I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog for a while now, it has felt more than just a common blip of lacking inspiration. Perhaps it’s the changing of the seasons, but I suspect the main reason for feeling a bit strange is due to our youngest, Eva having started school in September. All through the summer I knew it was coming and felt emotional about not having my little side-kick around anymore. My husband watched me like a hawk during early September in case, I might have a bit of a slump.
The truth is that I was busy. I had a sudden rush of freelance work on and lots going on with project kitchen extension. So I relished the new found freedom of “getting stuff done” without the constraints of having to constantly think about Eva. And then in October it all came to an abrupt halt. The work dried up, the kitchen was finished and I felt lost. I had a delayed reaction to missing Eva; the pang of not having her around anymore suddenly kicked in. I missed having my little person with me again. I’d go shopping and the sight of other mums out with their little girls almost sent me wailing.
It occurred to me that whilst I missed having HER, I also missed having a sense of purpose. What was my role now?
We spend most of our life with labels. I’ve gone by the tags of “wife”, “sister”, sometimes “freelance writer”, sometimes “blogger” but for the most part, the last six years of my life has been assigned the label of “Mum”. I’m not moaning about it, I love it. And although it feels quite dramatic, in early October, with both kids at school, I didn’t know where I fit anymore. Yes, I’m still a Mum to my girls, but for the majority of the day now, I’m no longer an “acting” Mum. I’m no longer on duty to care for, clear up after, play nurse maid to or have to entertain anyone.
Some days, I love the freedom, I can do whatever I want. I can go for a run, I can shop without the worry of toddlers or pre-schoolers knocking off things from the shelves or causing a scene with a huge tantrum, but there was a nagging emptiness and persistent feeling of “What now?” Was I destined to wear that other label of “housewife” forever?
And so for the past two weeks I went on a mad frenzy of Googling “part time jobs”. I got more than obsessed. It became a job in itself along with applying for the jobs most of which were completely random and inappropriate. The lack of response from these people made me even more mental in thinking I was completely unwanted and ignored!
Something clicked in my brain last week along with a couple of good conversations with my sisters (thank you!). Eva has been at school for less than 7 weeks. It’s still new and I shouldn’t feel the pressure to have something lined up immediately. I’m lucky in that we can survive on my husband’s wage and any money I bring in is for luxuries.
More than that, I’ve had a couple of meetings with freelance clients pop up this week, one of whom is also a friend and he gave me some good advice and a few home truths – that with freelancing I need to push myself more. It seems so obvious that you can’t just wait for other people to come knocking, but I need to get out of my comfort zone and make things happen. I felt so much more energised after this talk, it’s given me the confidence to go forward with it more seriously.
So I’m going to give up trying to find some kind of part time job that fits vaguely around the kids and focus more on what works for me which is the freelancing. Now is the time to focus my efforts more substantially on this.
Change can be scary. Losing my label; the one that I’ve worn for so long every day did make me feel a bit lost.
It’s taken me a while to realise that I can turn this on its head and see that there’s an opportunity. It’s not a sad time, just different and it’s a time in which, for a change, I get to think more about me and what I want.