I feel a bit lost.
I am having a bit of an identity crisis. I left my office 5 years ago with a massive bouquet of flowers, some stolen stationary and no intention of ever going back. As I looked out over my new exciting horizon all that was in front of me was a huge sea (not in a sick way) of babies and nappies and cots and cuddles and feeding and snuffles and chubby little arms round my neck and teeny little hands wrapped round my fingers, and playgroups and car seats and my new family. I was naturally going to ace it. This sea was calm and it was my future and who knew where we would end up?! (except that whatever “place” it was would be first place with a big gold star and with a lot of public adoration of my skills). An ocean of adventure, full of babies as far as they eye could see! As the rhyme goes; Babies babies everywhere! And lots of wine to drink!
(Doesn’t the rhyme go that way? It should).
Babies, babies, babies everywhere. It didn’t work out that way. My pelvis got crippled and my mind went mental and we all decided it was the best idea to draw a big fat line in a permanent marker pen under the second one. Enough now.
Now I am rapidly approaching that previously certain horizon, and I feel totally blind in doing so. I know for a fact it doesn’t go on and on and on with babies.
What if my world is flat and I fall over the edge?
What if there is nothing beyond that horizon?
What the fuck am I supposed to do now?
I am genuinely shitting myself about finding a job. I ask myself - should I have stayed on at work part time and then maybe the horizon yes, might still be mostly terrifyingly and horribly different but at least it wouldn’t be totally abnormal and freakish. Kinda like
“Hey! Isn’t that Maureen from HR over there? Bobbing about in a lifeboat! Brilliant! Hey I wonder how her blind date went at the weekend”
BLAH BLAH BLAH.
And then I remember, no. No, mixing both worlds was never an option for me. I didn’t want to do that. I was lucky enough to have the choice and to have the support to do something I wanted to do and stay at home full time. So no, I know I did the right thing there.
But now I am getting to the end of that stay at home mum period – I just don’t know if I have done it as well as I had hoped that I would. I just keep thinking
“I wish I had done some of it differently”
I have not read to them enough, I have not played with them enough, they can’t swim yet, I rush them too much, I am too impatient, the watch too much TV (although the stuff they have learnt from it has been INCREDIBLE), I get cross and frustrated when I don’t get 5 minutes to myself and I shout a lot. And if this were an actual real job I am sure I would have been fired years ago, or at the very least been on some pretty bloody serious disciplinaries. It seems that whilst they couldn’t fire me, for technicalities, they are now making me redundant.
My confidence is dropping. Slowly , but steadily and surely. Like stale, unwanted clumps of bread in a scabby old pond, unwanted even by the ducks.
The catalyst for all this drama and emotion and poor-me ness was a blogging conference I went to a few weeks ago. I already knew there would be other way more talented bloggers there than I was (duh). I already knew I needed to man up and not waver and wobble over this and be proud of my blogging achievements (I am) and how my “space” has been welcomed and well received. I also already knew I would meet people there, who like last year would look me up and down, and say to me;
“Sorry, you are? No, never heard of you”
and turn away from me.
(That one STINGS btw, for future reference).
I already knew these things. So I thought I was prepared and would bat away such stupidness with ease and confidence like they were mere irritating winged buzzballs. But I didn’t. One person who I had never met before, ripped apart my blog within just a few hours of me being there, telling me which posts were good and which were not, in their opinion. One person told me, not realising it was me they were talking to (they hadn’t bothered to look at my name tag – did not deem that subtle eye-dip worthy of themselves I suppose) that some of those shortlisted for the category I was shortlisted in were
“Terrible! Oh my goodness! Seriously not skilled and not funny at all!”
Of course I naturally assumed she meant me.
Of course naturally I just stood still and quiet and said nothing.
Of course later on, in my head, I devised many a scenario and imaginary scene whereby I destroyed her with my humour and skill – shooting her down, zapping at her with my awesome wit until she withered and cried and then died from humiliation.
So, my “thing” that I had created, my blog, this egg shell armour of confidence, got smashed in a bit. And just as I was thinking of telling myself that none of that mattered and yadda yadda yadda and at least I still had the kids, then I received a letter from the GOVERNMENT telling me that my first born son was summoned to spend the majority of his life with them and would be deserting me. I am filling out forms to an institution (albeit a very wonderful one, but still not my institution) telling them what my baby, the one I spent the last 5 years floating through the ocean with likes to eat and drink and whether he can do his own zip up and if he can undo a Tupperware pot.
And I feel lost. A bit angry. My eyes are stinging a bit as I write this and I have this weird lump in my throat like I swallowed old manky unwanted duck bread.
Generally a bit shit.
I mean, seriously, what could I put on any CV of any worth about what I have been doing the past 5 years? I am not discrediting the value of being a stay at home mum (obviously, because I AM one) but where do I even start?! I did a google for “Skills employers look for in employees” and these came up;
Creativity. Ok. I can do this one.
Our house is a melting pot of multiple personalities and ticking time bombs. Call Ed “Ed” on the days he is supposed to be Elvis from Fireman Sam and the universe implodes. It is my job to keep on top of this bubbling eruption and to prevent character armaggedon.
“Lenny! LENNY! Peter Rabbit Lenny! Push me on the swing!”
“NO!! She is PENNY! Penny from Fireman Sam!”
“NO SHE IS LENNY!”
“STOP IT!!!!!!” I scream “MUMMY IS A PERSON IN HER OWN RIGHT!”
I am Lenny (Peter Rabbit), Quasi (Clean Quasi, no, not even I know what this means, from Octonaughts), Penny, Chief Ambulance Driver, Ariella, Grumpy Horse (from Disney’s ”Tangled”), Jesse (Toy Story), Coco (Chuggington) etc etc etc.
It’s so bloody mentally challenging keeping up with which creative channel we are exploring at any one point. At least this is something I can put on my CV – “mentally challenged”. No, wait, “explores her creativity”.
I’ll be sad when I am just Hannah again.
Negotiating and Persuading.
AKA bullshit. I am pretty good at bullshitting my way through most situations.
“Can we go on that Postman Pat ride outside the shop?”
“No its broken.”
“But that little girl just went on it.”
“She broke it.”
“I’ve asked you 3 times now. Basically, put it away, or I am going to burn it.”
Good time keeping.
I am excellent at creating enough time to do things.
“FOUR MINUTES ON THE NAUGHTY STEP!”
*storms off to make a calming cup of tea*
*puts washing on*
*descales the shower*
7 minutes later…
Uses time effectively
“OK hide and seekers! Here I come! Ready or not! Hmmm” *flips open the oven door with foot and slams it shut whilst chopping veggies* “no not in there!”
“Hmmmmm” *throws open airing cupboard with a slam and unloads the towels* “No, not in there”
“Hmmmm!” *lies down on the bed for a valuable few seconds* “Not in the bedroom”
“Hmmmm!” *has a wee* “Not in the bathroom”.
ETC ETC ETC.
To work confidently in a group. And to delegate.
“Ok guys wow! Special treat! Here we are the recycling centre! Now, here are all of daddy’s beer bottles for YOU guys to poke in the recycling machine! Wohoooooo!”
“Wohoooooo!” they cry
“Now, poor Mummy will recycle all the boring plastic milk bottles, POOR HER” (whilst loudly reminding all the other recyclers nearby that the boys are recycling DADDY’s beer bottles and wine bottles. He drinks Sauvignon Blanc, yes, a real man can, ok?)
Er hello – Facebook and twitter and blogging. Need I say more?
Fail. Unless…am I allowed to drink at my new desk?
So there you go. My CV attempt. Maybe it won’t be so bad.
I don’t know.