Monday, 29 March 2010

So... Where To Now?

I have been treading the same path for a very long time. There have been some twists and turns, but always the same path going in the same general direction. Suddenly though (for although I have been expecting it, it still comes as a surprise), up in the distance I spy a junction - a cross roads. I hesitate. I feel anticipation, dread and excitement in equal measure. I have no choice but to keep moving forwards. Soon there will be no choice but to set off in a wholly new direction.

The Youngest starts school in September. It will be the first time in almost 12 years that I have not had a little one at home.

My temporary paid post at Womens Aid has come to an end. The world of accountancy seems eerily quiet at the moment and Naked Boss has not contacted me regarding any book-keeping work for weeks. I think perhaps he has decided that he only wants female employees who are prepared to overlook the fact that he is a predatory pest. Well o.k. I can live with that.

I have made a new claim for Income Support and Housing Benefit for now, and am thinking hard about how I am going to support myself and my children when I no longer need to be at home to care for The Youngest, and the majority of my day becomes free. I have all the skills necessary to work in domestic abuse service provision but the funding for Womens Aid in my area is being slashed to ribbons, and there are more likely to be redundancies than new vacancies in the near future, (I will avoid ranting about what a disgrace this is - but suffice to say - vulnerable women and children will suffer as a result.) I have another option which is to spend a year at college gaining an official book-keeping qualification that will enable me to become self-employed and work from home, which would be ideal, but lets just say that the world of accountancy doesn't exactly set me on fire.

A new beginning is what this feels like. A new stage of my life about to be embarked upon. I am aware that this is a well worn path trodden to dust by many mothers, but for me personally it is unknown territory. What I want more than anything is financial independence. To be able to support myself and my family reasonably comfortably by doing something that I find meaningful is my ultimate goal, and I believe, not an unrealistic one.

Of course like many women (and men) who inhabit the blogosphere, the dream would be to earn money from writing, writing anything really - articles for magazines, a blog, even perhaps a book - but I have no idea where to even start along those lines. So for now the focus is on what is genuinely attainable for me, what I can do to get myself earning in the near future, and how I make the transition from 'stay at home most of the time mum' to 'working mum'.

As I approach nearer the crossroads, time seems to accelerate beyond my control. There are no signposts that I can see, simply roads that loom larger and larger and seem to stretch out forever, splintering off in the middle distance into a multitude of different directions. I still have no idea where I'm really going.


  1. It is a daunting path to face. I will have a similar one in the near future.
    Good luck whatever you choose to do.

  2. Oh my lovely what a dilemma you face, a most modern one at that! I have no doubt the good people of your Shire will ensure you are employed at the earliest opportunity. Anyone who can articulate this crossroads in their life as well as you should be first choice for any number of wonderful jobs.

    In the meantime, have you thought about something on the legal side of helping women? (And I mean that as in my profession, not that you have recently been battering the men in retaliation!)

    You sound like the kind of person who would be very good in a Legal Aid Practice specialising in Domestic Violence Injunctions....?? Just a thought. Email me if you want to talk about it a bit more. (address is on my blog).

    MD xxx

  3. I've just gone the other way and become a SAHM from working! Got my little one only at home for another 18 months.

    Trying to keep active with my small scale Usborne books business and I hope to retrain once son goes to school. Been working in IT for 15 years but doesn't really float my boat and I never intended to do that!!

    Good luck with whatever you decide x

  4. Oh it's a toughie and you're right, everyone should be able to feel fulfilled in their job and support their family. What MD has suggested sounds exactly like the kind of job I could imagine you doing (well from what I know of you). You are very articulate and you are obviously passionate about helping victims of domestic abuse. I wish you all the best. I hate crossroads!!

  5. Good luck! None of this looks easy! (Of course home or work--both are hard as hell.)

  6. Good luck with the transition, wherever it takes you.

  7. I feel nervous for you just reading this. in about 18 months I am going to have to tackle a similar situation myself. good luck.

  8. Good luck with everything. I am sure it will be tough at times but I can almost gaurentee we will be back here a year from now reading about a totally different person :)

  9. You are right, even though you don't where you are heading, you are moving forward. You say "To be able to support myself and my family reasonably comfortably by doing something that I find meaningful is my ultimate goal." I was the same way with three children. Only I took jobs that paid the highest and had the most stress. It will be interesting what you find for your life. I hug you and wish you well while you ponder and search.

  10. It's interesting, to me, that you are contemplating this during the Easter season, which is a celebration of renewal.

    I believe you can support yourself and your children with meaningful work that sets you on fire.

    I was at a similar crossroads, gosh, I guess it was 15 years or more now. I had been working at jobs that didn't set me on fire, but provided things I thought I wanted. I was also a single mom but, in a slight reversal from your situation, I wanted to be home with my daughter.

    After a period of thinking about what I enjoyed and most wanted to do, I pursued a dream of becoming a writer.

    I've been a working journalist ever since. My writing career has not gone the way I envisioned at first, but I believe God led me to my true vocation. I wish the same for you.

  11. Gappy, your crossroeads sounds like daunting but exciting place to be. You sound like you have done a lot and will be marvellous at coping with it all. Just wanted to link you to my blog (not sure how to do this properly other than copy and paste!) as I recently wrote a post about single mothers just on a whim, but you might like to have a quick look - you're doing an amazing job

  12. Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement - I really appreciate people taking the time to comment and to humour my navel gazing.

    Thanks for the link YM, will be over to have a look soon.

  13. Thank you for your comment - you are right about the "better to be along than in an unhappy relationship" - totally true I am sure. I am really lucky to have my husband around and although I moan he is not always around as much as I would like, he does it for us!