May be it's because the holidays are coming.....?
May be it's because nothing seems to be coming together very well......?
As the weeks roll into months and my outlook on finding any kind of career starts to look a little bleak... I'm having to try to come to terms with not being a 'stay-at-home" Mom anymore - and, instead becoming a working Mom.
I have LOTS of great, well educated clients who are working Moms. I know some of them struggle with it, having to go back to work, but many of them truly enjoy their careers and can't imagine not going back to work. Which is really lovely for them.... I wish I had a career I could even go back to. lol
Being "a Mom" was supposed to BE my career. But..... the truth is, it never was.
The truth is .... I was always working. I've been working 40 hours a week since before The Boy was born. It's working at home... but at times - that was even harder than actually just leaving. For years I worked weddings, which is how most portrait photographers earn a steady living because the weddings pay very well. But they also take A LOT of time.
There's meeting with the clients, then shooting a wedding for 10, 12 or 14 hours, then there's the 40 plus hours of editing the images - and then you add another 8 hours for wedding album design.
When you add it all up - I was spending - on average - 80 - 100 hours on each wedding I worked and I was doing around 20 - 30 weddings a year.... that's full time hours. Plus the you add in the babies and the families and the senior portraits.
Most of the time, I would edit and work on the computer as much as I could, usually working until 2 or 3 in the morning. One night, when The Boy was around 2 years old he came out to the computer in the middle of the night and said.... "No more puuuterrr, go bed, mommy."
It broke my heart.
Even in his sleep, my boy knew I was working too much - spending too much time away from him. Because during the day.... I was always a little too distracted - answering clients emails and client calls and doing the errands to run a business.
I never joined a Moms club or a playgroup, we couldn't afford to go to the Gymboree toddler classes.... I have so many regrets. So. Many. Regrets.
We didn't bake enough cookies, we didn't do enough crafts.... we only ever had time to carve pumpkins ON Halloween and even then.... we used those potato-head style ones last year. I didn't color enough pictures with him, play enough trains and ..... we most certainly did not watch enough Sesame Street together.
Instead, The Boy kind of played 'around' me turning him into what his pre-school teacher would later say was a very good 'independent player'. Silver lining to my sh*tty parenting.....
When we got pregnant with The Girl - I *swore* to myself... I *promised* myself - no..... I sat and thought about ALL the things I never 'had time' to do with The Boy and that *this time* I would make the time to do them with her.
I looked forward everyday to having her.... and after she came, I was... totally in love. TOTALLY.
By now we had pre-school friends and we went to play gym and stuff like that.... so at least I did that better for her. But..... I still had to work.
Our goal was to get El Capitan to the top level of management for his chosen career.... he got there just about the time The Girl was born. The agreement was that I could stop doing weddings as soon as that happened because then our finances would be better.
However..... that year also started a trend where through surgeries and injuries and major illness, our medical debt soared to over $12,000 out of pocket EVERY YEAR for FOUR YEARS.
Having given up weddings to stay at home with the kids and homeschool - I ended up having to develop other work to make ends meet... and often - they were more than stretched and we barely made it.
But I didn't stress about it.... right? I didn't worry about it - like *most* families we were doing what we needed to do to get by - and that hardly made us unique. How many other Moms out there are having to give up some of what they want to do as a parent to make ends meet and get by..... probably most of them.
It hurt to give up things, to give up time with the kids...... but, it seemed worth it at the time. It felt like I was giving up a little of this and a lot of that to build a strong foundation for our families future and that in the end - I would still *have* time to be with them.
In fact, if I helped El Capitan get to where he wanted to be professionally - I would be able to stop working altogether and stay home with the children full time. THAT was our agreement. THAT was our plan.... El Capitan and I would talk and plan all the time.... and then one day he made other plans.
He planned to call her.
He planned to text her.
then .... he planned to get in my little red Saturn, drive to her apartment and have sex with her.
I know ... I know - this is old news. I should move the f*ck on.... we've been over and over and over this ground... I'm like a large dog running the same circles in a backyard wearing down a thin line of mud in the grass.
But .... I just so .... pissed.
El Capitan didn't just break one promise - the vow to remain true to our marriage - he broke a thousand little promises that we made each other along the way. He broke all the agreements and dreams we had made for our family - for our future.
He failed to see that I had, for too long, been trading in the kind of Mother I wanted to be - for the better of our future and financial stability of our present. Mind you... .all that trading got me shopping for an entire Christmas at The Goodwill and I did it with a smile on my face.... what a f*cking fool I was.
I should have never traded in what I wanted as a Mom, I should have never given up all that time with my kids ..... hoping for more time down the road.
I shouldn't have trusted my husband.
Now, the time is gone, the husband is gone - and with him..... all my hopes and dreams of the kind of mother I wanted to be. I'm just so angry about that. It's hard enough to accept all the things you didn't do as a Mom - but I can assure you that it's even *harder* when you realize that you're not going to get any chance to make it better and.... now, it's only going to get worse.
Oh wait.... it gets worse when you have to accept the fact that El Capitan wanted me to have my tubes tied because we "couldn't afford" any more kids.... and now - not only will I *never* get the chance to get it right - to get those baby years right..... but - El Capitan *will* get a chance with however many girls he ends up knocking up... and judging his brothers skills in that department, I'm guessing it won't be too long before that happens.
Ten years of marriage - putting the needs of the family, and the business and the kids and clients and El Capitan ahead of my own..... and it get's me here.
While *he* is ... there.
I think that the hardest part - the injustice of it all. I didn't get a divorce.... I got robbed. A divorce is when two people can't make their marriage work - they go to counseling, they fight it out - they cry it out - but... they *try*. In that time of trying - they also do some healing. They have time to come to terms with what is changing and what's going wrong and can't be fixed.
I didn't get any of that - I didn't get *time* with my kids - and I didn't get *time* to try to fix my marriage.... the time just ran away... tucked into the vest of my own personal 'White Rabbit' named Yoga Girl........
And so - it's just me.... again.... slowing falling down the black hole surrounded by crazy and 'off with their heads' and all the while I realize that I'm chasing time... time I can't get back, time that was stolen away from me by her......
Single Mother's around the world are shaking their head in shame right now.... I can hear the 'tsk-tsk'tsk' of their annoyance with my pity party over the fiber cable of my internet line. They're not wrong..... I know there are Moms who have been doing this since their babies were born - going back to work two weeks later just to make ends meet. To them - I had way more time than they did.
I think that this is just one more part of my journey - it's like a giant suck-ass onion... each layer I work through brings with it another layer of betrayal and loss and pain that I have to yet again... work through.
I'm tired. Tired of peeling back layers... I did so much working *during* my marriage - I really resent being the one left behind to *keep* doing all the work....
Sorry..... I said I was hesitant to blog. I'm a one trick pony - I write about how I feel - what's happening right now... what's going on in my heart *today*. It's real time pain people..... real time.
You they say.... "money can't buy you happiness".... well, I'm calling BS on that... it's would buy me a *sh*t* ton of time with my kids - and THAT would be my definition of happiness. No money worries.... means no full time time robbing me of what's left of my children's childhood.....
But, don't worry - while I *do* believe that money would buy me a ton of happiness - I won't be making any 'self-pleasure' adult films ala' OctoMom anytime soon.... bwahahahahah.
Tomorrow is going be better..... I just know it.