Thursday, 13 October 2011

Wrapped up Bitterness

There's so much confusion in my head that blogging isn't working anymore. I wrote a long long post and wasn't sure if I should publish it. It was bitter. It was my perspective on what is happening at the moment and my unhappiness about it. I showed it to Mr Cartside and his feedback got me thinking. Not that I necessarily agreed with all his views, the thinking process was important and having this really different perspective that challenged mine not just superficially but deep down.

So the post will remain unpublished, but I'll keep it, my own record of how I felt at this time, on one day. Because truth be told every day is different. There are those where I'm elated at the prospect of redundancy and being able to spend more time with the kids, watch them grow, not having to leave this baby of mine at the nursery (4 year old loves nursery so I don't feel quite so bad). Being able to impart things to them that are important to me. Or elated by the possibilities of this challenge, of all the things I could focus my energy on.

Then the days where I don't think I'm made for that, where I so just want a job.

In between the soul searching of why I actually want to work. Is it the money and status that it brings? Is it for my peace of mind because I'm doing something good? Is it because I enjoy work or the adult company? What do I do it for and what is it that I actually want? Do I really want, need to work or is it just something that I tell myself because of an ongoing reaction against the world view of my mother (who was a stay at home mum and who believed that a woman's place was at the kitchen sink and in church and wasn't she right in some ways because at least she didn't have as many balls to juggle as I do?).

I've considered self employment. I've considered applying for posts that I see coming up. I've considered voluntary redundancy and full time employment for the same employer in a new role. Can I make my mind up? The theory is crystal clear - I'd like a work life balance that works. I want a job that I can feel passionate about. I'm not sure how I would feel not bringing any money into the house so that is something to bring into the equation, but I also know that this is my own problem that I need to get clear about.

One day I'm sure I want scenario A. The next day I want scenario B and the third day I'm sure scenario C is the way to go. Day 4 and none of these scenarios seems likely to happen and I feel like sticking my head in the sand. Too many variables, too many uncertainties.

I think I have come closer to what the best two options would be for me. But it's one of those Day 4s. And I think I'll just crawl into a corner with a hot chocolate and knit a bit tonight and transform bitterness, uncertainty and disappointment into stitches to keep us warm this winter.


zooarchaeologist said...

I'm going through the same thing at the moment. I think the decision is pretty much made for me. Its sort of like a period of mourning for me and I'll never work in the same sort of job again as they are so few and far between.

I cant offer anything constructive to say, but you are not the only one and I can totally empathise with you. xxx

Clair said...

My friend always says, whatever decision you make will be the right one. I am really beginning to believe this, so whatever you do it will be the right decision.

cartside said...

Claire, I'm most definitely not the only one, that's reassuring but also enangers me anew. The talents, skills not used but me, but of course raising kids is such an important skill that is all too often undervalued.
@Clair It's true, every decision can be the right one. Problem is, it's not up to me. There are many variables that I have no influence on and the lesson for me this month is to learn to accept and make the best of it.

TheMadHouse said...

I wish there was a solution, but I ma not sure that there ever is the right one. It makes me angry at the way this country is developing. It really does.

Jen said...

Feel for you, really do, as I've been there, still am in a sense, and that's been since the end of 2007... Although I'm a lot less angst-ridden about things now. Here's some of my thoughts and experiences, in case they're any use to you.
I decided to leave my full-time job when I was pregnant with my second child. I partly jumped and was partly pushed, for many more complicated reasons than I could go into here. For the first year I had not a bit of regret, even though our financial situation took an additional tumble at the same time. But for me it was definitely the right thing not be in work at that time. And I always saw it as a temporary break, because there was no way I saw myself as a stay-at-home mum (still don't, even though I've held a paid position for less than 30% of the last 4 years). In those four years I've done some consultancy work and some work for free (not voluntary in the traditional sense because it involved some high-level skills), so that has kept my self-esteem going. Now my third child is more than a year old, I feel I've had a great run on getting the most of my very young children, the oldest two are in full-time schooling anyway, so I'm now trying to rejoin the labour force.
It's not easy. I'm 40, and I'm trying to do something different to the two types of job I had before. Without doing significant retraining, and having had to do a lot of mourning about giving up on the one of them that in an ideal world I would most like to be doing. Still think it would be the ideal job for me. Hmph.
But it has given me the opportunity to review what else I could enjoy doing, and I've done some serious research, even job-shadowing some of the jobs I thought I might be interested in, and lots of soul-searching.
I'm happy I'm on the right track now. Don't have a job yet, but know what I'm looking for and have some ideas of likely ways of getting there. I want part-time but know I probably won't get it. Oh and tell me about being at the mercy of powers beyond my control - HR managers being just one of them!
It's taken time, and the luxury of being in a partnership where I didn't have to bring home the bacon (although I still feel guilty about spending money on myself). And it has given me lots of time with my kids.
I'm sure you will find your own solution with time, and if it's not the blogging, hope you can find some other way to help you through the difficult process of getting there. Kopf hoch.

Dot said...

This is such a hard one. My husband has been through - is going through - a similar process; not redundancy, but the drying up of opportunities in a very competitive field and having to adjust his plans and his sense of himself (and our household budget) accordingly. It has had and is having pluses and minuses for us. I can sort of imagine what may have been in that long, bitter post. But from your blog I get the impression that you have an extremely strong sense of what is important in life and what you truly value, and that I hope will see you through.



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