Saturday, 21 June 2014

Yep, being an adult is overrated

For someone who likes to agonise over the minutiae going through my head at any given moment, and who is also known to ramble on to any friend or family member who will listen to these said thoughts I have been bewildered as to why I have been avoiding my pseudo-therapist’s couch; aka my blog. My blog is a way for me to attempt to make more sense of the craziness and to clear my mind, hoping at the same time, in some small way it may have you ‘nodding’ in acknowledgment that you too have had these same thoughts.  But lately I haven’t been able to face my blog at all. I am literally so deep in what seems to be too many ‘big life decisions’ at the moment that I can’t see the forest for the trees. I have started about four or five blog posts over the last month or so and just can’t seem to work up the interest to finish them and at the same time although annoyed at myself for not following through with them I have also given myself a bit of a leave pass. Acknowledging that sometimes it’s all just too much, and sometimes, something’s got to give.
 
(Quote source: Jimmy Buffet)
As I have written about before one of the reasons I starting this blog was to attempt to workshop a ‘Plan B’ for my future career direction. And the deadline for making a decision as to whether I return to my job is looming, and the more I think about it, the quicker it seems to be approaching.

After putting making an actual decision on the backburner for a while, recently I quietly sat down, thought about the issues involved and realised that although not something I was really thrilled to do, the adult, parent and responsible person in me decided that I should return to work. I wouldn’t be returning full time and to many I am sure the time and energy I have expended to make this decision might seem silly and frivolous. But for me it is bigger than this. It’s an acceptance of things which to be honest I am not sure I want to face. Returning to the job that I have had for my whole adult life, one that has turned from a dream job to a ‘suck the life out of you’ kind of job feels, well…unfair. It’s had me kicking the dirt toddler-style, my arms crossed in front of me yelling, “But I don’t want to!” Right now I can hear my husband saying, “Geez, talk about being over dramatic”. And yes I am being dramatic but after nearly 3 years of maternity leave with only a very brief stint at work in between kids, the willingness I had to accept that although no longer my dream career but a job I should be happy to have has diminished significantly.
 
Saying having kids changes you, is a phrase banded about all over the place and for good reason, it’s true. They make you see life and yourself in a new way; sometimes bringing out the worst in you and other times shining a light on a part of your personality that you never knew existed. Whichever it is, at the end of the day whether your report card for your efforts was a ‘D’ or an ‘A’ you vow that tomorrow you will do it better, that you really want to put all you can into being the best parent you can for these little people because they are worth every little bit of your effort and energy.  Therefore I am finding it hard to take these lofty ideals that I attempt to uphold as a Mum and transfer them to my ‘paid’ job, because the reasons for returning there don’t come close, not even in the slightest. Returning to a job just for the ‘pay check’ seems just so soul destroying.

My little man
Of course I know that providing for your family is an admirable reason to return to work but when you are not the main bread winner, your part, although a contribution, seems to lose any bigger meaning.  
Husband, likes to ‘tell me how it is’, no sugar coating it, when talking through this decision and most of the time although what he is saying is true, I just don’t want to hear it. I literally just want to put my hands over my ears and start yelling “LA, LA, LA, LA” at the top of my lungs. (See I told you very todder-like of me). Although supportive of whatever decision I make his main concern has been my lack of direction in finding another career I may want to pursue.
Then few weeks ago following a discussion with my wonderful mother’s group friends we started discussing a particular field of interest we were all keen on. It had been a career I had considered for a while but had put it in the ‘too hard’ basket. I went home and immediately researched what uni courses I would have to do and I started to get excited. It was the first time, (well probably apart from dreaming about being a paid blogger!), that I started to get excited at the prospect of starting a new career and all at once I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The next few weeks I poured over course outlines, emailed unis and attempted to calculate just how many years it would take me to finish another degree. Normally I would have just dismissed it, but I really felt like it was something I could actually put my heart into and that although it would take a lot of work and some sacrifices I could make it work.
Working next to mummy
The high I felt for the next few days was wonderful, I timidly told friends of my possible plans and everyone was super encouraging. Then one night a few weeks later I googled some employment opportunities in that particular field. The pay was average to say the least. I did not think they were highly paid, and to be honest pay has never been a driving force for me but when I started thinking about the fact that I could earn the same amount at my current job working just two days a week the reality rollercoaster took another steep downward run. I started thinking about the actuality of embarking upon a whole new career with two toddlers. How was I going to attend uni classes when I don’t have babysitters on hand? How was I going to study for the next five years and raise the kids which is already a full time job? And to top it off not only would I not be getting paid while I studied, we would have to fork out a ridiculous amount of money for a new degree. I would be starting at the bottom once I graduated, would have to do shift work and get paid a mediocre wage. It all started to look just too hard.
I know what some of you might say, “If you really want it, you will find a way”, and look I am not dismissing it entirely but as much as I don’t want to accept it I may have to put forging a new career on hold for a while. Maybe I will return to my old job and it won’t be as bad as I had imagined?(one can only hope!). At the moment, I still feel like I am on a bit of a downer about the whole situation. Although our family can survive on one income for now, expenses with kids just increases, ours aren’t even at school yet and I would have to get a job eventually. I know that some Mums don’t have the luxury of having a choice whether they return to work or not, and I feel for them. I also know some Mums love their job and feel it makes them a better parent, and to them I say “More power to you!”, but for this Mum having to make a decision on this subject is just too hard. Being an adult is tough, no strike that, being an adult sometimes just sucks big time.



 

2 comments:

  1. wow....it's like you've been inside my head! i've been at home now for four years and the thought of returning to paid work fills me with such anxiety. you had me nodding (and getting a little teary) at all the things you've put forward for consideration. i too investigated a new career path, until the cold hard facts made that seem foolhardy. my lack of direction is also what concerned my husband, because to be honest, there wouldn't be much cashola making it through the door after long day care, nannies and before and after school care took their cut. but now, with my newfound love of blogging, i seem to have found some direction and engagement and that has made all the difference. good luck with your decision my lovely lady and just remember, it doesn't have to be final, flick x

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely words Flick! It's good to know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. Yes blogging has certainly filled a void for me too. You are right, nothing is forever, good and bad so I'll just have to forge forward with that in mind! xx

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