Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday forte!


Not too sure where this one is going but ....

I'm currently about halfway thru my forties which, according to some persistent myths (designed to deflect attention from the menopause I guess), means I'm sailing thru my prime years ..... except I'm not particularly happy with the route being chosen for me. Thanks to a steady diet of "having children is a waste of your time and talents" in my youth I'm now navigating my own uncharted waters as an older mother while coping with a son at elementary school. It's rough difficult; he's getting to grips with socialising, school discipline, authority and I'm wrestling with wrinkles, lack of salary and the frustration of 24/7 motherhood. Although life can get a little "shouty" at times, I certainly not zipping along thru my own Roaring Forties by any stretch.

I'm tired of whimpering thru what should be an exciting decade and, thanks to some thoroughly depressing e-counselling this Fall, have realised it's totally down to me to introduce some forte in my life. Helpful suggestions from the e-counselor included take more exercise, get out of the house more, make more friends, and think about employment to increase financial independence.

Great advice ...... but ..... my main frustration right now is childcare. And most of this list requires ... childcare! I cannot automatically rely on my partner for this. For example, last week he didn't let me know that he would be late home one evening so I missed my meeting. With no family living close (or even on the same continent!) an emergency call to grandma was out of the question. It was too short notice to ask friends to babysit. He's usually home too late anyway for making evening plans and it's not the first time this has happened - the exotic world of work outside the home can usually divvy up at least one extended work day or throw in an unexpected business trip every week or so. It's getting difficult to plan ahead these days.

I could of course just throw in the towel, abandon career/business dreams and surrender to SAH-motherhood ... or I could be more proactive in masterminding my independence. Paradoxically this will be achieved by increasing my reliance on others! I need to improve my network of childminding support and identify the situations where I will need it, eg. an hour or less cover till DH comes home, or longer during an evening when I'm teaching a class; sleepovers for later night functions (and thanks to the amazing G who has come to my rescue with this one a couple of times already!) or perhaps even whole days when craft fair season looms. Instead of being at the mercy of my husband's employer, I may be able to plan my life out semi-independently .... and roar thru the rest of my forties with a little less frustration.


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