Like most of the women in North America, I spent the day after Thanksgiving binge-watching Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in The Life episodes. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that it took me less than 24 hours to make my way through all six hours of what is expected to be the very last we’ll see of Rory and Lorelai.
Unlike most of my friends, however, I’m not totally freaking out about how the show wrapped up. I’m not mourning the end of Rory’s writing career. I’m not taking to Facebook to publicly call out the writers for ruining her potential with a surprise pregnancy. In fact, I’m kind of annoyed by the idea that a baby is going to bring Rory’s life to a screeching halt.
After all, my career didn’t take off until I had kids, so why is Rory’s over?
Before my kids joined our family, I was floundering. I was a new graduate with no clue what I wanted to do and no real plans for how I was going to use my degree. I had worked in hospitality throughout college, so I kind of assumed I would do that for a while, but it turned out I totally hated the fast-paced, 24/7 nature of the job. After my first baby arrived on the scene, I cleaned churches and schools for a while. Then I worked in a hospital part time and then another. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my second that I realized that I needed to starting thinking more seriously about how I wanted to earn a living.
Up until that point, no one really relied on me. Sure, it would have put my husband in a tight spot if I up and quit my job, but there was no real pressure to make a certain amount of money or even keep a schedule. Once babies joined our family, everything changed. Not only was I responsible, along with my husband, for providing for their needs, I also felt responsible for giving them a sense of stability. My job at the time had weird hours, keeping us from finding a healthy routine for our family. As the mother of two daughters, I also felt compelled to lead by example, to show my girls they could accomplish great things.
So I buckled down and made a new career for myself. I started freelancing part time, working during nap time on my days off and after my kids went to bed at night. I was exhausted, sure, but my children were the motivation I needed to make big changes. Within a few months, I was making enough to quit my job and freelance full time.
Since then, we’ve added another baby to our family. It hasn’t been easy, but my career has actually flourished since I became a mom. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to be home with my kids for most of the week while doing something I love and contributing to my family’s income. I love using words to share information, to encourage new moms or to make a statement about something I feel strongly about.
That is why, when my single or childless friends started freaking out about Rory’s pregnancy, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. At 32 years old, Rory wasn’t really doing much with her life. She was floundering — having written only one notable piece since her college graduation. She lived at home, worked for a small-town paper for no money, showed up to job interviews completely unprepared.
Maybe motherhood will be the kick in the pants Rory needs to start taking her freelancing career seriously. I know it was for me.