Saturday, May 21, 2016

Thoughts on returning to full-time work

See what a restful image I post for this topic.

Regular readers will know that this year I returned to teaching after many years at home. Oh, I never really stopped teaching, whether it was teaching piano, teaching my girls, giving group recorder lessons, teaching stamping, leading a church group,  and more recently working as a casual teacher ... I've always being teaching someone something, but it certainly wasn't full-time. 

For the majority of the last 18 years, I've had a lot of freedom to my days. I had 9 years when my girls were both at school 5 full days a week, although more recently they have had half-days some days. In the early school years I over-committed, but over time I managed to carve away at my extra commitments until the last few years I was free most days, unless the phone rang and I was off teaching at one school or another.

So what did I do all day? Um ... a lot ... and not a lot.

I baked, and I rearranged. I shopped and I decluttered. I painted when we renovated, and when we didn't. I made cards and crocheted and blogged. I spent too much time look at other peoples' lives on the internet, but only if they had pretty or inspiring blogs. I put time into leading a bible study group, and valued those friendships and the knowledge I gained. I put necessary time into regaining my health through changing diets and going to appointments. Sometimes in recent years I helped my mother-in-law, as she moved house and became less independent. Sometimes I saw my extended family. All good things.

And of course I managed the things that needed managing for my family - the shopping, the gifts, the organising, the notes, the calendar, the music lessons. Housework even  sometimes happened.

And then, with a phone call, it all stopped. 

Stay tuned for what happened next.

And check this out! I'm thrilled to have received a shout out from The Big Smoke.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mothers Day again

Someone pointed out to me that today is my 19th Mothers Day. That's a lot of them. But with an 18yo and a 16yo, it sounds about right.

We celebrated quietly today, with some presents after church (DVDs, chocolate, bedsocks and bookmarks) and a delicious steak dinner cooked by Steve. Just now we've watched an old Doris Day film before the girls headed to bed.

The 19th time round doesn't feel so special as the first 10 or so Mothers Days did. I mean, at first you're so thrilled to be a mum, and to have a fuss made about you, and then in the primary school years your children are so excited to be giving you their cute little handmade gifts. (I should say that Emily still made me a cute gift, a beautiful felt bookmark stitched with a bird, made with as much love as those early craft attempts but much more skill!) 

But by now things have changed - the girls have their own lives, we're all busy with studying, and those family times are fewer and farther between. I was glad to pin everyone down for lunch together, and it was sweet of them to spoil me with some nice gifts. One day the girls will be gone, and I'll be like our mothers, waiting for the phone to ring and for the children to visit. Which sounds kind of depressing. 

I guess I'm still getting used to having almost-grownup girls. Memories of those cute little girls with their school Mothers Day crafts are fading, and sometimes it kind of feels like some other girls have moved in, instead.  

So here's some reminders for me.