) for nearly a decade in an effort to raise the kids. I've done some volunteering, gotten some education under my belt, and worked freelance on horribly paying, soul-crushingly depressing projects from time to time.

It feels like I should have done or been more by now. I cringe whenever it comes time to list "occupation" on some form. The option can't be student anymore, because I'm not one of those. I don't have a job, so I can't list the position title.

What am I left with? Homemaker? Housewife? I might as well list brain-dead-intellectual-void-abandon-all-hope-ye-who-enter-into-conversation-with-me.

Everyone tells me "having children and raising the next generation is the biggest job in life". Okay, yes, my kids are important. But, I would like a little intellectual fulfillment and accomplishment besides the title of "Suburban Breeder of the Month". A quiet life of stoical desperation is so early-last-century.

29 arrives this may, 30 comes next year.

Anyone else experiencing/experienced this?

Whoa, this here is a toughy. I can completely empathise with you although, I have found that I am not missing much of anything when I meet up with other woman my age, nothing.

I guess I am a typical writer, meaning, that is all I really ever do besides tending to the natives, and keeping the hubster satisifed :)

Don't watch television, always with the children, reading, and writing how I spend my days. It works for me, although I have ran into women who hated it.

My suggestions: book club/discussions
schedule play dates
museums and normally free one day of the week, find out what day and drag :) the children along.
smoke pot :) (I know you are serious)
but overall, get a book published. it seems like that is what you really want for yourself, so make this the year that you do it, lady. Good Luck!

backslashbaby
01-19-2010, 06:48 AM
Oooh, another thing: don't knock mellowing in your views.

I got disabled. I can't tell you how much that sucks for the ole career. I can't work a typical job (unless I find a nice small one) because they keep firing me over things like 2 hrs a week Physical Therapy (I'm supposed to do 6). And the level of meds to do that was ruining my liver and things.

Part of me burns for the path I was on, OMG. I'll find my piece of it (I just got a new degree to help find P-T consulting opportunities).

But do you know what makes me happy while I chug away at my slow pace on that? Writing, of course. But garden design. Do I sound like a retired person or what, lol? But I absolutely adore it, and I can do the brunt of it in my head, which is important.

So I have little money, an old car, no big career, but I love my writing and gardening and just new things with people. I'm mellowed by necessity, but I'll be alright :)

Don't settle, but mellowing can be very nice...

ad_lucem
01-19-2010, 08:56 AM
Whoa, this here is a toughy. I can completely empathise with you although, I have found that I am not missing much of anything when I meet up with other woman my age, nothing.

I guess I am a typical writer, meaning, that is all I really ever do besides tending to the natives, and keeping the hubster satisifed :)

Don't watch television, always with the children, reading, and writing how I spend my days. It works for me, although I have ran into women who hated it.

My suggestions: book club/discussions
schedule play dates
museums and normally free one day of the week, find out what day and drag :) the children along.
smoke pot :) (I know you are serious)
but overall, get a book published. it seems like that is what you really want for yourself, so make this the year that you do it, lady. Good Luck!

Thanks. I've tried so many mom groups. I've tried the alternative "punk" mom set, I've tried the conservative moms, I've tried the homeschooling groups, I even tried a Jane Goodall outreach club... I just haven't found a place that clicked. The most fun and best fit I've ever found is when I get to do street painting, but I've missed several festivals from being sick/pregnant. There, I clicked.

Every "mom" group left me feeling like one or all of the following: :Headbang::gone::e2zzz::e2tomato::e2hammer::censor ed

I don't do it anymore.

Need a niche. Probably should to move, too. Can a repeat offender of the iconoclast variety have a niche?

Guess I might as well bring up the topic of wanting to "just fit in" as a nonconformist at the next local anarchist meeting...

...if there were such a thing.

HelloKiddo
01-19-2010, 01:03 PM
I totally hear you ad lucem. I recently turned 27 and I've also got the "looking at 30 and not thrilled" blues. I think it is just normal. I freaked out when I turned 20 also. I had that "OMG I'm not a kid anymore" panic. I don't know what to tell you except that I empathize and think this is normal. I'm fighting with it too.