A month or ago I had to finally shut down my small, work-from-home business. It had been running for over a decade, and had never made a lot of money, but it had been nice to have some income of my own. It also helped me keep a finger in the industry I had worked in Before Kids.
Over the years, the paperwork and regulations concerning the materials I used in my job had multiplied and became more demanding. Finally it got to the point where I was going to have to spend a lot of money to comply. This was money that I probably wouldn’t earn back, and I wasn’t confident that the organisation that makes the rules won’t make things even more difficult in the future. So I finally caved, thanked all my loyal clients, got rid of my stock and closed the business.
Life does seem more empty without it. It was part of who I was and now I am ‘just’ a SAHM. Not that there is anything wrong with being a SAHM of course. it’s just I liked having this extra string to my bow.
And ironically, this has happened just as the kids got older. I have two in secondary school now, and two well established in primary school so I finally have time to do some work without resorting to child care. But of course, like a lot of mums out there, I only want to work school hours and as little as possible during the school holidays. Basically, I need to join the queue!
I’ve looked into going back to my previous job full time but even if I could find work, the childcare would be prohibitive. I also think it’s important for my children that I’m at home for them after school. Also I’m not that keen on working for other people.
I’ve looked into working at a school but to be honest, I’m not that that fond of other people’s kids. Sometimes I don’t even like mine very much!
I’ve looked into seasonal retail work, but the hours are tricky and again I’d need reliable childcare. DH works long hours and isn’t usually home before 8pm.
So here I am with some free time and a work void. I’m not bored.The kids may be in school, but I have dogs to walk and a house to sort out. books to read and some writing to do. Even on a school day, I still do at least 7 hours childcare. I’m not sitting around all day doing nothing and don’t have time to get bored.
But now and again, when I do slow down, I find myself thinking ‘What now?’ Because surely this isn’t all there is to my life?
I know I can’t just sit here and wait for something to fall into my lap; life isn’t like that.
But I sure could do with a clue about where to start looking.