To address the “life after kids” title…Its not that I’m surprised theres life after kids, its that there are sacrifices made when new relationships are sealed: marriage and kids. I’m still trying to make sense of the career thing both after marriage and especially after kids.
I went to college to be a theatre techie–mostly design and stage management. I love stories and I love art. Voila! Theatre. I also wanted to get married. I met a cute Paleontological Museum Studies cutie named Eric when I was finishing my bachelor’s degree. I locked that down quick, and was married a year later. But soon I realized that being married and working in theatre was difficult… unless your spoise worked nights too. And thats assuming you got a good paying gig. After I graduated, I thought I could snag a decent gig in Denver to make ends meet, but once again I was at the very bottom of the food chain, dreading having to claw my way back up again. Without a masters degree. Great.
Solution? I got promoted to shift supervisor at Starbucks for a whopping 9.25/hour. What a crappy deal. I hated every minute of it because I was a rule follower, and I got transferred to a branch that wasn’t too keen on rules. I was not a favorite. It was one of those jobs where I contemplated crashing my car into the highway median, risking major bodily harm, just to get out of work that day. Eventually I managed to score a decent admin job, skimming over the part of my resume that said “Design Technology Theatre”, and pretending that Stage Management was simply admin…just for a theatre. Partly true..except S.M.ing was fun sometimes.
I managed to get small gigs here and there for small theatre companies, hoping I would someday work a job that wasn’t a contract.
Fast forward 4 years, and here we are in DC. I’ve done admin consistently since graduating because theatre doesn’t pay enough to cover our school loan debt. I worked for the theatre dept. at a Community College in MD for a season, and enjoyed it. They paid well, and didn’t abuse me like most theatre companies do. They asked me to come back this season and I said no because I was about to have a baby.
Bottom line: I wanted to get married so much more than to have a career in theatre. But I love the process, and I’m formally trained in it. I tend to stick my nose up at gigs that don’t pay, avoid Community Theatre like the plague, but don’t have enough experience to get hired somewhere that might sustain us financially. I’m loving staying home with Vi and working some admin from my computer to keep some money coming in, but I’m afraid of losing myself in this new stage.
I’m afraid I won’t get back in the swing of things and lose my grip on what little “career” I had going in the DC area. Sometimes I talk with a friend of mine who still works with the College and I get this pain in the pit of my stomach, because I fear I won’t return.
Any thoughts from others on the subject of doing what you love after adding more people that you love to your family?