When my youngest daughter started school last year, I couldn't believe my luck! I had spent the past 9 years tending children's needs, both physical and emotional. Finally! Some time for myself!
I savoured my time at home alone and took the time to pursue interests that had been on the back burner for so long. After a few months had gone by, I started to get a nagging feeling...like people were expecting more of me. "Why hasn't she gone back to work yet", "Doesn't she get bored?" or the classic...."What do you DO all day?".
I loved my time at home and suddenly I was feeling guilty about it. Why is there an expectation for woman to go back to work the minute their children are all at school? Don't we do valuable work in the home, albeit unpaid, but still necessary for the home to run smoothly? Shouldn't we be encouraging and supporting those who chose to live this way?
Don't get me wrong, I take my hat off to working mums (and dads!), but I know that right now it is not for me. Thankfully we are (just) in a financial position to do so. Maybe one day work will be for me. Right now I am content to nurture the home and those in it. I resent the fact that there is a social expectation to do otherwise. After the feelings of guilt came about, I started doubting myself. Was my idea to lead a slower paced life just an excuse for being lazy? Was that how other people saw me?
But the thing is, I'm not lazy. I'm not sitting on my butt all day watching trashy reality tv. I'm Busy. I'm Doing. I'm actively nurturing the home, even if those who are in the home happen to be out from 9 till 3:30pm every weekday. This is great! It allows me to Get. Stuff. Done!
Reading Rhonda's blog is really helpful if you are finding yourself in this same predicament. She puts the sense back into why people are choosing to slow down. I'm so glad I stumbled over her little space a few months ago. I may well be in a lost space right now if I hadn't (either that or back at work). Hop on over and take a look if you haven't already.
I feel I know myself a little better now. I have come to the realisation that there will always be those out there that expect more. This doesn't worry me like it used to, let them expect. It's not their life, it's mine and right now it belongs in the home, which I'm really proud about.