Moms need a life. Or, at least I do. I love being with my kids, I get satisfaction from domestic life, but that can’t be my only role in life. After all, they will eventually grow old enough to take the bus to and from school and their hobbies themselves, and I will find myself feeling pretty lost if I don’t have interesting goals to pursue and people to see (and accomplish things with), while the house is empty all day.
The obvious thought would be that to get a job. Lots of moms juggle working outside of the home with their kids. My eldest is now able to use the bus on his own, and in another his brother can, as well. The problems there are multifold. Firstly, I don’t speak the language fluently. I tried for ages to get a job, any sort of job, but being a foreigner and not being fluent in the spoken and written forms of the local language can be a killer. The second issue, at least in 2013, is that I’m pregnant. I don’t expect many people would be keen to hire a pregnant woman who is about to go on maternity leave (it’s quite a bit longer here than in the US). So………a job outside the home seems unattainable.
But I won’t give up. Get it….I’m ‘relentless’ ….? 🙂 So before I knew I was pregnant I applied to the perfect marketing job that was seeking a native english speaker, no local language skills required. It was quite a bit in line with my pre-kids work experience, and I would be great at it. BUT…they hired a local. Of course they did. The good news, is that the primary target audience for the product (a mobile game for preschoolers which teaches them the ABCs and simple math) is the United States. Guess who’s an American? Not the woman they hired. But I am! So we worked out a deal that I would (a few hours per week) play an auxiliary role in their marketing department, writing their press releases and editing all their copy to sound like native English. I even sometimes help with e-marketing before each new game launches, sending out hundreds of emails to spread the word about the newest educational game app being released. I also got the role of voice actor and have been going to the studio and speaking all the narrated parts of the games. I get paid to speak as if I am a cute panda who likes to enunciate her phonics. It all sounds great, right?
What’s the catch? I got only 9 paid hours last month. Sigh. I need more than 2 hours a week to feel like I really have some sort of ‘job’, even a freelance one. I can’t even take my fiance out to dinner on the weekend with the amount of money that would bring in each week.
But at this point, I’m too pregnant to go to job interviews, so it looks like for the time being, whatever scraps the mobile gaming company throws at me is all I’m gonna get in the sphere of paid work.
So…… still need a life outside of the home, still need a life outside of the home, still need a life outside of the home…… what next?!
I love to sing. I decided three months ago to post an ad that I sing and would like to join a group. After a few days I found a band looking for a singer, and I auditioned for them. We all got along well and they loved my voice, and I was in! The idea was that I’d write all the vocals for the songs, which were many (written by their guitarist) but without any vocal melodies or lyrics. I’d never done that before. But…… I’m relentless! (Ok, are we sick of this theme yet?) So I tried my hat at writing some melodies and lyrics and seeing how they fit with the songs. They weren’t all a success right off the bat, but I was able to churn out one per day in my first week of trying, and then started re-writing all the parts that didn’t sound great. Fast forward to today and I’ve written about a dozen, and half of those got major re-writes before I was satisfied with the results. We are working on our first demo now! If you are curious to hear what sort of music and what my voice sounds like, you can click the play icon in the side bar to the right and hear one of our pre-demo recordings (meaning we recorded ourselves without a studio). We are hoping to afford actual studio time soon to create a really professionally produced demo CD of two tracks. And, after the baby is born, promote ourselves for live gigs! Lord help me lose the baby weight fast so I can dig out my fashionista wardrobe from my dating days and strap on a beaded red corset, and don black leather pants, to look the part for these gigs!!!
It still doesn’t feel like enough. I still crave more than a band hobby (well we hope it evolves to more than a hobby but that’s all it is at this point) and a few measly hours of work each week, in order to really feel like I’m using my talents to their full potential. Well, within the third trimester of a pregnancy and gearing up to go again to court to gain more custody and time with my two sons (their dad and I really haven’t had a fun divorce), there’s not a heck of a lot left I can do to feel like I’m really being true to my authentic self. But there is a book in me, waiting to come out. I have been through some insane experiences since moving abroad and I would really like to write a memoir of the decade I’ve experienced and all I’ve survived. With a non-traumatic tone (I’m a positive gal), although dealing with heavy surviving-abuse themes. So, I am bracing myself to begin the job of expanding my 25 page essay on the matter into a full-fledged book. I have not relentlessly found the discipline to make time every day to work on this. But it’s really really high on my list of things to do.
And since I’m such a lazy ass on that one, that means that there must be something else I can add to my plate to not feel like I’m letting my life slip past me and behaving like a uterus with legs. Well, since I’m not leaving this foreign country anytime soon, I’m going to go ahead and sign up for autumn evening classes to gain fluency in the language. Yay. Ok, if you didn’t pick up on the mock enthusiasm, I’m not thrilled about this. I’ve already taken lots of classes and they only seem to get me so far in my quest to go from proficient to fluent. They typically seem like a waste of time in retrospect. Plus, I’ll have leaking breasts at the same time. Who needs the hassle? But, I’m going to do it. Because if I can possibly break past this last barrier in my local language skills, that means that instead of a grand total of ONE masters degree course offered in my area, I could apply to ANY of them. And I’d love to continue my university education. In fact, what I’d really like to do, is to go to law school and help other women who are facing a tough time of it, and there is only one program I could apply to in English in the entire country and it’s not even in my area, it’s a two-hour train ride away, which would be a bitch of a commute. Therefore, being able to apply to programs nearby and have more options, would really help me make some headway in my dreams to go to law school. But I gotta get fluent first. So, language classes this autumn it is.
What I really should do is practice my skills with my fiance? But I’m having the darndest time getting past my mental block about switching from English. But this is not the Wuss Mommy blog, I’m supposed to be relentless, and I ought to practice what I preach already. Add that to the short list of things I really ought to start doing NOW to help me be the best me I can be. And I will try to force myself out of the comfort zone of procrastination……
I guess that’s all I have to say at this point, July 4th, 2013, on how mommies need a life. Or, on how this mommy really wants a thriving, vital life outside of her role as mommy. I really do, but I’m not there yet. I started this blog to document my struggle to find and maintain an identity as me, and not just as ___’s mommy.