Tag Archives: stay-at-home-moms

My biggest personal moment (2018 edition)

DDHQ asked a very interesting question this morning. “What is your biggest personal moment with Duran Duran?”

Rather than try to think about the most mindblowingly huge moment I’ve ever had with Duran Duran, I decided to read through the responses. I wasn’t quite sure what I would read, but I was curious.

So many people attribute things like marriages, births and yes, even divorces to the band. Others wrote about meeting their best friend, or seeing the band live for the very first time. Quite a few wrote about meeting the band, and some have even had opportunities to interview one or more of them. Still others recalled career changes, or major directional changes in life. I sat back, kind of overwhelmed, really.

What would be my own answer?

I’m not exactly sure I have one. I mean, there was that time I regained consciousness hearing Hungry Like the Wolf in the background. That memory always comes to mind first with questions like this because I was giving birth to my youngest, and I’d flatlined on the table – which is absolutely RIDICULOUS (but it’s a true story), and that damn song, combined with a baby – MY baby – crying, is what I first heard when the medicine they’d given me to counteract whatever the hell was going on with my heart at the time finally took hold. No, I can’t even have a baby without a little drama.  But really, was that a huge moment?

Yeah, I guess it was. For me, anyway. (I have a very dry, slightly inappropriate, and always sarcastic sense of humor that doesn’t always come across well in print unless you know me personally. Read that here.)  But the band wasn’t even there!! (Thank goodness, actually.)

What else do I have? I did meet Amanda because of Duran Duran. There’s that. She’s very important to me, obviously. I can honestly and truly say that if it weren’t for her, and my loyalty to her, this blog wouldn’t still exist, not to mention that our friendship keeps me going. She and I met at the Duran Duran fans convention in New Orleans back in 2004. I’ve known her for nearly fourteen years now!

I saw the original lineup for the first time back in 2003. You’d think that seeing all five of them together would have completely changed me – I mean, they were a huge part of my childhood, and apparently much of my adulthood, as it turns out. But in those moments as I stood back in like, the 16th row or something, all I could think about was how “out of it” I really was. I saw all of these people hugging one another and talking before the show. It was the first time I’d ever really paid attention or seen anything like that. I wanted to know how they knew one another. “Do fan clubs still exist?” I thought to myself as I waited for the band to take the stage.  I wanted to be a part of something like that. Even so, was this one of my biggest moments? Probably not.

No, if I really had to pinpoint a moment – it would have to be the show I saw at the House of Blues a couple of years prior. I know that Amanda and I have written about our biggest moments before, and perhaps my answers have been different each time (would not surprise me), but as I answer this now with a bit more wisdom and history behind me – it was that show which changed everything.

I’d gone about ten years in between Duran Duran shows, I believe. I’d graduated college, gotten married, moved to and from Illinois, and had two children during that time. (I’m tired just from writing all of that!) My ears would perk up any time I’d hear their name, or a song came on the radio – but in a lot of ways I felt like I’d moved on. Also – becoming a wife and mom changed me. I’d kind of forgotten who I was in all of that, and instead, I was just a shell of a person.

I really can’t remember what I was like back when my two oldest were very small, but I think about myself as though I must have been on autopilot. I fed them, clothed them, cleaned the house, and made dinner. I drove them to and from school, did my chores, and in some sort of a last-ditch effort to find some sort of fun out of all of the drudgery (and yes, with parenting there can be a lot of drudgery, particularly if you’re isolated as a stay-at-home parent. Not everyone is cut out for that, even if you WANT to be), I joined the MOMS Club.

I feel like maybe a lot of people are not familiar with MOMS Club, so let me explain. It is an international support group for moms, specifically stay-at-home moms, particularly due to the isolation thing I mentioned above. The idea is that a lot of clubs or groups don’t allow moms to bring their kids along – which makes being involved very difficult. So the MOMS Club solves that by insisting that every single event on the calendar (planned by local chapters) be kid friendly.

That’s all fine and good, but sometimes, moms just want to get out. Where’s THAT group??

After a while, not even MOMS Club sufficed. I think it boiled down to the fact that I wasn’t necessarily very happy. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my kids. I loved being a mom…it just wasn’t enough. But, if you talk to me (even now) for any length of time, it will become very apparent that I wish that I’d given myself the chance to have a real career. I still do – and that’s one of my deepest, darkest secrets.

Now, if you’re wondering how that has anything to do with Duran Duran, stay with me.

It was during this period of time that I went to that Duran Duran show at the House of Blues in 2001. I didn’t even want to go at first, but my husband convinced me. (I didn’t want to spend the $65 a ticket. I laugh about that now. If only I knew what I would spend on tickets several years later….)  I didn’t even want to stand in line for a good spot that night, opting to go eat before the show. I stood near the steps in the back, figuring that I’d head to the bar during the show. I mean, it was just Simon and Nick at the time, with Warren I guess, but I didn’t care. I figured I’d see them, lament over how they weren’t the same, and then go home.

Instead, something very bizarre happened to me that night. Simon came out on stage, grabbed the microphone, and I had an out-of-body experience. It was like something woke up in me and I was getting a glimpse of myself back at 13. I liked it. I can barely remember much of the show, but I can tell you that I have never felt anything like it. I came home, found duranduran.com, read the message boards, and never looked back.

I met Amanda in 2004. We immediately joked about writing a book. We’ve written a few manuscripts and we haven’t stopped – someday, something will get published, or we’ll die trying. I do have a job now – one that I love, but it’s not really a true “career” since it’s just part-time. I also have this blog, which has kept me alive (and I mean that in the truest sense of the word).  I’m still working on the career thing, but I feel like I actually have a life now, which is a start.

Yes, I’ve met the band. I’ve gone places, seen great shows, done amazing things, and have great friends and memories. But none of that would have happened without that show in 2001 at the House of Blues in Anaheim. I am forever grateful.

-R

On a Wandering River

Amanda and I have been trading emails over the past few days, and I realized yesterday that in a week, this little blog will be six years old. Another “birthday”, so to speak, and change is ahead.

Oddly, it is slowly getting to the point where I can’t remember life before Daily Duranie. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it certainly does mean it has become a fixture in my life. Each weekday I wake up, come downstairs, feed the cats and dog, start the coffee and sit down to check in with the world and blog. It is a habit, and something I’ve gotten used to doing now, six years in.  In a lot of ways, blogging has become a sort of journal for me. I try to keep my posts loosely centered around fandom, but as my sister told me over the summer—she also reads to find out what’s going on here with me and the kids. I value my time writing here, and I enjoy the habit!

(We’re fine! They started school yesterday and so far, Gavin is realizing that his senior year is sort of the payoff for buckling down the first three years! More on that another time…)

As I mentioned yesterday though, this year is bringing change to my household. I have spent the last twenty years, nearly to the day, at home with my kids. Prior to that, I worked as a staffing manager for a temporary service.  For me, it was a “job”, not really a career, and it wasn’t something I wanted to do for the next thirty or forty years. My husband’s career, on the other hand, required a lot of travel and late nights anyway, and I recognized one of us needed to be at home.  In the years since, I won’t lie—I’ve wondered what it was like to have a career. I envied Walt, and I still envy a lot of you. Creating this blog has been the closest thing to a career I’ve ever had.  I care a lot about what happens here, and while I haven’t been wise enough to really make it into something that could support either Amanda or I financially, I’ve treated it with that kind of seriousness.  I don’t want to see what we’ve done so far, die. That said, it is time for me to earn a real salary.

So today, I am going to my first job interview in about twenty-two years.  The job isn’t full-time, it’s merely the “office lady” job at my kids’ school.  As most know, my kids are in an independent studies program (more independent for Gavin than my youngest of course!), but the charter school also operates a resource center where the kids go for class. So, should I get the position, I’ll be working in the office. It’s a solo-person job, so I’ll do everything from handling band-aids to ordering supplies and working with the parent committee.  My theory is that while it would be good to help out with the cost associated with sending our kids to college, and possibly have money for a show or two from time to time – I didn’t want to work full-time unless it was at writing.  (working on that goal!)

This will change blogging for me a bit, since I really don’t know how or when I’ll blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For those of you in the UK and elsewhere in the world, it is likely that you won’t see blogs on those two days and instead get two on Wednesday and Friday, depending upon timing. I’m just not sure.  The important thing is that I don’t plan to quit.

I have a lot of emotion about this. I don’t do well with change, I guess.  In some ways, I feel like I failed here with Daily Duranie.  I can’t really explain that feeling without going into  lot of detail that I don’t have time to do right now (and while I’m pretty open on here, there are some things about myself I just don’t want to talk about publicly).  All I can say is that I guess I just believed that the more I blogged and the more I wrote, that somehow, someway—something would come out of it and fall into my lap. You see, I really do want a career of my own.  I have friends who remind me that being a mom is a huge career, and while I suppose in some way that’s right—I never intended to be a stay-at-home mom for my entire life. My youngest still needs me though, so I’m glad that this position is something that works, and she is really excited by the prospects of having Mom right at school!

I do believe that the universe has a way of sending signs, and I just keep waiting in hopes that eventually, I’ll know what I should be doing. For all I know, this IS the sign. Oddly enough, as I checked the directions to where I’m going today, it turns out that the main office is about a mile from where my parents lived before my dad passed away.  I have no doubt that if my sister is reading, she’ll smile at that. I did.

So, as I close this and get ready to go, please send some positive thoughts my way. I’m finding that it isn’t even so much as I need this job as it is that I need a change of direction and some new opportunity.  And, I promise the blog will still be here!  🙂

-R