Someone left a comment on my first pregnancy post that went “Oh good, now you’ll never have to get a job. Perfect.”
I’d been waiting for it. I deleted it quickly, as though I could unsee it. And then I sat, paralyzed, and tried not to cry.
My biggest immediate fear about this baby is that I won’t be able to work for a while afterward. Or, more confusingly, that maybe I won’t feel the incessant push to work. I’ve had a regular job since I was fifteen. Before that, I babysat a lot and ran this summer day camp for little kids with my friend Meg (our schedule was DETAILED). I tracked every dollar I earned in a journal with a shiny blue cover. The first serious purchase I ever made was a giant purple trampoline from Sam’s Club, when I was ten, and it was very upsetting when our dog bit holes in the tough, black fabric, in her desperate effort to participate in the fun as we bounced.
(I kind of miss it now…source)
So many people my age are not doing what they think they should be doing with their lives. I know lots of people who are working a job that isn’t a “real job,” yet, and they’re unhappy. I am not exactly sure what I should be doing, but I am usually sure I’m not doing enough. That I should have more to show. I have this urge to apologize to the world for not being far enough along. For not being obvious enough in my successes. You know, like Lena Dunham. We writers and creative types are always talking about her. She’s so conveniently successful! We all want to be her a little, so that we can relax. We imagine that we could relax at that point.
There’s lots of talk about women “having it all” or not being able to “have it all” these days. Arguments back and forth about what that even means, and if it is indeed possible, and for whom it’s actually possible if it’s at all possible. Really, I think we’re expected to do it all, whether or not we have it all.