I used to be…

I used to be the person in your office, who despised people with kids who had to leave early or take care of their sick kid, while everyone else did their work.  I used to see it as a sign of weakness in your career, especially for the mom (because it was rarely the dads).  I used to have career goals written down where progress could be tracked.  I did one Masters and was going to do another.  I used to work with numbers and solve problems.  I used to be the person in the office who remembered things like, how to fix the fax, where we kept extra pens, who was the guy with the brown hair and kind of short who we call when we are having problems with log ins.  That used to be.  I used to work all day from 7am until 6:30 pm and then come home eat dinner and work more from home.  I loved it.  I thrived on deadlines. Then I had kids.  Then I decided I didn’t want my child to be raised in daycare by a stranger.  My heart softened. Suddenly work was not important.  That was about seven years ago.  I made a decision.  I thought with child #1, that I would wait until he was in school and then go back to being me- the driven me.  Well along came child #2 and a PT job.  I was overlooked at my job because I was not flexible because of my kids, so I’ve stayed in my position for almost 6 years, nothing more and sometimes less.  In the meantime someone else with a child came along and doors were opened, flexibility was offered, someone less qualified, someone without any of the skills I possess.  Of course I complained but it was useless.  And again this person has been given even more responsibility and me, well still doing the same thing.  I would be lying if I said this has not hurt me to the core. I really truly feel useless. I feel like I have no goals and my life consists of cleaning up after people and not having a great conversation or anything remotely stimulating, except for when I am reading.  So there it is. I have gone from someone who was interesting, could fix things, could think, could plan, could develop, into someone who cleans up after her family. Someone who goes to work to just be there, not having any effect whats so ever.  Is it fair that because I decided that children were the greatest gift ever, that I should be punished?  Is it fair that I crave conversation with normal grown up people so much, I now start to talk to grocery clerks, doctors, nurses, post office workers, my mailman? I just never imagined I would one day feel like I have accomplished nothing and have hit a wall in which I won’t ever again be the driven person, the person who is in demand at work. No one will ever value me as a skillful person, I will always be seen as a caregiver.  How do we let this happen in our society?


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