My mom was that girl who grew up dreaming of a wonderful husband, children and a beautiful home. This isn’t to say her life was perfect but as far as the American Dream went—the house, white picket fence, a husband, two kids and a dog—she had it all. My dad took care of everything financial and Mom took care of everything domestic. She did it with style, class and a love for children that most of us only dream about.
We were fortunate. Dad made a nice living and we were comfortable. Although he worked hard to provide for us and often traveled, he was a very involved father. Mom was the book-smart kind. She was an avid reader and had she not been married and had kids she probably would have gone on to medical school after she finished her X-ray-technician training. The human body fascinated my mom, but her passion for children outweighed her professional goals.
Upon having my brother and me, she found her true calling. I know she had many other interests but even after my brother and I moved out she still continued to “mommy.”
Before I became a mother, I held many jobs, primarily in the entertainment business. At 26 years old, I was the Creative Manager for EMI Music Publishing. I thought I was “big-time,” working on the penthouse floor in the building on Sunset Boulevard across from Tower Records. I had an expense account along with my own assistant, and I drove a BMW, which I paid for myself.
I knew it wouldn’t be long before I ran the company. Yet, once I grew professionally restless (as I often did) I moved to New York (for a New York minute) because I wanted to wait tables so I could become a singer-songwriter (a story for another time).
Married at 30, by the time I became pregnant at 33 I had held every job under the entertainment sun. No, not porn, but I did spend two years entertaining customers as the head bartender in a Ft. Lauderdale, FL restaurant bar. I was the professional jack-of-all-trades and master of none, except for interviewing for jobs; I landed every one I went up for—keeping it was another story.
After working various jobs over the past 25 years, I was laid off from my most recent full-time gig. For the last year and a half, I have been a “stay-at-home mom.” For the first time, my daughter, Delicious D, had the pleasure of pressure-free mommy mornings. I didn’t have to think of anything or anyone but her. This was a big change for a child whose mom worked full time since her introduction to the world.
Once I dropped her off at school, I was free to do anything. I LOVE my freedom. But I also needed the time to look for a job, write and work on various freelance projects. I also worried about making rent and paying my overheard.
Being the sole provider for my family precludes me from continuing my stint as a “stay-at-home mom,” especially because I am no Betty Crocker or June Cleaver, and certainly not a Martha Stewart type. I thrive on responsibility other than the day-to-day mind-numbing domestic chores. And I love to be intellectually stimulated by others.
Aside from the obvious financial burden that being a “stay at home mom” carries for someone in my situation, it is way too isolating, and with a restless, creative mind such as mine it can be crazy making, as well. Too much time on my hands leads me to trouble, and a work routine helps me to be successful.
My dad, the man closest to me in my life, is 71 and still holds a job. My mom is 68. She was and is the best mommy a kid could ever hope to have, and she is still a voracious reader—only now she gets her information from the Internet.
Now, I am 43 and finally know that the one thing I am great at and get the most pleasure from is being Delicious D’s Mommy. But I also know raising her is temporary. She will one day move out and have a life of her own. I also know that simply being her mom does not provide that roof over our heads nor is it enough, for me.
Look out, world. Here I come, again!