Gay-at-home mom: shifting expectations

by Aimee Genter-Gilmore, PQ Monthly


Extending my gay-at-home adventure means more trips to the zoo with friends!

You may not know this, but writing is not actually my occupation, and I had never intended to be a gay-at-home mom. When I lost my job as an art director last December, my family had always intended for staying home with Oscar to be a temporary solution. At first, it was just going to be a few months while I looked for work. With no nibbles after the initial few months, I opted to open up my expectations a bit and took on some part-time graphic design work to help out a friend. A few months later, I re-designed my portfolio and website, and went on a MAJOR push for full-time work. 50+ resumes were sent, and aside from a couple of rejection emails, not one single hint of interest was thrown my way.

I know I’m not being paid to whine on this blog, so I hope you don’t take it that way. I’m just trying to set the scene. See, apparently, having 10+ years of experience as an art director, designing for national brands, has been nothing but a hindrance to my job search. Every single person hiring wants a graphic designer/web designer/social media expert/copy writer who will do the work of 4 people for half the pay of one person. I understand. The economy sucks. And I totally get that what I do is fairly frivolous. I get the new reality.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to stop fighting the economy. I said, “Why can’t I actually be a stay-at-home mom?” I had hit a fork in the career road. One side of the fork led to hustling and working my ass off to find the brass ring: a full-time art director job that paid well but meant I would be working long hours and would never see my kid. The other side of the fork led to me hunkering down and shielding myself from the economy: staying home, continuing to blog and freelance, hanging out with my kid, and taking on a part-time job nights to keep the bills paid.

Who would’ve guessed it… I picked the gay-at-home path. I wouldn’t have guessed it, that’s for sure. But the more time I spend with Oscar Rocket, the more I couldn’t imagine what life would be like NOT seeing him all the time. I’ve hit my gay-at-home groove, and it seems to work for our family. I also never would have guessed I’d be so domestic, but the further I ease on in to domesticity, the more I like it. And, call me jaded, but I don’t see the economy changing anytime soon, and I’m tired of fighting it.

I opted to change my expectations, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

The question I have for you, dear readers, is “What are you doing to weather the storm?” I’d love to hear all about it!