Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So is that like, uh a real job?

It is always when I'm about to go to an event with a lot of our friends that I begin to feel the 'I' word. Insecure. I didn't always feel that way. Nope. It only started when I quit my 9-5 job and decided to make a go of this whole writing thing that I felt these pangs of insecurity.

We go to an event and the topic of work comes up. No one asks me about my job anymore. I'm left out of the conversation unless I shoehorn my way in. When I would begin to talk about a particular project I could see the judgment. The "HA! Yeah right! You don't really work anymore, you just stay home." It has been said to me more than once. It has gotten to the point that now I don't even talk about work. Even if I'm really excited about something or something big is coming up I just find something else to talk about. Hell, I'm even traveling twice in one week for work and to me that is scary and exciting as hell but I won't be mentioning it this weekend. Why?

I don't really feel like a working Mom. This is especially the case when I talk about deadlines and people laugh in my face. When I mention how backed up I am and can't fit in another review and people look confused and then scoff. Yes, scoff at me because what I do must not actually be work. I just play with free stuff all day, write about it which probably only takes me five minutes. Never mind trying to write about other things as well. That's not work. I might as well just be surfing the MamaPop site all day.

I can't tell you how angry this makes me. Sometimes violently so. On some days I'm rearing for a fight because freelance work can be a lot like fighting. You are constantly looking for work and pushing for the chance to make a name for yourself and carve your little niche in the writing world. It is exhausting. Like any other working mom I juggle my time and work late. I sometimes need additional help with T.D. and I do get paid for a lot of the work I do. I make my own schedule and work from home so why in this telecommuting day and age is that seen as different and not real work? When I read Risa Green's article on Mommytrack'd this week it was just when those insecure feelings began rearing their ugly little heads. I could hear the scoffing, the snorts, and "yeah rights". Simply because I no longer work in a traditional office setting or because I no longer have benefits through my work I demean myself into thinking that I'm not a working mother despite that very much being the contrary. Maybe it's the lowering of my income that has done it as well but whatever it is I can't let myself spiral down into these thoughts and self-doubts anymore. I can't let the scoffers, naysayers and non-believers make a non-believer out of me.

I am a writer. This is my career. I chose this path which is more than just a j-o-b. I chose to listen to my heart and my gut and follow my dream to be a writer. Just because I'm not working in a newsroom or getting paid as much as I would like to be doesn't mean it is not work and I'm not working it. In order for others to take me seriously I need to start doing that with myself when I present myself to others. When people try to push me aside I can't let them. If it means I have to keep fighting in one way or another then I have to accept that and keep on fighting the good fight.

Original DC Metro Moms post.  Original post October 19, 2007.

Jenny said...

Stand up proud for what you do! As things stand we ought to celebrate you for finding a way to follow your dreams and be a mom. We need more flexibility with work for parents, not less. Many of those who belittle you are jealous - either of your time with your kids or of your opportunity to follow your heart.

Reply October 19, 2007 at 05:53 AM LawyerMama said...

I can imagine that would be so frustrating! Jenny may be on to something with the jealousy. I've had people say things to me like "Oh, I wish I had YOUR hours" in a snarky way because I sometimes take extra time off with my kids during the day. What they don't see is my butt on my laptop working after the kids go to bed. So I feel your pain in a small way. I think it's incredibly cool that you can do what you love and spend more time with your kids. Isn't that what we're all ultimately striving for?

Reply October 19, 2007 at 06:07 AM suburban ecomom said...

I really think insecurities are behind a lot of those reactions. We all have them. I think we all also wonder/question/second guess from time to time whether we are living our lives "right"--no one wants regrets, right?--so hearing about someone pursuing their dreams can set off a flurry of doubt about ourselves and life decisions. Congrats on finding the courage to follow your dreams--that's something that all too many people only dream about doing.

Reply October 19, 2007 at 09:53 AM Linda said...

Yep, so right there with you. But when I hear this stuff from people, as I used to work from home as well, I just smiled when I think about my non-commute to/from work.

Reply October 19, 2007 at 10:12 AM Selfmademom said...

It's silly to put such rigid definitions on things like work, etc. Why do people care how we define what we do? I say, as long as you're happy and it works for you, that is what is most important.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:18 PM

    I'm not embarrassed to tell someone That I stay home with the girls and dont have any kind of paying job.
    No, I dont "have it all" in others eyes but I am grateful everyday that I have my family.


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