I find myself in a new place in life currently. My eldest has headed off to university, my youngest has started full time school. The middle one continues about where he was albeit with a new year number. My nest, while not empty, is considerably less full.
Me? Well, I am watching House. From the beginning. Am onto series 2 already and Syd has only been full time for a fortnight. Sadly much as I am enjoying it, it isn’t really a career option. Or maybe I should go to Med School and become Head Of Diagnostics at Princeton Plainsboro? Except I am a bit squeamish and a bit daft for that kind of job. And it is a fictional job. Maybe not then.
So what to do?! I say it is a new position, but I have been here a couple of times before if I am honest. I have big age gaps between my three so have been in this ‘what to do with all this extra time, I suppose maybe I should consider getting a job.’ place twice before.
When my eldest started school, I decided I wanted to teach and in order to head in that general direction I started an access course at college.
I really enjoyed it and am sure that I would have gone on to uni, except that by the time I finished my access course, passing with top marks, I was also 6 months pregnant.
Roll on 5 years and my second child started school. This time feeling slightly less ambitious, but nonetheless a bit bored at home, I took a job in a book shop. Working in a book shop was always a dream of mine, love a book me. I enjoyed it. Three days a week was manageable around kids and school holidays.
After 18 months-ish I had a chat with my manager about long term plans , and she was happy to recommend me for management training and I was all set to start after that years summer holidays.
Except that by the time that came around I had gone on maternity leave with my surprise third child. Oops. I didn’t go back after my maternity leave – a combination of wanting to be a stay at home Mum for him, just as I had been for my other two, and the fact it made no financial sense – once you factored in childcare I was no better off, in fact some days my childcare would cost more than I earnt!
And now that baby is at school. There will definitely be no more babies to scupper my career plans this time around. Dr Snip has seen to that! But what the fuck to do?
If my eldest leaving for uni has taught me anything (other than your kid moving 250 miles away will cause leaking eyes), it is that while my children are my world, I am not theirs. I mean, I am a big part of theirs, but they will grow up, leave home and start their own lives. That is as it should be, and I couldn’t be prouder of my girl, or happier for her to be starting a big adventure. I am just feeling a little sad for me as a nineteen year journey comes to a close, or certainly to a point of big change.
It has made me realise I need to start thinking about what will make me happy. One day all three of them will be gone, and when you are mostly a stay-at-home Mum, that means redundancy. I want to find, not a career as such – I have never really been ambitious, but more where my vocation might lie. What job might satisfy me, interest me, and with any luck pay me a half decent wage.
I am in no rush. Syd has only just turned four and I have a strong desire for him to have school holidays at home for at least the first couple of years. But equally I am missing the ‘housewife’ gene, so am unlikely to spend all my new found time on making the perfect Instagram worthy home, but I can’t just watch box sets. Can I?
So step 1 is signing up for an OU course. Just an access one, see if this old brain has anything to offer beyond an extensive knowledge of CBeebies theme tunes. Then maybe a degree. In something useful. Social work perhaps. I’d like to find myself doing something helpful when I re-enter the job market. And I would like to be earning enough to be in profit after childcare is paid for.
But first I have until February when my course starts to indulge myself in some first class laziness and a degree of existential angst about who I am now my babies need me less. If you want me I will mostly be diagnosing lupus on the sofa.
Love Miss Cisco XXX