Last week was half term. Each school holiday starts with slight trepidation; What will we do? Who will we see? It always neatly works out. Abandoning the everyday, throwing out the routine and ‘doing stuff’ is what holidays are meant for. Our preference is discovery outside the confines of four walls. It gives my son an opportunity to expel energy and use his imagination. It benefits me. The distance between us on a path is a momentary space for a conversation with an adult or my own thoughts. Wandering along a path behind a six year old gives rare thinking time. Not just time from the subject hopping, imagining, questioning, voice of a 6 year old, which much as I love him for it, I do need a break from. That path is also time from my ‘to do’ lists.
During term time, life is crammed with lists and practical chores. Half term creates a stop. All the small carriages of the everyday stack up, to be sorted and re-directed once half term is over.
On the path in the sunshine, I think. The holidays serve as a marker for more time past. I’m still not working. They remind me how difficult it would be to manage this time and a job. Where would he go? Would he be happy? I have the luxury of time with my son and I’m very grateful and yet, I’m not working.
He returns to school, the house is silent and I’m writing a list of inconsequential things to sort out and organise, the small carriages that have stacked up – Is this it? As time goes on I feel less and less employable. Less able to step back into that world. I fluctuate from feeling I no longer have anything to offer, to frustration that I’m not contributing. Valuing time with my son and knowing that’s not enough.
There’s no feedback or supervision or appraisal as a parent. All those little bits of employment that define how it’s going and give a bit of a ‘pat on the back’ are missing. As he get’s older his achievements are his, less an extension of my coaching.
A while ago, I put my CV together and had a discussion with a recruitment specialist. Initially, the prospect of discussing my worth measured in skills and knowledge was horrifying. When forced to take my head out of the sand and present myself it wasn’t as apologetic as I expected. Feedback was positive, the experience was surprisingly uplifting. Useful advice noted, I re-wrote my CV (again) and there it is; 2 sides of A4. What next? Weeks slipped past and I’ve returned to my rut of self-doubt and sitting on the sidelines.
All this is old ground and more exploration of how I feel, rather than any course of action. As time has shown, I’m pretty poor on action. As an individual, I am organised and I like to achieve. I don’t enjoy sitting on the sidelines. As a parent, I manage the trepidation and just get out there and ‘do stuff’. As me, I’m stuck.
Photos taken at Tyntesfield.