At work the other night at work I was chit-chatting with a guest as I so often do and the subject came up about how I am a temporarily displaced zookeeper . His reaction was blunt: “Wow. How did you end up doing this then?”

How can you briefly and politely explain all the huge life changes (sudden, planned, and unplanned) we have undergone in the past three years?  How I was perfectly content to be a stay at home mom for the time being. How the only reason I took this job was because we really do need the money now, but we don’t want to put our kids in daycare. How every single time I go to work my heart breaks to leave and do such a simple, menial and unchallenging job BUT that I keep doing it because right now that’s whats best for my family.

How do explain the complex gauntlet of emotions I run through every week? Temporarily leaving my field had meaning when I was just staying home with the kids because THAT is what we believe is best for them, to have active parental care, not babysitters or daycare’s raising them. It was an easy, albeit painful, decision. I know it is the right one. I know in my heart that I am a professional animal caretaker and that’s what I am on this Earth to do; and shall go back to doing when my kids are ready. I also truly understand how much my children need me ( and I need them) right now when they are so small.

The complex emotions have come in this past year. All of the turmoil of our lives being completely flipped around, OK. I can deal with that. What I find so difficult now is that I am doing this simple non-respectable job. It doesn’t change anything. it doesn’t really make any sort of difference and it makes me so exhausted that two days a week I am zombie mom, relying heavily on the TV to entertain the toddler. On those days, making sure everyone is fed and alive is good enough. So now, not only am I not doing what I was put on this Earth to do, but I am also not being the mother I wanted to be (at least two days a week.)

There is so much going on inside me I find it hard to put it into words accurately. I realize this is a temporary situation, and we certainly could be much worse off. I realize that. That doesn’t stop my heart (and my pride a little too) from hurting every time I kiss my sleeping babies goodbye for the night as I head off to do another menial night.

Why, you ask, if I am so very over qualified and unhappy don’t I just get back into my field? Simply, I have to work at night so the kids don’t have to go to daycare. I need a steady paycheck that doesn’t take too much effort to earn and I have to do it part-time at night. Doesn’t really make me candidate of the year for any zoos, vets, shelters or field researches (that I know of around here.)

Maybe I am just being to prideful. This too shall pass of course…


PS: Dont know If I mentioned before. but I started volunteering at the local animal shelter on hubby’s days off. Helps keep me sane.

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