My kinda horror series go with a scenario that starts with this :
With an outstanding educational background and a successful career in the advertising, she still decides to resign to be a housewife. But 11 years later, she found his husband cheated on her and going bankrupt, leave her and her daughter without anything left. So what’s the option for this 37 year-old widow?
The title is “Romance is A Bonus Book”. It’s sooo scawwwryyyyy right? like the worst scenario for a housewife. After sacrificing her passion and her career 11 years ago, now she needs to go back to the workforce again. Oh wait, I forgot to mention that she’s being forced to leave her house that makes her situation even becomes more devastating.
But it’s not just in that drama, the fact is; I’ve heard some mothers in the real world that end up with a similar situation. Of course, no one will ever be prepared for that, but I realized that as a housewife, it is really really really important for us to keep growing our capacity as a professional and being financially independent, one in another way.
On my 5th year of hiatus, I start to think about going back to work again. I always longing for “that feeling”, the enthusiasm to race with the pack at a certain speed. A job that sometimes even make you burnout but you still enjoy it after all? From one challenge to another one, I really believe I’ve grown within the company. This is not just about the income, nor the hype for working in a reputable corporate but to keep running in the name of “strive for excellence”.
But honestly, ehmm… going back to work after an extended break seems daunting for me, and I believe it applies to a lot of mothers out there. I know the struggle for Mba Arinta after she took 3,5 years of hiatus, it took a while until she’s finally found a suitable position for her. Btw, she already holds a Master Degree from abroad and has an outstanding list of experiences. I even can not make her CV as a reference when updating mine, it irks me to see how my CV are soooo “empty” compared to her.
Without any professional experience in the past 4 years, I still try my best to keep building my capacity; by doing voluntary works, active in communities, learn new things from the online courses like Coursera, Duolingo, Codecademy, Skillshare, and took several of seminars every year. But sometimes I lose faith for my ability to catch up on the current trend and to be a professional.
Looking for The Second Act
“They say the world has changed while I lazed around at home. Lazing around? me? I never got to laze around. From breakfast to dinner, It never ends, that’s what housework is like”
“But the interviewer does not count it as an experience. It taught me to be patients, devoted, and considerate. I also learned how desperate I am to rebuild my career. Why doesn’t it count?”A dialog from Romantic Is A Bonus Book (2019)
I can relate to that.
When she’s trying to find a job, the workforce already filled with so much talented, energic, and fresh rookies, and no one wants to hear about her past work experiences, they’re already expired.
Probably that’s how most of the world see a housewife. IMHO, being a stay-at-home mother is more challenging than being a career woman. How you bare yourself with tedious chores, and dealing with toddler drama all day long. Of course, those come with the perks. I have a flexible schedule, no traffic jam, and I am fully aware of what happened with my girl and the values that she received. The only regret is I shouldn’t feel hesitant about sharing my journey and to just try everything that I can.
Still, I admire mothers that relentlessly cater to her family. No wonder why Islam praise and heavily reward housewife that sincerely devote herself to her husband and family (and society) because high difficulty means high reward.
Unfold Other Opportunities
Plot twist: Last week I’ve got a call for an interview with my former supervisor. I sent my CV, well.. working to update my CV already progress for me.
Another confession: I haven’t updated my CV for these past years because I was avoiding the fact that there is a big gap in my professional experiences. Now it’s all #terpampangnyata.
So, how it goes? I had a great time chatting with my former supervisor and I can feel the enthusiasm is contagious, his eyes lit while talking about the future of the company and its empowerment programs. Although in our early conversation, I already told him that I can not join the workforce for now, but heard how the corporate actually makes a difference to thousands of women, it really hooked me.
If I join the force, most likely I will be working with a younger supervisor. I can imagine being back as a 33-year-old intern to warm up those rusty skills and finally can help me to be able to keep up with the stream.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) that won’t happen at this time. Because of my circumstance, where I still fully care my 4-year-old girl and there is a possibility that my husband can be placed to a different city without any prior notification, so going back to office hour is my last choice.
I’m still questioning myself “is it a good choice to drop the offer?” hmmm….I’m pretty sure 40-year-old me in the future will say “yes, you choose well”.
If I look back, I’m happy for all the experiences, and those past years really pushed me to learn a lot of things, that I like (or dislike). Some stay till now but some are left for good. Since resigned, I’ve been drift around into lots of interesting things in the name of “pursuing passion”.
But FRET NOT, the returnship (a term trademarked by Goldman Sachs in 2008) is not a Panacea for every ex-career woman. I still see so many opportunities for women to be more productive beyond their home. Like; start your own business and being the CEO (Chief Of Everything) in your company, be a freelancer (this will require more networking) that able us to work professionally with flexible time and place, and be a real professional mother that can inspire other mothers to cope with the same dilemma.