travel with me from SAHM to working mum….
This week, instead of job-searching and starting my novel, I have: met friends for coffee, been to a Boden sale, had a free Bootcamp session, read Saturday’s Times on my Kindle (on Wednesday), stared into space on more than one occasion, edited the Yr7 class contact list, attended my writing group, played tennis, tidied the airing cupboard, watched two schoolboy football matches walked the dog and drunk half a cider shandy in a pub garden.
Now, ‘attending writing group’ is definitely on the positive side of achieving my goals, I could even claim that ‘staring into space’ is ‘thinking’, but the other things could all have been skipped (sorry dog). I could be ruthless and tell the boys that I will only go to Home games; many parents do this, particularly with regard to long-distance fixtures such as these. But, why be a stay-at-home mum if you’re not going to watch the match? Surely that’s the point. On the other hand: if I’m looking for a job, then I’m not going to be a stay-at-home mum, so perhaps I shouldn’t be going to all the matches.
This is the same issue as becoming Class Rep. If you’re not a working mum, then you have the time to organise and inform the parents of the children in your child’s class. However, this can be taken to extremes as there is always something to do. My fellow Rep and I have decided to draw the line at duplicating the information given out by the school, but this still leaves organising coffee mornings, making sure the new parents feel comfortable about coming to school social events and keeping contact lists up-to-date. These are the things you volunteer to do.
Meeting friends is also important. When you work from home (and a SAHM definitely does this!) contact with the outside world is limited. You can avoid going to the supermarket by ordering from Ocado, choose clothes online, even update your driving licence photocard. Consequently, I am on good terms with my postman, but rarely see another adult unless it’s at the school gate or I arrange to meet for coffee/dog walk/lunch. How many office workers can claim that? In fact my husband has the opposite problem. He spends so much time in meetings that by the end of the day he wants to hide on the train behind a book or newspaper.
If you’ve read this far you’re probably thinking: if she wasn’t wasting all this time blogging then she could chase up that temping agency, look through the local newspaper, and put pen to paper on the novel. Quite right, and that is what I’m going to do now. Except, the weather has been unseasonably sunny and sitting here, looking out of the window, I’m sure the garden would benefit from some attention…