Mum’s the word
Have you ever wondered what is next for your life? It never ceases to amaze me the direction my life can go when I begin to wonder.
Several years ago, after six years of staying home with my two beautiful children (the youngest was at Preschool) I was looking forward to the following year when he went to school full time. “What will I do?” I wondered. I considered studying or returning to work part time. I just couldn’t figure out which way to go. A couple of months later I was feeling a bit out of sorts and my husband said, “You know, the last time you felt this way, you were pregnant.” Well, he was right and that answered my question. I was to continue being at home with small children. Not at all what I had imagined, but there was my answer. Another beautiful baby to care for.
Fast forward around seven years and again, my youngest (fourth child, by the way – there had been another surprise) was at Kindy and looking towards full-time school the next year. Again, I asked the question: “What is next for me?” It had been almost fifteen years since I had had regular employment and the whole prospect of putting myself out there was incredibly daunting. I decided to enrol in a TAFE course to update my skills in readiness for the job market the following year. I enrolled on a Monday and was excited about this new phase. That same day I received a text message from a friend alerting me to a job she thought would be right for me. Two days later I had the job! So in the space of three days I went from having no prospects to studying and working part time. Not at all what I imagined, but there was my answer. Work and study.
That was almost three years ago and you would think I would have learnt not to ask the question. But no, I went for it again. My study was due to end and once again I wondered. Definitely no more babies. No more study, either. I still loved my perfect job but there was no room for increasing my hours. So … what to do? Coffee with a precious friend? That seemed like a good idea. Wham! There it was. How would I like to do some writing for her magazine? Major freak-out! What would I have to offer? Feelings of inadequacy and trepidation came flooding in. After lots of thinking, talking and praying, I felt it would be OK and said yes. Not at all what I imagined, but there was the answer. Writer?
And so, here I sit having my first attempt. My children have all chosen alternate names to avoid embarrassment at what mum might say. Hubby has been incredibly encouraging. Friends have assured me it will be fine. I am excited to share with you the highs and lows of being a parent. I am not educationally qualified to sprout advice. I would just love to assure you that you are not alone in this crazy journey of parenthood – those days when there is no way we can wonder what is next, because we just need to get through the next minute; those days when all we can do is wonder about what is next because the ‘sameness’ is overwhelming … and all the days in between.
I am reminded of a conversation my kids and I were having on the drive to school. Ava (16) commented to me that sometimes it is a real pain to be female and have to deal with everything. Tom (6) overheard the comment (why is it they can hear a whisper at twenty metres and not hear a raised voice at two metres?) and asked, “What things, Ava?” Whilst I was formulating an answer that wouldn’t embarrass Ava, but explain a little to Tom, Sophie (9) piped up with an exasperated sigh: “You know, Tom! Accessories!”
Accessories! The answer to all life’s woes! So, next time you put on a bracelet, hairclip or belt, remember that you are not alone. And maybe you could comment on someone else’s accessory and it just might make their day. Because a smile given to another is the greatest accessory of all.