Pie in the sky…
Where have the summer holidays gone? The school year looms with the promise of routine, lots of driving and school lunches! I for one am looking forward to some routine. Not sure about resuming the taxi service and preparing the lunch boxes though! However, it’s all part and parcel of having children isn’t it?
For the last 14 or so years I have been a stay at home mum. I’ve had the freedom to get involved with my children’s schools, volunteer for tuck shop, coach my kids soccer teams. I kept my house spic and span, ironed everything (I drew the line at underwear though!), created awesome dishes for dinner most nights from the recipe books of noted chefs cramming my bookshelf. And, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I loved and still love looking after my family, organizing them, coordinating our lives through the labyrinth of schoolwork and activities. However, its funny how society doesn’t always see the value a stay at home mum adds to her family and their life. I think it’s valuable even if only for a short period. I know it’s not for everyone and for many women it is not financially viable for them not to work. I suppose I was lucky. I had a choice.
About 3 years ago I started to think about my future though. My kids were growing up and so was I. Tuck shop and being a class mum representative wasn’t going to be there forever. Now at 45, I’ve got at least another 3 decades left of my life (hopefully!). You never know what’s around the corner though. I was feeling vulnerable, worthless and worried about the future. My future. I felt I needed to do something, create something, be something more than a mum and wife. The non-expression on some peoples faces I met at that time who asked me what I did, and I’d answer them “Oh, I’m just at home” bugged me. I knew being ‘ at home’ didn’t equate to lunches, manicures and hair appointments only. I go to the hairdresser about every 3 months or so. However, I felt the need to slip the ‘just’ into my response where it didn’t belong.
I came to the conclusion that I needed to do something and have something that I could call my own. Being at home meant you do everything for everyone else. So, I enrolled my self in a correspondence course to study a Diploma of Education and become a secondary school teacher. That was at the beginning of 2012. I completed it in September 2013 taking a semester longer because I tore my ACL and MCL in a skiing accident and couldn’t attend one of my three teaching pracs! All better now though. It was difficult, but very satisfying. Looking back over the last 18 months or so, I’m just amazed at where life takes you when you let it.
Not only did I manage to complete my DipEd and acquire employable skills again, I also received 2 contracts to publish 2 romance books I had written! I had always dreamed of being a published author. However, I thought it was pie in the sky dreaming. It was what other people did, not me. Though I’ve always written I never thought my work was publishable until a lovely editor from Gordon read my partial manuscript. She thought the story was a bit corny and needed work but it wasn’t too bad and I could write! I. Could. Write. That brief meeting over coffee gave me the injection of confidence I had lacked all along. So, within the last 18 months my first contract, received from a small publishing house in Canada fell through which was devastating. However, I still had another in the pipeline with one of the largest most established romance publishers in the world and received a contract for my debut romance novel. It was released on 1 January, 2014 as an ebook and is now on the virtual shelves for anyone to buy.
Life is strange sometimes, wonderfully strange. Whether you’re a stay at home mum or not, it’s important to let yourself go and pursue your dreams. It could involve further study in your field of expertise, starting up a small business, volunteering your time to a worthy cause or even writing that novel you’ve always wanted to. Unless you step outside you’ll never know what awaits you.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.