Jobs…what do I want to do? How is it that I still have no idea? I am half way through my working life already! I have been so lucky to fall into these wonderful opportunities that have taken my exciting places and enabled me to meet and work with so many fascinating people. And some plonkers. Yet I still struggle to define exactly what I’m interested in. Or more precisely, to refine my interests into a succinct and realistic sentence. Think, in no particular order: youth, development, health, travel, community building, fundraising, communication, general talking, writing, welfare, education, social enterprises, charities, changing the world, blah blah blah. See, a little on the broad side.
Aside from a few years of the usual casual babysitting, I started paid employment from aged 16 and continued in one form or another until Squeak was born, 2 years ago. Simultaneously, I always had my hand in some volunteer work that usually complimented my paid work. Now however, I find myself itching to get back into earning my keep and not really knowing where to start. Yes I have some translating and teaching work still gently floating in, but they don’t set my heart on fire.
So what’s the problem?
- I find myself scanning over jobs based on the principle that they are 3-4 days a week and within an hours drive, maximum. That’s my main criteria. Which pretty much cuts out 99.9% anyway (oh Amsterdam, you are just too far away right now…). That’s the first issue.
- The next issue is, my health. And by that I mean both the fact that typing is problematic (see hand in wrist bog references) yet needed in 100% jobs I’m interested in, and that it is has been so long since I did a ‘full days’ work I have no idea how my body is going to react. Note: I’m not scared of it, just a bit clueless.
- I have been in the lucky (yet sometimes infuriating) position of being a stay-at-home mum for my kids. Now that Bubble is at school I have a deep guilt even when I start daydreaming about jobs, as it will basically mean Squeak being in daycare for the majority of his week. Whilst there are many many advantages for him, and I sure do not think he would not be in anyway damaged by it, I am in general, giving him a different mother/son experience than with the first born. And this feels inherently unfair.
- Gravy’s work schedule is so muddled and unregulated that I will have to continue being solely responsible for the kids. Yes, he helps out when he is around, but it is irregular and unreliable (the timings, not him). This puts an added pressure on me to work school friendly hours (as well as 3 days, close proximity etc), or for me to earn enough to cover before and after school care costs, as well as point 3 above, the fundamental ‘mother’s guilt’.
- Funnily enough, I don’t see the ‘language’ issue as a big deal. My bilingualism is good enough for now and all of the above seem to pose bigger obstacles than being able to write scientific reports in fluent Dutch.
However, all is not lost. I am definitely feeling more together than I was during that first year of having 2-under-2, and I am certainly up for a challenge. I just need to give myself a bit of a jump-start. Or at least, pick a direction to look forwards in.
And lets face it; it could be a whole lot worse now. I could be in the USA.
Coming up, sometime in the near future, hopefully…the solutions!
On a lighter, happier note – This was a post-school hug on the playground. These boys rock my world.