Jennifer F. at Et Tu? has this post on Motherhood, Fulfillment and Careers, and she asked her readers to leave comments with their experiences. She writes:
I'm interested to hear what you readers think about all this. I know that the feelings of being overwhelmed and unfulfilled staying home with children are epidemic in the wider culture, but I'm not sure if it's as much of an issue among serious Catholics and other Christians. What do you think?
Also, I'd like to hear any suggestions from those of you who may have struggled with any of this. Other than getting a job, how can you find a way to get things like regular adult interaction, breaks from being the sole person in charge of the children, intellectual/academic-type challenges, a sense of community, etc.?
I want my readers to understand that my childbearing years are coming to an end, my youngest child is 5, and I see this as a new era, which God is opening in my life, as a result of a lot of spiritual growth through suffering. In Carmelite terms, I consider myself leaving the Dark Night of the Senses, and entering a phase of consolation, where one no longer feels deprived, and sees the fruits of the growth which occurred during the last stage, which involves God taking away physical consolations. This is not to be confused with Dark Night of the Soul, where one doubts one's faith, and lacks spiritual consolation.
I'm still a spiritual baby and have that WAY ahead of me.
Here is my comment:
This has been on my mind a lot lately, as my blog has led to a lot of other worthy projects, establishing a home-based career of sorts. I have become involved in:
writing a book on special needs moms, and how their Catholic faith helps them,
a screenplay on the life of St. Patrick,
starting an EWTN affiliate radio station on Long Island,
hosting a screening of the pro-life movie Bella,
promoting Hollywood-homeschool dialogue with Walden Media,
advocating for the right to life of children with Down syndrome by promoting Down Syndrome awareness ,
starting a new blog about the movement to keep Christ in Christmas,
my freelance writing, recently for Faith and Family magazine. (this does pay)
Whew! I love these projects, and thanks to summer, I can devote much more time to them, since homeschooling is over for awhile, and I'm not teaching English as a Second Language at the college till fall.
In our financial situation, I must help out my husband, so I'm praying that these projects do lead to some income, so that I can quit my job, and work from home. It is a bit overwhelming, but I believe firmly that, like my pro-life activism, involvement in these activities enriches my family life. My girls are very involved in all this, I brought my oldest Gabbi to Hollywood (she's 14) for a movie premiere of a film about Down syndrome, Mr Blue Sky, and my middle daughter Isabella (age 10)and youngest Christina (age 5) accompany me to other events and social gatherings,( many of them in New York City, which they love).
We meet with fellow homeschoolers twice a week for Tuesdays in the park, and Friday rosary/youth night, and my parents live an hour away, so there's my support and safety net.
I was happily anonymous at home for 15 years, homeschooling and working part time, but my frustration at lack of recognition from my boss at my teaching job, led me to start blogging(I've always wanted to be a writer) last October, and next October, I'm speaking at the Society of Catholic Social Scientists Conference on the impact of Catholic blogging. My life in the last 9 months is a testament to that impact.