Change is as good as a rest… who are they kidding?

Life is all about phases. Once I was the burning-the-candle-at-both-ends-highly-motivated-successful-career-girl, and then I became the sleep-deprived-slobber-covered-breeding-feeding-weary-worn-stay-at-home-mum. And now, lo and behold, I’m a PART-TIME WRITER!!

Ok, actually the full title is Full-time-mum-and-maker-of-my-husband’s-sandwhiches-and-housekeeper-and-part-time-writer, but when I’m asked I might just stick to the last part. A new phase in our lives begins, and although I mourn the loss of what we had, I run full speed ahead to a new life. For three years my toddler has been mine and we have been free, but this week she began playschool five mornings a week. I have cared for my baby constantly for the precious 15 months of her life, but now I will have a childminder to look after her three mornings a week. I’m scared and I’m a little sad. But, I am going to write. I can hardly contain my joy. I burst little sniggers from my mouth. My mind jumps from list to adoringly-written list to decide what shall be my first task. Now I no longer have to cram all my work into the silent hours of lunchtime sleeps, or the dark hours of night. I feel new life breathing into my fuzzy brain. It’s only ten hours a week, but they are MY ten hours. Mine all mine. Ten hours! How many words can I write in ten hours? How many emails can I send? How many blogs can I read? How many blogs can I write? How many articles can I devise, and pitch and write and send? How much money can I earn? Ok, the answer to the last question is probably not very much, but who cares? Who cares when I have ten whole glorious, gluttonous, gorgeous hours to write? My ‘business plan’ shines out like gold on my pin-board and I check and re-check my breakdown of hours.

I love being a mum. It’s everything I thought and 1000 times more. But I miss me. And for ten whole hours I will get me again. But maybe not this week…. Instead of a week of words, I’m having a week of weeping – and that’s just me. Tears at the playschool door (mine are hidden, my daughter’s are streaming down her face as she clutches frantically to my skirt). Back at home, the new childminder is patiently trying to persuade my wobbler to stop burying her head in my lap as she squeals at the indignation of meeting someone new. Everyone is in uproar at the new changes to our life. Better change that title to Full-time-mum-and-wiper-of-tears-and-emotional-wreck-and-maker-of-my-husband’s-sandwhiches-and-maker-of-my-toddler’s-sandwhiches-and-housekeeper-and-part-part-time-writer. Change is as good as rest they say? They obviously didn’t have kids.

(c) AKG 2008

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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