Having fate force my hand in the form of an early retirement from my job of the last six years has made for a massive upheaval in our world. While I am honestly struggling still a little with the notion that a huge chapter of my life has been closed, on the positive side there’s been the long overdue re-acquaintance with my little family.
Sure, the husband and I still feel a little like ships in the night the first half of the week, and the past two months have been hit and miss when it comes to rebuilding some semblance of normal family life. But we’re slowly getting a groove back into our world that’s been missing for some time and glimpses of a normal family (like where the mummy, daddy and child all eat dinner together and not at three separate sitting) are starting to make a re-appearance in our lives. We’ve managed to sneak in our first trip to the cinema in 6 months and even shelled out for a babysitter one night – for no other reason than we knew some adult conversation over a lovely dinner would do us the world of good!
Then there is Master H, who suddenly has oodles more of his mummy’s undivided time to occupy. And our relationship has never been better.
Truth be told, there has been a part of me that was always a bit terrified of him. His behaviour can be so unpredictable, he craves my constant and unyielding attention, I’m yet to unearth his off switch, he is no longer a fan of day sleeps, and at night cannot seem to cobble together a full stretch of sleep without stopping by our bed at numerous intervals– but suddenly we seem to have gotten on the same wave length. And he who has never been one to be effusive with his affections (unless directed to his daddy dearest) is suddenly prone to showering me with love. At any given time I can hear him state, for no significant reason (other than to fill a silence perhaps, as he does seem to dislike those) “Mummy, I love you so much” or “I need a cuddle with you on the lounge” where as before I was lucky to get a mere glance of approval cast my way. It is as if we have just been on a bad blind date for a few years and now are suddenly seeing each other through renewed eyes.
During this bitter stretch of winter I also count my lucky stars that I am no longer being subjected to standing on an open-to-the-elements train platform at 7am when its 1 degree out, or spending 4 hours of my day subject to the joys of travelling via public transport. But I counter it by cursing the fact there is often only me around to take charge of such unfortunate parenting tasks as cleaning Master H’s teeth. On most occasions I am certain DOCS are going to be called, such are the screams of indignation this simple act causes him…
So while I’ll continue miss the people from my past corporate life, and now wield our family budget with an iron fist, what I have gotten back from this whole experience is starting to reveal it as far more precious. I can breathe again; the foggy fear of forgetfulness, because of juggling too many balls is fading; a connection with my new community keeps growing – dinner with new mummy friends, playdates at the park with other families and a sense I might finally be starting to belong…Throw into the mix the fact I am able to dedicate some long overdue time into working on my own dreams and goals and the upheaval is now starting to look more like a blessing in disguise.