Sunday, 31 August 2008

An appointment with the grindstone

I'm getting a wobbly tum and my thoughts are turning towards apprehension ... so I thought l'd blog it out! The thought of getting back into the groove, gives me palpitations not the virtual kind, real ones! LOL

I have only worked 6 days since 27th July as I take the bulk of my holiday allowance during the summer hols. I want to be home with the kids, they don't necessarily want me home at all, they are 16+ and 14 yrs old. I am probably in the way!

I like to make the most of this time, even though they usually are asleep, hunched over laptops or talking on the phone in their rooms. Just being home with them is the thing for me, of course they don't see it or even get it, it's probably not even on their radar! I've always been home with they go out to scool and there when they come in, untill this last year when I accepted more hours, we now overlap a bit, but they are older, so it's fine all round.

I didn't have my kids until my mid thirties, I lost early in my first pregnancy and then had ten years of fertility problems. We had been together 17 years and I had given up hope but suddenly conceived naturally, twice! So I guess I am a bit too protective and grateful, even scared I will miss something. I am already privately fretting about the empty nest thing, even though my daughter is only starting sixth form this week. I know how fast it all passes and another term is in part another term nearer to a new start for me, for them, for us?

So it's obvious I don't welcome change, but it is the only thing of which we can be sure, so l'm trying so hard to look at this in a 'glass half full' frame of mind.

I am so happy to watch their journeys from my role with a view, it is just tinged with a sadness that I find hard to express, it is so innate.

So tomorrow I return to work at the museum. I also return to Curves after a 6 week break and I shall pick up the healthy eating regime again, as all have lapsed in favour of toast with butter over muesli and fruit, sandwiches over pasta for lunch and practically anything over salad and meat for dinner. My jeans are too tight again.

I must regroup physically as well as mentally to have the stamina to cope with the juggling of house, home, kids, pets, garden and all the added slam dunk! mishaps and problems a mum deals with in the course of her day/week/month!

It is such hard work and I know l'm a much nicer person to live with when I don't have to juggle it all. Much of the juggling is, I have to say what I do to add to the pressure, the little extras and the standards we set ourselves.

In fact I would go as far to say, at the risk of having lots of fraught and vocal messages in my inbox tomorrow; If most of the women who juggle home and work, be it part time or full time, and they were offered the real non-judgemental, no recriminations, guilt free choice to either stay home and be paid a 'carer' like allowance in respect of the value of that role OR go to work and continue with this kind of fraught and yes even marginalised rol e... which do you think the majority would choose to do?

I'm just curious as to whether I am just a, 'very odd middle aged woman in some kind of crisis', or a 'normal middle aged woman in crisis'!


  1. You are normal. well, as normal as me.

  2. You seem a constant rock of sense and normality to me, I must say!

    Enjoy the 1st day back!


  3. Definitely normal!

    Working term-time in a school means I get all the school holidays - I have to go back tomorrow - I don't want to go to school!!!! :(

  4. If our roles were reversed my husband would never cope. If he has two jobs to do at the same time, it is too much. But for me it is normal to be trying to do several things at the same time.

  5. Great blog, glad I found it and thanks for stopping by my under used one! You have inspired me to get back onto it!

    I am a stay at home mum. Like you I had my kids in my mid & late thirties, they are now 10 (twins) and 13yrs old. I had a very fulfilling and busy career before kids, never even wanted them until the biological clock kicked in with a bang at 34. All mine were premature, ill etc due to my pre-eclampsia. As a result I felt unable to go back to my job as a Midwife. However, I found being at home really hard. I was OK until they went to school - twins and a 3yr old kept me pretty busy then depression kicked in big time. My solution was education. I went to college on an access course, then on to part time uni, I am now in my final year and am going on to do a MA next year. I think somewhere there must be a happy medium. Work that fits in with school time that is fulfilling enough. It is not just school time though, the after school activities take up the early evenings. Most part-time work can be mind numbingly boring. Supermarket shifts would kill me with boredom. I think that whatever we (Mums) have we envy the other. I envy those who went straight back to work, particularly their identity as somethiing more than a housewife, and I know that those who went straight back envy me in my stay at home role. I know how lucky I am to be able to study - but my husband knows that it literally saved my sanity and our marriage. I agree, some kind of payment would be great for stay at home mums, I would like to see my unused tax allowence tranferred to my husband - what a difference that would make.

  6. Come on girl, stop the self flagellation-you are as normal as um, er, a wet English summer, or a grey elephant, or a late postal service, or post prandial desire for a ciggie.
    We mum's have always had too many balls in the air but still manage to catch most of 'em.

  7. Thank you for your comment on my 'back to school' post. We seem to be feeling the same things about going back to work. Except I'm worried about mine starting school and you're worried about yours finishing! I'm sure we'll all be back in the groove soon.

  8. I think it is worse facing another New Year (after Christmas that is!) I know I could hardly face this year. But it has brought me lots of new things and great happiness. Not least a new found joy of blogging!

  9. I work part-time right now. Given the choice I would stay home full-time but would take that extra time home to work on writing or photography. I'd grow a job. But then I'd be there for my children when they got home from school. I try not to feel guilty for not being there for them everyday. But then working away from them helps me appreciate my time with them more.

    Good luck with the return to work. It all works out after a few weeks.

  10. I know exactly what you mean about being besotted by our kids. I'm a Dad and my children are my universe.

    Thanks for your kind comments on my Yukon posts - and in answer to your question, yes, of course you can use that shot as the background on your PC.

    No worries at all!

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  12. Oh I didn't have to think twice! I'd stay at home for all the time they can be at home with me. I love being at home with my kids (though when they were small I did need to study too keep my brain from going to mush!) and am accutly aware of not being needed all too soon.
    I can identify with your post so well. The juggling makes me not such a nice mum and it is mostly the pressure I put on myself that causes all the juggling, as you say, we set ourself standards which sometimes we should let slip a little.

    I hope work is ok for you tomorrow.

    Thanks for your commnets at mine. It is strange that we are all going through similar times. It's nice not to be alone :)


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Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
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