Monday, 31 January 2011

The One with the Sinking Feeling

I'm supposed to go back to work this Wednesday.

I don't want too!

I don't suppose many new mothers do? or so I thought but when I spoke to the NCT girls who have gone back to their jobs many of them were relishing their new found freedom even if it was only for a couple of days a week.

Of course these ladies are doing something they love.  Something they even actively missed whilst on maternity leave.

For fans of "Friends" (and you have probably gathered by now I am a huge fan of the show - hence the homage to it with my blog titles) I am Chandler Bing. Well at least I have his job. The one no one really knows what it's called or what he does. I'm a (as Rachel calls it) Transpond Transpondser! And not only is that "not even a word" it's barely even a job!

I want to be a writer (some would say I am as I'm writing this now but I mean a paid writer) but as work and real life looms I'm afraid tiredness will take over and once again I will be swallowed up in what society expects instead of doing what I really want to do.

I tried handing my notice in two weeks ago but chickened out and said "I'd give it a go". I know I'm kidding myself but it's the responsible thing to do. I'm like that you see. For all my bluff and bluster I'm deep down responsible and although we could just about manage it would be a big burden on hubby.

My Mum's generation didn't have this dilemma. They gave up work to get married for pete's sake let alone to take care of the children. It didn't occur to them that hubby had the financial burden. It was just the lie of the land. It was what happened.

But when the feminists of the 70's decided that women wanted it all I think they forgot to ask us if we really did! Or indeed if all of us did! They assumed that having it all was aspired too but instead it's just exhausting! Especially if by having it all you are looking after the house and the baby, doing a job you have no interest in to earn money but in the mean time trying to forge a career in what you love in your, laughingly called, spare time!

You know what amazes me is that my lack of enthusiasm doesn't stem from wanting to leave the boy. Of course I don't want to leave him. That goes without saying really! But he will be with his Nanny P for the two days and undoubtedly will have a ball!

No this one isn't just about being a Mum. This one is about being a 40 year old woman!

And they do say life begins at 40!

However I'm 41 in April..

So maybe I'd better hurry up and get living.......


  1. I know how you feel. I went to work when my eldest was 11 months old. Nine months later we moved from London's commuter land to Suffolk and downshifted a little so I could focus on raising the children. I found I needed to do my own thing though and having tried my hand at a few things, I realise I'm now following what the professionals would call a Portfolio Career...I call it random odd jobs lol ;0)

  2. Don't do it! Work is for people who have nothing better to do or really need the money - that's not you. Before you know it the boy will be at nursery, then school - it'll be him leaving you not the other way round. Use this time to write - anything and everything! Rewrite reviews and articles based on your take their subjects. Write short (bedtimes) stories for the boy and share them with all your fellow mums. Write plays and scripts and comedy sketches. Plot novels and then write a first page, a last page, a death scene, a sex scene, a reunion scene, a scene where nothing happens but thought, a scene where everything happens without time for thought. Write ranting complaint letters to MPs, newspapers (national and local). Write in praise or criticism of producs and services. Write flowery descriptions for mundane meals. When you're not writing read for inspiration - authors you both love and loath and then work out why you feel the way you do about them. Once you've done all the above, you'll know whether written words are in you bursting to get out, or whether the world of work truly beckons.

  3. Oh Anonymous you are so enthusiastic and positive - you don't fancy being my life coach do you? he,he... your comment has really inspired me I must say.

    Almost Mrs Average - you are a true source of inspiration! I love the idea of a "portfolio career" - sounds very me. lots of fingers in lots of pies - all covered in gravy!

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  5. I know exactly how you feel and it is about being a Mum and being over 40 and well just about everything. What I am about to say is something I would like to hear myself but no one has ever given me permission to ('cos society says I should want to have it all!!!!):
    Well could you get by without working? Do you really want to write? Is there someone who can look after your boy even if it is only for one day so you could write flat out? If the answer is yes to those three questions - what are you waiting for???

  6. Oh yes, the pressure that the only partly successful women's lib has put us under...
    I hear you. I love my job but would love to take a break until my kids are both at school. If I do that, I'd lose my job (and not many going these days) and would have to start at the bottom of my career ladder again as I work in the voluntary sector. So I'm a chicken and will go back in August.
    Funny, I always criticised my mum for being a SAHM, and I wish I could now tell her that I was wrong to be so critical.