Hello blog. You're still here! Is anyone else? According to stats people are still visiting this site every day. How funny. I last blogged in March. Very early March. And even before then my posts were sporadic. So. Why is that? Where have I been? What's been going on? Does anyone care?
The truth is.. life. Life has been going on. 2016 has been one of the most, if not THE most difficult years of my life thus far. I won't and can't go into great detail on here I'm afraid. It just isn't appropriate. It's one of the reasons I've not been able to blog. Not that I've felt much like it. But the things that have been going on in my life have just taken over. It wouldn't be right to write about them, at least not here.
I am hoping now that these issues will be taking a back seat and that life as I knew it will be returning to some sense of normality. However, that's not really possible either.. because it's September, isn't it. That well known month of change. So many parts of my life have changed in the last week that I feel I no longer know who I am, where I fit in my world, what I do, when I do it etc. Ethan has moved schools. We moved house last September (almost a year ago!) and we realised that one of the other local schools was closer to our new house. This school is a bit more outdoorsy which we feel will suit Felix better when he starts school. Which is only a year away! So. Ethan has moved schools and is now in the juniors section (I can't believe I have a junior school child!). Felix meanwhile has started at preschool. Another change. Even at his gymnastics class things have changed, he's now in the preschool class which means I have to leave him there. All on his own! My little baby. Except he's not a little baby anymore, is he? He's 3. A preschooler. Becoming independent. And I'm watching from the sidelines, reeling from all the changes. New schools, new uniforms, new teachers, new timings, new routines, new friends, new ways of doing things.
I now have more time to myself.. and as yet, I'm not quite sure what I'm doing with it. I was thinking back yesterday, to when Ethan had just started at preschool. When he started I would go to an exercise class after dropping him off and then go home, do some housework and blog. That was about all I ever did bar meeting a friend for coffee sometimes, or popping into Bristol to do some shopping. But shortly after he started at preschool I became pregnant with Felix and that meant that for almost the entire duration of his time at preschool, I was pregnant. That was my real focus. I found pregnancy with Felix pretty hard going and so was very glad of time alone to either blog or, let's face it, eat chocolate and sleep. This time around I am not pregnant and I'm certainly not planning to be. So I have to figure out what I'm doing.
I am a full time stay at home Mum. It's pretty much all I know. I last worked in May 2009. Over 7 years unemployed. Staying at home. Looking after the house and children. That has been my focus. Being a Mum to my boys isn't a job that is going to end but it is a job that will change and it's currently going through a huge change. My boys need me a little less. They are with me a lot less. I now need to figure out who I am again and what on earth I do. What defines me? What do I like doing? Am I going to work? What work would I like to do? What can I do realistically? You see.. that's the thing. I can't just go jumping into any old job. For one thing, I have the chance right now to take stock. My last job was unrewarding. Badly paid. Inflexible. Boring. Anything I do now has to work around the boys. Yes, I have 15 hours a week when Felix is in preschool but that's from 8:30 - 1:30. Ethan needs picking up at 3:20. I still need to be available for them and I don't have the kind of childcare available to me to cover longer hours. I would need something that's term time. We all know how hard those gems are to come by. No. Right now is not the time to be taking any job that presents itself. It's a time to think, evaluate. At the moment we are used to managing on the money we currently have coming in. It's the easiest time for me to take time to figure out what to do whilst we are used to managing on this income. It's the best time to start my own business. Choose a new direction. Study.
Right now I feel almost frozen by choices. I think I need a plan. A simple plan to get me through the next few weeks, something that will allow me time to think but also feel like I'm not wasting time. Like most Mums I often fall into the trap of feeling guilty for having free time. As a Mum, or a parent, I should always be on the go, right? Always with purpose.
So. This plan then. Something simple. An exercise class one day. Blogging (seeing if I can and want to get back into it!! And if anyone will read!). Admin. Going for a run. Playing the piano. Catching up with people. Exploring business ideas. Walking. Yoga.
I'll take it from there. Then hopefully, this time next year, when I am facing the fact I'll have two school children, I'll know exactly what I'm doing with myself when they are off making the world theirs. I need to be an inspiration to them. More than Mummy.