Sue and I met in Bermuda through our husbands who were work colleagues. We had a lot in common but mainly we were both trying to get pregnant. We fell in sync quickly, right down to doing our IVF cycles together in New Jersey. When Sue became pregnant, I became her Doula. When I became pregnant, Sue became my greatest confidant. Our sons were born 10 weeks apart. We saw each other almost every day and of all the things I miss about Bermuda, it is Sue I miss the most. Last week we visited Wayne, Sue and Alexander in their new home in Canada and had a fantastic time.
Both of us having now returned to our home countries, our experiences still mirror each other’s. We talked a lot about having to address the “When are you going back to work?” question. No one asks that question in Bermuda, there is an assumption (albeit an outdated one) that you are there on your husband’s work permit and you’re at home with the kids. It was a nice cushion of acceptance. Last week Sue and I joked about it mainly; the thought of re-entering the workforce many years (due to infertility) later and over the age of 40 no less.
Then this popped up on the television over our Earl Grey and biscuits:
40-year-old interns finding way back into the workforce
Sue and I looked at each other with the same thought: Oh shit.
If I was looking to reenter the workforce a part-time internship sounds like a great way to do it. But instead I see myself, like this Postsecret scribe, finding my primary source of pride inside the home. Or garage.
Back when this whole TTC thing started and I quit working, our VW Passat’s engine compartment filled up with water. Whatever drain normally handles things like rain was clogged and things were getting pretty sketchy under the hood. I took the car to the mechanic who told me that yes, they could pull apart the battery and corresponding parts, clear the drain and put it all back together for $1200. He further recommended I do it now since winter was coming (we lived in Connecticut at the time) and if that water froze the whole engine would you know . . . crack.
I went back home and did some thinking. I clean things. This was a clogged drain. I clean clogged drains. Just because this drain was in a car and not in the house was a minor complication.
So I popped the hood, took apart that battery and put it on the driveway. I disconnected cables, removed plates and loosened cylinders until I found the drain. I cleaned it, put it all back together, made the sign of the cross and started the car. When that engine turned over I heard one thing – the sound of $1200 snuggling back inside our pockets. I never looked back at making the decision to work at home. It’s just too long a story to tell everyone who asks why I still do what I do.