I used to be very, very ambitious and considered women who didn't work to be losers - harsh and naive, but true when I was in my twenties. The fact is though that living a nomadic lifestyle, which I love, and raising three children, whom I adore, do not a conventional career make.
I love writing - some people tell me I'm good at it - and it's a job I can pack in my suitcase (without worrying that'll take up valuable shoe space). However, I often - on a daily basis - toy with the idea of trying to get a 'proper' job, either in communications or bioengineering, once my son gets a kindergarden place and before we leave Norway for wherever. I don't think there are many opportunities in Oslo for a woman over 35 with my experience and poor language skills but I do yearn for status, identity and to be a role model for my daughters (a decent income wouldn't go astray either). On mornings like this morning, I yearn for these things more than usual.
I explained to my five-year old why her Daddy isn't travelling to Ireland with us next week - because he hasn't got holidays. ' Oh, yeah,' she says, 'me and Caoilin have holidays from school, and Aidan always has holidays and you mommy have holidays from the gym.'
No wonder she wants to be just like me when she grows up! The thing is that I used to find such comments amusing but now they're downright depressing.
And for the record, I've been to the gym twice - TWICE! - since mid-December.


Victoria said...

I know exactly what you mean! Although I don't have kids, which I think makes that whole "what in the hell am I doing with my life" feeling even worse.
So your not alone - I think alot of spouses must feel this way.

ExpatKat said...

This sounds familiar. Spent a lot of time myself trying to work out how I could work in Norway. (Lot of cultural pressure too.)Spent 4yrs studying the language with that intention. Passed the 'Bergenstesten' & hoped to go back to school, but ran into that old problem called childcare. Even tried working in a barnehage (minimum wage) but with hubby travelling, the shifts put paid to that. In the end I settled for freelance translating & messed that up by moving to the US! Still looking for the answer to this one.

Joanne Rasmussen said...

Be careful what you wish for! Doing it all is not easy or fun something/someone gets a raw deal.

beaverboosh said...

Hey girl,
Convential jobs / careers are on the way out! Portfolio's are the rage. Stay independent - consultancy / freelance whatever you wish to call it! It takes a bit of work but is worth it!
You do not want a ftj, especially here in Norge!

OSLO said...

You are all right of course - I've such astute readers :-) Freelancing is about selling yourself and I'm just going to have to learn to do that (and take rejection, or worse, being ignored) better.
Today's mail brought the latest issue of Spa Beauty Professional in which I have an article translated into Norwegian - they even spelled my name right so I'll shove it up my daughter's nose after school - this selling lark is going to start at home.

Women Rule Writer said...

Ah yes, kids on work-at-home Moms.
My sister, who is an ADULT and should know better, told my mother she was going to become 'a lady of leisure' like me. Yes, leisure. Writing 4 books, rearing two kids, teaching fiction classes, reviewing, touring, readings. Absolute leisure. Poorly paid leisure. But would I go back to the workplace? Not on your Nelly!