I’m not just that kid’s mum – there’s so much more to me!
Filed under: MummyBloggers
Do you ever consider the collective expertise and experience that organises the school run each morning? Mums (and Dads) who, until a few years ago, were presenting in boardrooms, or pipetting in laboratories or arguing cases in courts, and have stepped away from corporate life to care for their young kids full-time?
I recall dropping my eldest to school for the first time and chatting to the other new parents: “yes, I’m that boy’s mum.” But no, wait a minute, I used to be An Engineer, specialising in bio-waste recycling - it’s because of my work that thousands of tonnes of industrial waste are diverted from landfills each year. I’m not just that kid’s mum – there’s so much more to me!
But very few parents ask what it is you do/did for fear of treading on that particular social landmine (Q: Are you still working? A:Yes I’m bloody working, but now the hours are 24/7 for no pay), and so for years I just wondered about all these fabulous people I mixed with in the school yard, knowing that none of them went to college to major in packed lunch prep.
I’d also resigned myself to the fact I’d never work in engineering again. By the time the kids didn’t need me as much, I assumed that I would be officially washed-up, career-wise.
But perhaps not. I recently met one mum who rekindled her career fifteen years after she gave it up to care for her babies. An artist and art expert who worked in galleries all over the world before settling down for her ‘crayola period,’ she was nervous about getting back in the corporate saddle. She started slowly, and now runs wonderful guided tours of art exhibitions for groups, sharing her knowledge of and enthusiasm for art, bringing it alive for those, like me, who might otherwise just see paint on canvas.
It took courage to rekindle her professional inclinations after such a long sabbatical; to overcome her own self-doubt and to get back out into the working world where it can feel like everyone else is 25 and free to go for pints on Friday. But her courage has been rewarded in so many ways – financially of course, but also in her own self-fulfilment, and the education of others.
So now I’m thinking – maybe I could do it too? I’m guessing guided tours of my local dump aren’t going to cut it, but you know what I mean. Watch this space...
Sheena Lambert is the mum of two boys from Dublin. Her novel Alberta Clipper is available from Amazon.
image via Pinterest
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