What I Want

posted by Momo Fali on July 6, 2010

On July 4th, 1998, I found out I was pregnant. My period was a couple of days late and there was a huge jug of vodka and cranberry waiting at a party with my name on it. Late periods and vodka don’t mix, so I took a test. Don’t worry, friends don’t let friends’ liquor go to waste.

My husband and I had closed on, and began to renovate, our first house in February, 1998. We got a puppy in May and the pregnancy news came just before our first anniversary that August.

At the time, we both had great jobs. We both worked together for a successful local business. It was a mom and pop corporation…big responsibilities with a family atmosphere. It was intense work, but I enjoyed it.

Just before Christmas that year, my pregnant self said goodbye to my co-workers for an extended holiday vacation. I never came back to work. Our daughter was born 10 weeks early on December 29th.

One preemie led to two and that second one? Well, he came complete with problems galore. I stopped working in the corporate world and, instead, became a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist and occasional Heimlich provider. I walked around with a phone attached to my ear listening to a permanent loop of health insurance voice systems.

Two years ago, when my son was in Kindergarten, I was offered a unique opportunity to work at the school as a teacher’s aide during the hours he attended. It worked out great. And last year, when he was at school all day and eating in the cafeteria for the first time, I became a lunch lady. That Heimlich thing? Well, it doesn’t always work if you’re not there to do it.

But, now my son is going into the second grade. He has made advances we never thought possible, one of which is clearing food from his mouth before he chokes on it. My daughter will be in middle school and my mom recently moved back to our neighborhood after many years away. Clearly, I’m running out of reasons to hang out with my children all day.

As much as I would love to be a housewife, take care of my home and laundry, plan meals and otherwise be organized instead of chaotic all the time, those things don’t pay the bills.

We have been struggling for a long time. My car is 13 years old and sometimes the doors don’t open and the horn doesn’t work, which totally gets in the way of me telling people what bad drivers they are.

Our washer and dryer are not long for this world, our computers are starting to implode and the stove is like a hormonal woman and only cooks when it wants to.

I have committed to the school until 2011. Basically, I have a year. I have a year to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I am almost 40 and though I’m not afraid to go back to school, I just don’t know what I want to do when I get there.

I want to write, I want to design, I want to be creative. I want to be passionate about something in the way I have been passionate about my children. I want to be fulfilled.

I also want to pay the bills and I just don’t know if the two go hand in hand.

    Comments

  • Abby


    Word.

  • Charlie on the PA Turnpike


    Here's hoping you attain your goals; you and they are certainly worthy.

  • Tom


    Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

    I'm not terribly passionate about my work but it's what I'm trained in and it pays the bills better than anything else I could get in to right now. I'm hoping fulfillment can be found later in life.

  • Tara R.


    I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

    You will find your passion and you will be awesome in whatever you do…even it you decided to remain a lunch lady

  • Sadia


    A couple of friends have recently gone through Mondo Beyondo, and found that it helped focus their dreams of being fulfilled and getting paid for it.

    Good luck. I'm at a similar crossroads.

  • ZDub


    I don't know what I want to be when I grow up either. I feel like I need career counseling.

    Good luck, momma.

  • Oscar


    Aw sweetie, hang in there. I know you will be able to do what you like. Look at the odds you've passed so far.

  • UP


    I still don't know what I want to be when I grow UP! As to the bill paying, I'd planned to marry money, but alas, mine's a lunch room lady too!!

    UP

  • Heather


    When one gets a special needs child, all the ideas of what you want to be when you grow up change. I'm sending you a big ol' hug and hoping that in a year from now, you'll be in a more comfy spot.

  • Mo


    When you find what you're passionate about, the money will come.

    At least that's what a friend told me this weekend when I told her I was ready to get back to trying to make a living out doing what I love.

    Hope she's right!

    Good luck!

  • Erika


    Luckily for you, you have some time to research your options. I just recently found out what I want to do. Now I just have to find the right company. You will find your place.

  • mrsmouthy


    I hear there's good money in blogging…

    AHAHAHAHAHA!

  • AlisonH


    Sometimes work is just by-the-sweat-of-thy-brow, but the children, hubby, and hobby sustain us. (And faith!)

  • Heather


    those two can DEFINITELY go hand in hand if you just wait for the most perfect opportunity! i promise! i will keep my fingers crossed for you love!
    🙂

  • Zoeyjane


    I'll tell you what I'm planning… maybe it will help? First, background: I WAS planning to homeschool. But a) it's becoming apparent that I won't/don't have it in me to be enough/seek enough stimulation for my kid who 'refuses to be taught, I WILL LEARN BY MYSELF', and b) it's not very financially viable. So, it looks like she's going to regular school, and we'll do extra stuff when she's home from it. Aaaaaand, while she's in school, I'll take an accelerated web design program, so I can start charging twice – or more – as much as I do now for web sites and it will get the bills paid, but I'll still be able to work during my own, quirk, sometimes-middle-of-the-night hours.

    Does that sound like something you might be up for?

  • Neil


    I feel an intervention at BlogHer!

    Tough question. Even when you do know what you want, paying the bills is not always easy.

  • Ashlie- Mommycosm


    I'm right there with you. Except that I need to start coming up with answers this September when I put both kids on the school bus for the first time. Lost my perfect part-time at home job this spring.

    NO idea what I want to be when I grow up…need/want to contribute financially…

    Can commiserate over a drink at BlogHer with you about that one;)

  • Amy


    This is really hard. You are not alone in this quest for a calling.

  • v8grrl


    I'm 41 and just graduated as an RN…Ive done everything from aide in school, milking goats,bartending, even waxing strippers rear ends!!!…staying home with my kids was awesome, now as an RN, I work at night while they are at sleep. I can work 2 shifts a week and make as much $$$ as I did working 5/6…and I'm home to still do mom things.

    We need nurses, the schooling was fun, challenging, and I feel like a new person.

    whatever you decide to do…you can do it at any age. You are a smart strong woman!!!

    xo v8grrl

  • BabyShrink


    Do it! I know you can. You're awesome and there's no better time, sounds like. Much aloha and good luck!

  • Mrs4444


    Sure they do! You'll figure it out, and when you do, it will be awesome.

  • Jenna


    A whole new horizon! You have so much to look forward to as you enter this new phase, and I'm sure you will find something that will satisfy both your passions and your pocketbook. You know I'm back in school and won't graduate till I'm 40, and from there. . .I may just keep going! Power to you!

  • newnorth


    totally understand (it gets frustrating)

  • Carolyn...Online


    I was trying this week to figure out how to fill an 11 year gap in my resume. That novel I wrote will never sell, my kids just keep getting older, my desire to get back into Architecture is dead. What to do…

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