At least once every couple of years, I slip back into Identity Crises 101. The modern day woman’s dilemma – the need to perform in order to feel worthy – was a major theme in my memoir Could Have Been Holly Wood. I didn’t even begin to grasp that I was valuable regardless of jean size, GPA, or job title, until my late twenties. Once I got that concept thoroughly drilled into my head, I took some time off to raise my beautiful boys.
Flash forward several years and here I am, in the land of uber-smart working moms, who are doing it all, and making it look easy (I know these superwomen are everywhere, they just seem to reign in even greater concentration around here). I’ve only been in the Bay Area for about a month, and my insecurities are already wreaking havoc on my psyche. My evil voice inside (EVI) is whispering, maybe it is time to look for a job? Maybe you need to do more with yourself Holly, put Alex back in pre-school and get a real job? Maybe you shouldn’t, because if you tried to do it all, you would fail miserably and your whole life would break into a million pieces.
I know, EVI is a little dramatic. But this is what I deal with. EVI is mean and in certain situations, she won’t keep quiet. I have to counter her with my not so secret weapon – reason. I tell her that at one point, I did work and take care of my boys simultaneously, and I did a pretty fantastic job. I was tired, a bit cranky, and the house wasn’t so organized, but I did it.
Besides, for me, there are only two good reasons for going back to work:
2) I’m Bored and Need the Mental Stimulation
My reason counters back:
1) We can get by on less, so a second income is not an overwhelming issue at the moment.
2) I am not the slightest bit bored or in need of additional mental stimulation. I’ve got my boys, books, writing, husband, and interesting friends.
Conclusion? EVI needs to shut the hell up! In most cases, we are our own worst critics. We need to do what is best for our families and ourselves. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
I will continue to repeat these clichés until, once again, my mind understands that they are true.