Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Different Perspective

Dads

Have you ever had one of those weekends where you realise on Monday that you are a different person to the one you were on Friday? This is what just happened to me. OK, so it's not major. You probably wouldn't notice the difference, but it feels like it might be significant.

BB and I drove down to London on Friday to spend the weekend at DD and PP's house. On the way, we called in at Daddy's school to collect him. It does seem like a lovely school. BB knew his way around as he has been with Daddy before, but it was my first proper visit. I got chatting to some of the teachers, from all over the globe and had quite a pleasant time.

There was huge life affirming moment though. I was talking with one teacher, perhaps not out of the ordinary in her commitment, but with a senior role. She is totally married to her job, no kids, working all hours and drinking too much wine. That so could have been me! She was quite happy with her life I have no doubt, but still I found myself feeling incredibly grateful that I had the guts to quit teaching and choose single motherhood. There is no doubt that decision totally changed my destiny and I am so much happier in this life than I would have been in that one.

On Saturday and Sunday I attended a fabulous course organised by Mumsnet Academy on Becoming a Freelance Writer, taught by Joanna Moorhead. The course was amazing on all levels. Joanna is a brilliant facilitator and gave us lots of really useful information on how to find our way into this type of work. She was also great at drawing the best out of all the participants, giving us confidence as well as tips.

Our group was quite small and full of interesting people, all of whom are already writers in some capacity, and each person brought heaps of great life experiences and expertise to the group. We are all planning on staying in touch, and on becoming freelance writers of course.

The weekend brought me more life affirming moments too. We attended a one year old's party. This was a reminder of how much work a one year old is. Two year olds are so much easier, and more interesting! (one year old was very cute with amazing eyes though - not saying he wasn't beautiful, just that he was a reminder of the hard work of babies!). Most of the parents there were my age too - it's funny, as I usually feel really old amongst younger mums, which is generally how it is, but this time with everyone else being my age, it seemed to reflect back to me just how old I am.

One of the people on the writing course was single mum of one plus triplets (she blogs at Me and my 4). She had one child and desperately wanted a second, and then got three! That would be so tough as a single mum. She was talking of writing about giving herself permission to do things for herself again, now the triplets are at nursery, and actually made me cry. I can't imagine how that would be for her - I lost myself in motherhood a bit, but with four... she was very inspiring too.

Both of these two interactions made me think that one is just fine. So this week, I am very happy as a mum of one.

I am also feeling happy about lots of other things. I am confident that I am going to be able to earn enough money to give my son a great life. I am happy with the direction that my career seems to be taking, exploring work that I enjoy. I am happy with our house, which seems quite adequate for just the two of us. I am happy with the life I am carving out for us.

In addition, I am really happy that BB had a great time with Daddy and PP. Not only does it allow me time to pursue things for me, I really value, on BB's behalf, the fact that he gets to spend quality time with them without me.  It makes my heart jump for joy when he calls PP "My [PP]" (akin to "My Mummy" and "My Daddy"). I think PP realised this weekend just how important and special a person he is this relationship too. I feel so lucky. It was hard though, when BB cried after we said goodbye.

So, I feel like a different woman to the one I was on Friday. I feel like I am doing it right. That I have arrived in some way. That I am qualified as a parent and able to take care of my own dreams and interests, as well as those of my child, whilst being a working mum. I think that with the writing and my other interests in facilitating workshops and the VA business, I can create an interesting and fulfilling career for myself, whilst being a great role model for BB.  I have a sense of having reached the next level in the game of parenthood.

And life is good!


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