I have been a full time employee since I was 18. That’s half of my life and I have never taken a break. I don’t count three months of maternity leave as any kind of break, either. Needless to say, I’m burned out. Bad.
But why do I work? For a lot of reasons, I guess. I work because I came from a very tumultuous childhood with zero stability. I like stability. Ava deserves stability. And I owe it to myself to be able to provide that for her. I also work because I don’t think it’s fair to expect my husband to take care of us on his own. Men are placed under so much pressure to provide for their families and I’m perfectly capable of chipping in so I contribute. I also feel that it’s expected for me to work. I think that it would be frowned upon if I was a stay at home mom. I don’t know who would be doing the frowning, but even the thought of this harbors guilt for me. I dedicated so many years to getting two degrees and all of this great experience that just tossing it aside doesn’t seem right.
In the long run, it’s good for our family that I work. With CW still working at NASA there’s no telling how long that will last. My working provides an umbrella for the inevitable storm on the horizon.
But a break would be nice. A hiatus. A sabattical? A mental health vacation? Yes, all of these things would rock. And none of them will happen any time soon.