S.A.H.M.

I never thought I’d be one.   I didn’t exactly plan it, or want it. It just made the most sense. Three months after earning my Ph.D. and becoming Dr. Aarati Kasturirangan, I left the world of the career-focused and became an S.A.H.M. – stay at home mom.

Now, I stand at the edge of my time as a S.A.H.M. I  I have sang silly songs, kissed boo boos, run races, and wiped bottoms day in and day out for 4 years.  I cannot say for sure whether or not being a S.A.H.M has been better for my kids than if I had been a full time Ph.D.

What I can say  for sure is this: I am not the same person that I was before I became a S.A.H.M.  For four years I subverted my own intellectual needs in order to be the primary care-giver, for better or worse, or just for different. I have woven my children into the fabric of my being.  This new me, now steps into a new role. No longer S.A.H.M, but firmly grounded, career building M.O.M.

What will this look like?  I hope it will go something like this.  In the midst of an important  meeting, when I am feeling frustrated, tired, and at my wits end,   I will hear a small voice in my head,

“Knock, knock.  Who’s there?  Pee!  Pee who?  Pee ewe, you farted.”

May the wisdom of the S.A.H.M. stay with me always. There is no problem so big that can’t be solved by a good knock knock and or fart joke.

On your marks. Get set. Go!

 

 

Helicoptors, Rainbows, and Quakers, oh my!

I am a helicoptor hovering, at once in motion and still.  I slowly push forward. The landscape beneath me is shifting slightly, but I am still here, waiting. I have plotted the course. The maps have been drawn. The gas tanks are fueled.  I can see the destination in my minds eye. Change is afoot.

Like all the changes that have come before, I felt the signs first.  My heart wandered away from the present into the future.  My brain churned through the possibilities.  My body grew heavy with the burdensome weight of the now.  Something new was calling to me.  “Begin the next chapter. This part of the story is coming to a close.”

The signs shifted from internal to external: tarot cards, dreams, spirit animals, unexpected books, songs I hear in passing, the unsolicited wisdom of an acquaintance.  The collective unconscious made manifest  is my guide.  This is part of who I am, how I navigate.

My six months ago tarot cards were clear. The cards said, “You want to reengage with your career.  Tough economic times will make for stiff competition.  You will struggle. You will need to be patient.” The last card, the final outcome in the reading was TEMPERANCE; a picture of the Greek goddess Demeter pouring a rainbow from out of a cup.  Demeter, goddess of seasons. Rainbows, the rare moment when rain and sun combine and show you the pathway to a new world unseen. 

I have not seen a rainbow in years.  I can remember most of the raibows I have seen. This summer there have been three. The first came in June, on a road trip to a the wedding of a close friend.  Driving from D.C. to Connecticut, we begin the passage through Baltimore and the air is a misty soup. Suddenly we see it to the east. A double rainbow spanning to entire sky.  Vibrant, unbroken, it stayed with us for over an hour.  My children’t first rainbow, the first augury of the summer.  Change is afoot.

The second  and third rainbows came a month later in the land of rainbows: Hawaii. It was a family reunion in paradise,  a memorial for a my husband’s grandmother, a once in a lifetime trip. Another double rainbow welcomed us as we drove off the lot of the rental car company onto the mountain highways.  The next one hung lazily in the sky the evening that my husband and I were out celebrating our anniversary.

After months of waiting, wishing, struggling, and stoking the flames,  the fires have been lit. Though I sit in my condo in D.C,  still at home, caring for my two children, my mind wanders into the now near future.  A job  in Philadelphia. A new job for my husband.  A period of transition living with my parents in Delaware. Then a new home in Philadelphia, a new life for my whole family.  Signs pour in more quickly now. I will be working for a Quaker organization. The words of an old friend, raised in a Quaker family, spring to mind, now full of meaning. “The way opens.” The new chapter has begun.