Money: A Fork in the Road Is Better than a Fork in the Eye

I’ve been blessed to have really smart, wild-minded and powerful women around me my whole life. I have many mothers and friends and sisters. When I lived in Seattle I was in a group of entrepreneurial women who met monthly. And Kathlyn and I would meet each week and go down a list of stuff we’d need to accomplish in the personal, professional and creative realms, and then report back to each other on status over a cup of tea and giant muffin at Irwin’s Bakery.

Over six years, Kathlyn and I moved to Los Angeles, got jobs, got boyfriends, got shacked up, and got married. Our little formal accountability system faded away. Recently we started up again with a small group that includes an artist/gallerist, a writer/educational consultant, a chef/journalist, a public affairs consultant/strategist, an executive director for a nonprofit/art historian.

I wish with all my heart I could be one of those “stay at home bitches”* who spends the day doing art projects with the kid and hitting the zoo and figuring out how to cobble together dinner. When I was on maternity leave, I had a lot of guilt and fear and distress at the prospect of returning to work, as people would come over with their offerings of homemade blankets and adorable baby clothes and baked goods and tell me how stressy everything was at work. The anxiety was worse than the re-entry, though. I slid right back into it.

Last night the group of entrepreneurial women met at my house. It was my turn to take 10 minutes to talk about my situation and I explained that where I work now is undergoing a reorganization. There has been a lot of anxiety over a year about how it will play out, and in a way, I’d be disappointed if there were no change to my job at all. Meanwhile, I have had three very decent companies (and even a recruiter calling about my OLD job!) come calling to see if I am interested in talking to them. I am certainly interested in hearing what they have to say. But nobody is making any sudden moves.

It took sitting in this group, with my baby falling asleep into sweet breathy little dreams on my chest, to help me realize I am standing at a proverbial fork. There is no strong wind or blinding neon sign to guide the way. There are no omens. Only pros and cons and known vs. unknown.

So I will wait patiently at the fork until the breeze picks up and pushes me. That way I have time and space to watch my baby sleep.

* I know a lot of these women and they are not actually, personally, bitches. I know they have made a lot of sacrifices to stay home and it’s hard work. It’s the jealousy talking.

Vanessa McGradyMoney: A Fork in the Road Is Better than a Fork in the Eye

Comments 2

  1. All Adither

    Cobbling together dinner when you’re home is easier, yes, but being a stay at home bitch isn’t all art projects and trips to the park. It’s also dealing with tantrums, sitting through mind numbing games of Chutes and Ladders, crazy-making isolation and whispering to whatever spiritual being you believe in to make you strong enough not to scream or hit when your child throws his food on the floor for the twentieth time in a week.

    It has it’s wonderful moments and I believe in the long run it’s worth it, but it’s fucking hard, man. Even Oprah agrees it’s the most difficult job in the world.

    But then, you knew you’d get a comment like this. 🙂

    I know I’m very fortunate to have the choice to stay home with my precious littles. But also, holy shit.

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