This Woman’s Work

Being new to Madison I receive the customary queries when meeting people:

  • When did you get here?
  • Where did you move from? (And the immediate “What? WHY?!?” when hearing Bermuda as the response.)
  • What do you do?

I am happy for the interest and God knows I love to talk about myself but the last one is a bitch.  While it’s “okay” to be a stay-at-home-mom that answer still leaves people wanting and me desperate to satisfy their want.  I justify my position by telling people I am a Doula (who as a SAHM doesn’t practice), that I used to lead a Fertility Support Group (before I moved), I, also uh, uh … stumble, stumble.

As an ex-pat in Bermuda, unless you’re the spouse with the work permit it is very difficult to find a job and sponsorship.  I didn’t work in Bermuda and knew many women who also did not work outside the home.  I really miss that community.  Now that I am back in the States, my new community seemingly approves of my not working but once Arlo starts 1/2 day preschool in the fall, well then, party’s over!  Contribute for God’s sake!  So what I tell everyone who stares at me expectantly is that I already have a job.  It is called getting and staying pregnant.

One Cycle of IVF Meds

Not to mention taking care of the house, family, yard, travel, food, blah, blah, blah (that one has been beaten to death).  I lay my fertility story out on the table and out of sympathy or otherwise, it stops the questions and sometimes it even opens the floodgates.  Women share their stories with me and we bond on a level much deeper than Madison winters and which is the best Farmers Market.  That’s the kind of sisterhood that makes me feel at home.

It’s a good ice-breaker but my new neighbors might be shocked to learn that I stopped working before I moved to Bermuda.
Before I had Arlo.
I stopped working not to raise a child but to make a child.
To keep a child.
I stopped working because baby steps are the most precarious.

We all work hard for the things we treasure the most.  This post is inspired by Fertility Doll’s recent YOLO decision and for all you mothers-to-be and mothers-who-are who are making it happen.  I love you.  Much respect.

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9 thoughts on “This Woman’s Work

  1. I hate that question, too. And now that I am 41, and the kids are mostly grown, I have no idea what I am going to do with myself. My resume says “Mom–21 years experience.” But what does that get me? Now I am expected to go do something, be someone, to start making my own contribution. And I have no idea where to begin.

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  2. Pingback: Posts & quotes that have stuck #infertility « Fertility Doll

  3. Pingback: 40-Year-Old Intern « Black Panty Salvation

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