Time flies when you’re having fun. Even more so when you close your eyes for just a second and you wake up a few hours later to find that it’s dark and you haven’t prepared supper yet. Why do husbands and kids have to eat all the time?
For two weeks I’ve experienced more than one of those rare occasions when I “accidentally” napped. Bad idea it was to close my eyes for a second, but it seems my body just needed it. Getting up has been a battle of sorts too. You would think that the excitement of going to work (yes work! I’ll tell you more about that in a minute) would have me jumping out of bed and rushing to get to the office. Instead, I have been in slow mode and didn’t really know how to do any of it anymore. No amount of planning had me prepared for the actual ‘doing’. It had me wondering how I coped before as a working mother. The struggle is real people. Guess I’ve been home for too long.
About my new job… As some of you may know, I’ve been struggling on the work front for a while and it had me on an all time low. Two weeks ago I decided to commit myself to volunteer at a non profit organization and started working at their offices. It’s not a full time position, in fact it’s only two or three days per week. Two to three days more than enough to make me realize that getting into work mode is going to be a lot tougher than I thought.
The organization I chose is one very close to my heart. They provide access to quality education to underprivileged scholars. It’s not a financial institution that just hands kids a scholarship and expect the kids to perform. No sirree. They walk alongside these kids and have workshops and tutoring sessions with them as well as being actively involved with the kids. The scholars learn some mighty important life lessons during their school career. Although studies are important, they round the kids off and prepare them for life. One of the lessons kids learn, is the importance of giving back to the community and this is achieved by volunteering. It’s a requirement and each scholar has to complete 20 hours of volunteer work per year.
I firmly believe that you don’t always have to have money to give people, these days the gift of your time and effort is very important. Albeit helping an elderly neighbour by running a few errands, assisting at a Vet or another form of official charity work. This was one of the main reasons why I chose to commit myself to this particular organization. The fact that I can still be of assistance to them in a Virtual Assistant capacity is another bonus point. So when I’m not at their offices (and getting dressed is optional) I can still be of value to them while doing my freelancing work. The best of both worlds don’t you think?
Slowly easing my way back into the working world and society as well as preparing my family for my absence from home in future is much more than I could have asked for. Thankfully so, because contrary to what I believed, I don’t think my body would be able to handle the shock of working full time at a moment’s notice. Although I do believe that my kids will adapt to having a working mom again, I quite prefer us
taking baby steps as opposed to the chaos that would erupt in Jonkersville when I do get a permanent position at a moment’s notice.
Then there’s this thing about choosing an outfit to wear, whether or not to apply make up, commuting to work, packing lunch and a whole lot of things working moms do. Geez, the list is endless. Hopefully now, my stomach will get the memo that winter is long gone and I don’t have to binge. Boy did I miss all of that. It’s going to take a while before I actually start wearing more than a little gloss on my lips. Which I completely forgot about this morning. Oh well…
In conclusion, this is what I re-established and learned about the new me:
- I’ve realized how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to make this transition. It is an opportunity denied to many.
I’m not a salaried employee, BUT you guys, no amount of money right now will give me that warm fuzzy feeling I feel, knowing that I’m helping to make a difference however small it may be. Yes I know some people are saying I should be concentrating my efforts on finding a
real job, and No I can’t afford to be doing this instead of a real job, but hey salaried employment hasn’t come my way yet.
Do not apply nail polish at night. You’ll lose a bit of sleep while waiting for it to dry. Or risk it getting smudged and you’ll have to repeat the process in the morning or just waste time removing it
because who has time for nails in the morning? Something I seemed to have forgotten.
Life hasn’t changed much since I was last part of the working class. People are still complaining about the same things (horrible bosses, low income, office politics etc.) and desperately seeking alternate employment while not being able to make ends meet. Looking in from the other side I see a grim view of what my life was like almost two years
ago. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Not a great picture. “Count your blessings people” is what I really want to tell them. Being employed is a privilege these days.
As much as my family loves having me home, I can tell that it’s a welcome break for them. Sadly they need their space too. On the flip side, they seem to be happier to see me and appreciate me more now.
Remembering to apply anti-perspirant in the morning is a thing now. Not that I have an odour problem, but it’s warm out and I’d really hate to be “that smelly woman”.
A smile may not be the best make up a woman can wear. Certainly not when you’re commuting. Ok maybe smiling with old ladies is doable, but the rest is a no go. Young women will much rather roll their eyes and think there’s something wrong with you. Young men will think you’re flirting. Older men will think you’re implying that they still have it
going on. It’s really a no win situation.
Headphones are essential. That is unless you want to listen to music blaring from different people’s earphones. Did I mention it’s bad music?
Lastly, “Mirror, mirror, blindspot, mirror” does not just pertain to driving. Thank goodness I haven’t lost touch with reality altogether and always remember to take note of everything. We need to be aware of our surroundings at all times especially when travelling with public
transport. Keith has drilled this in my head countless times and I’m always hyper alert whenever I’m anywhere. It’s kind of a wonder that I’m not paranoid about it. There are some pretty freaky people out on the street. And by freaky I mean all the wolves dressed in sheep’s
So it supposedly takes three weeks for a habit to form. This is my third week as a “working” mom so it should get better from here right?
Celeste, you are on the right track! I always advised my candidates who were struggling to find a job, to volunteer at an NPO in their community, not only are you keeping your skills alive, but you are engaging with real people, making a difference, and it always looks good on a CV when a potential employee sees that you’ve not just been at home, but that you’re actually “working” while looking for paid opportunities.
And yes, you have to be aware of your surroundings and a smile is lovely, but sometimes I’ve noticed men smile at me weirdly and they creep me out!
You are so right about keeping skills alive. While I’ve been keeping busy with freelancing it’s actually not the same as engaging with people. Being able to utilize my full potential is a great feeling. Makes me wonder why I didn’t start sooner.
This is definitely something I’d advise anyone else to do. It’s also a great way of acquiring new skills. We’re never too old to learn.
There are some real weirdos out there hey so I feel your pain. Lol
Wow it’s quite a transition… I also think about this… good luck, working mom!
Thank you Heather 🙂
How very very awesome. I so badly want to get more involved with NGO’s. I am on the santa shoebox committee but its really not very time consuming and really only a once a year thing!
It’s difficult to choose which NGO’s to devote your time to. The needs are great all over.
I think that it’s great that you’re on the santa shoebox committee. It’s a cause I support too. We have great fun wrapping the boxes and filling it up. Sharing those experiences with my kids and seeing their enthusiasm and emotions run riot is priceless. A real pity we can’t save the whole world.
What a lovely positive step. I have done quite a lot of volunteer work and now that I am in the running for a job, my volunteer work also stands as a reference. It won’t take long to adjust
Prayer said, fingers crossed and sending lots of luck your way. Let me know how it goes.