I’m a full time, bureaucratic working mom. I do not have a flexible work schedule. Sometimes I work weekends and often times bring work home with me. But I have a secret. I’m also a blogger on a fabulous family travel and enrichment blog! Yes by day, I don the suits and look rather boring, but at night I’m a writer and my night job is the one I love!
I’m new to the blogging world and in late December 2011, I declared 2012 as the Year of Me! I told my wonderful spouse, family, friends and co-workers that this was the year I was dedicating to myself. After 5 years of trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, nursing two infants plus going back to work full time – hell I deserved it! This was going to be the year I finally did things for me.
For the last 5 years my life, as most people reading this could attest, life revolved around trying to be the “perfect mom,” loving spouse all while trying to advance my career a bit. If we had some extra money (after the monstrous child care bill) I spent it on swimming lessons, or another super cute Children’s Place outfit. I would walk past Anne Taylor longingly remembering when most of my wardrobe was actually from there and then go to Marshalls to search the clearance shoe rack for me. Nothing wrong with Marshalls – but it’s no Anne Taylor.
December 31, 2011 I got an early start with the Year of Me and declared we finally needed real adult bedroom furniture. Every other room in our house, especially the kids, had some thought put into it except ours. We were still donning the grad school Salvation Army dresser and mixed match furnishings while trying to pull it all together with Pottery Barn bed coverings. It looked like crap. So at 4PM New Year’s Eve and with guaranteed shipping in 3 days or less, I bought a gorgeous bedroom set! The materialistic part of the Year of Me continued through the winter with my new Subaru. I live in Upstate New York and NEED all wheel drive so I justified this more extravagant purchase as safety for the kids. By this point, my very supportive spouse was starting to freak a bit on how much in debt the Year of Me was going to run us.
In April, we took a little trip to Washington, DC to see the sites and try some new things. Friends have said that we are always doing things with our kids. Well, yeah, we’re away from them all day so that’s what the weekends and vacation time is about.
Then I found it!
I still didn’t know exactly how the Year of Me was going to transform but I knew it wasn’t intended to be filled with expensive purchases. After our little getaway, I was perusing through a series of family travel blogs, envying these women writer’s lives. I wanted to traipse through Europe with my family too! While on maternity leave I had actually read a book on the family sabbatical and casually mentioned to spouse. Note this was while we were on 50% of my income during leave and spouse lovingly smiled as not to upset post-partum hormones. But then I found a local family travel blog that was looking for writers.
I was thrilled, terrified. They wanted a pitch. Did I even know what that was? I write bland government style memos, not witty commentary about travel. I wrote about an experience in Washington of taking the kids for Ethiopian food. They liked it and PUBLISHED it!
Yes, folks, this working stiff is now a contributing writer to a family travel blog site. I didn’t know what I was looking for when I declared the Year of Me… but I found it! I really don’t have time to focus on this new found passion, but I am dedicating every moment I have to becoming a better writer and learning the ins and outs of the blogosphere. I am so fortunate to have connected with a group of women who are encouraging, supportive and patient with this newbie.
I don’t know where this will lead, but I know this working mom very much needed, to channel Ms. Virginia Woolf, a Room of My Own. Writing is my creative outlet that is so different from the career I have chosen but so beneficial to me and my family. I found a way to make time for myself while taking my family along for the ride on museums and other adventures that have come our way. I love what I’m doing in a way I haven’t felt about a professional outlet in a while. Yes, some co-workers know about my writing, but I still feel like I lead two separate lives. I never thought I could take on a “second job”, but when it’s something you love you find the time for it.
But now, it is 2AM and I need to go to sleep – I’ve got to go to work in the morning.
Adrienne is the mom to a unicorn loving kindergartener, the Bean, and a truck obsessed toddler who loves wearing his sister’s shoes, the Dude. By day she works as a health fiscal policy analyst and attempts to balance a demanding government job with two kids and a very supportive hubby. Adrienne is a contributing author to the family travel and enrichment site Albany Kid where you can read about her adventures with the Bean and the Dude and follow her @AdrienneVMazeau.