I’m nearly half way into this course, and I can’t see myself continuing on with it this year. I can’t see myself completing the ‘projects’ for the end of this term, frankly, but I won’t go into my issues with the way it is being taught, etc, etc, right now.
The big problem is that I’m struggling for large blocks of time to give to it, and when it comes down to it, my family gets priority every time.
The other week I saw a job ad that, unusually, had me thinking ‘I could do that!’ (Self esteem issues, yep.) Apart from the course commitments, the main thing that stopped me applying was my ‘want’ for flexibility. Short of some employer grovelling for me to come and work for them totally on my terms (dream on,Tracey!) I don’t know that I even want a ‘real job’. How on earth do you apply for a job, then ask for time off for this, and time off for that. In the real world? Ain’t gonna happen.
We’ve just been away for 5 days – a 1400 km return trip – to watch Ms 16 and her team play in a three day state netball tournament. Perhaps I should have stayed home to ‘work/study’ but the thought never entered my head. And if I had a ‘normal’ job, it would have been hard to swing.
We do it all again for Ms 13 in a month’s time but again, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. M. and I have also planned ourselves a little 5 day getaway on our tandem immediately after that, and it would take something pretty spectacular to stop us going ahead with that.
I was thinking about all this in the light of a recent blog post by Potty Mummy. (A plea for women to support each other’s choices, basically.) Well, that’s not quite true – I think about it all the time, because the truth is that I don’t need to be slagged off by Alpha career women over my choice to be a SAHM. I constantly give myself a hard time over the fact that I am still not working. Heavens above, my kids are 16, 13 and 10 – what is wrong with me?! Surely they don’t need me around like preschoolers and toddlers do.
Well, mostly they don’t. They are indeed at school from 9-3, and I can afford to be home late some days. But they are also all involved in many after school activities, and someone needs to get them there. Our choice, again. (And a factor of where we live in that there aren’t any other transport options.) They don’t have do what they do, but I would rather they were doing something active than slothing around on the computers, watching tv, or roaming the streets. (They seem to fit in quite enough of the slothing as it is!)
Personal circumstances are that I have no back up from extended family to pick up some of the slack (or do some of the taxi runs), and that’s ok. I’m not complaining – I’m just explaining!
I used to do a bit more at the primary school (I’ve done home reading, I’ve done canteen), but lately I’ve pulled away a bit. I haven’t got involved in the high school at all – I suppose I’ve been trying to work towards a situation where, by the time the youngest gets to high school, I won’tt be feeling obliged to match any involvement at school to what I’d ‘given’ the older two. And maybe, just maybe, I would have time to get a job, during school hours at least.
And then up crops a situation like this week. Today both the eldest girls are involved in a school netball match that requires private transport. Last time this happened it was on a TAFE day, so I couldn’t and another parent drove. This week I felt it was my turn. So there goes today.
And then Ms 10 came home yesterday with a school note about private transport for a school netball match for them on Friday! Again, last time I couldn’t help out, so this time I feel like I should. I could. And I wanted to.
So there goes the rest of my week, and any chance of focusing on TAFE work. Don’t get me wrong. In both cases I want to be able to contribute. It’s just all about choice, and priorities. And I am fortunate indeed that I do have a choice.
And you know, even with schools, some things for kids just don’t happen without the voluntary support and participation of parents, and it is fortunate that there are parents around either without jobs, or with flexible or part time jobs that can pick up the slack.