I am uncomfortable around unemployed post-mothering women. Up until yesterday, I had no idea what caused that unpleasantly edgy feeling. The coin flipped too quickly:
Heads -- mothering (and fathering) are The Ultimate professions. You are allowed to retire at some point.
Tails -- What? Your youngest enters school and then you do what exactly with your time?
It seemed so sad to me. Maybe it is just because I love working, I love my job, and I can't imagine not being purposefully engaged. When I had two bouncing babies in my shopping cart as I hunter-gathered my daily necessities, I saw these ghosts of former mothers wandering the aisles of the stores during the day and honestly, I couldn't look.
But it all makes sense now. It was an acquaintance's sig line that provided the ah-ha.
"In the absence of a clearly-defined purpose, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia."
When you have kids you have purpose with a capital P, well, a lot of pee in general really. When those kids are gone, they leave a void and you can quickly become "strangely loyal" to things that simply hold no meaning for the greater good.
This isn't a criticism per se -- I suspect I will spend tonight strangely loyal to at least one act of trivia. It is simply an observation. Now that my youngest is entering Kindergarten, I am aiming for purpose with a capital P.
Man, now that I look at it, I am strangely loyal to all sorts of junk that doesn't mean much.