I have been swaying with sheer excitement at the prospect of starting the next chapter of my life in one moment to utter despair and worry the next. The reason for this is that in taking time out of the work place to raise my two children I have made myself unemployable. Coupled with the fact that I now live in Jersey I have realised that I stand little chance of finding the job of my dreams. Yes, I make a small income from this blog and yes, I now have some regular freelance writing jobs. However, I have realised that it is never going to be enough to count as a viable income. Also, working as a freelancer and blogger means that you are often at the mercy of the companies that employ you to write for them.
I hate chasing outstanding invoices.
I find myself anxious about the next step. I feel like I am reliant on Mr C. I don’t like that. In the middle of the night when I am unable to sleep and the darkness is almost suffocating, my mind starts to ramble. I find myself worrying that if something was to happen to Mr C or if our marriage were to fall apart then where would that leave me? Would I be able to provide for my family? At this point in time: no. Yet, I walked away from my career so I could be with my family. So that I could spend time with them. Do I regret that? No. But I am flummoxed about what my next step should be. I remember my Mum returning to work full-time because she had the same fears. She wanted to put herself in a strong financial position should anything happen to Dad’s job or their marriage. However, I also remember how hard she worked and how she struggled to juggle everything. How she spent her life dashing from one place to another. How the tiredness was etched on her face and how poorly it would make her sometimes. I also know that she never found that balance. She didn’t have that flexibility with her career. She just kept throwing those balls in the air and prayed that one didn’t smack her in the face. My Mum was the first to encourage me to become a stay-at-home mum, she wanted better for me and my family.
I am lucky
Let’s not forget that I am incredibly lucky in that I have this dilemma. At one time we were so broke and crippled by the cost of childcare that I had no choice but to work full-time and to accept promotion after promotion. There was no flexibility. Now we are fortunate to find ourselves in a better financial position and I have to remind myself of this. Do I really miss the career where I was leaving the house before 7am and working until 10pm? Yes and no. Some days I find myself so mind-numbingly bored that I would give anything to return to the classroom. Sometimes having to repeat myself the same instruction ten times plus to Oldest makes me want to scream in sheer frustration, it makes me want to return to a career where people listened to me and respected me. I keep thinking that it should be possible to have it all. But is it really?
Back to the classroom?
I could return back to teaching but then I would have to start all over again. When I left I had responsibility, if I was to return I would have to start at the bottom again. The curriculum has also changed in the years that I have been out of the classroom. More importantly I am despairing of what has happened to our education system. How it has had the joy of learning ripped out of the heart of it. How it has been replaced with this misplaced belief that we should be producing robots who can all regurgitate facts. We have forgotten about the individual pupils, we have forgotten about the personalities we are teaching, it is now test driven. Our education system is now elitist. Even if I could return to teaching I am not sure that I would want to.
Therefore, do I focus on the blog and my freelance writing? As I said earlier, that is all well and good but it can be sporadic and you are a little at the mercy of the companies employing you. Also, will I ever make enough money from blogging when I turn 90% of the work down? Is that a mistake on my part? Do I need to start thinking of it more as a business? Then there is the digital media marketing course I am doing. Whilst I am enjoying it, it has led me to question what my next step will be, why am I blogging? On some level it has led me to feel embarrassed about what I do too. I feel like a bumbling stay-at-home mum dabbling in writing and blogging. That is no fault of the course but more reflective of my own insecurities. I don’t want to just be defined in my role of stay-at-home mum. I need more.
I feel incredibly selfish for saying that I need more. I feel like I must be a bad mum. That I should be satisfied to stay-at-home and look after my family and keep house. However, on most days I feel that I am a rubbish mum and as for keeping the house clean and tidy, I gave that up a long time ago. I have been looking to return to work. However, I have realised that I am unemployable. I have a massive gap on my CV and now I am not sure what jobs I am qualified to do. I have scoured the jobs section but finding one that fits in with the school run is impossible. When I found one job that was seemingly perfect, I applied. I heard nothing. Not even a thank you for your application but no. Nothing.
Come September I will have more time to myself. I don’t want that to be nothing. I need something to fill the time. I want to earn enough to pay the bills. Do I keep plodding away at this or do I give-up and return to the 9-5? I have a nasty feeling that it really is impossible to have it all.