Monday, 23 April 2007

I just don't know what to do with myself

The media are still blethering on about the deaths in Virginia. The British media have sent some of their best and brightest to Virginia to try to make sense out of something that is senseless. This was a troubled and disturbed boy who grew to be a troubled and disturbed young man. The gun-control laws in the States are a sham and have been for a very long time. The mental health system also has problems. All these things came together in a great big tragedy. Could it have been prevented? Possibly. I pray for all those involved.

Today my son went back to school after being off for a whole week. I've never kept him off school that long. However, because I was suffering myself, I had a bit more sympathy for his pain. I miss him being here, though. Because my husband works in London all week, and I'm holding up the fort at home, we both have a lot of loneliness, but at different times of the day. I'm on my own all day, my husband faces the loneliness at night. Who's to say which is worse. I like to think it's mine. Hubby gets lots of kudos from colleagues and clients all day plus the office banter. I haven't had office banter in 15 years when I left my job to move over here. My day picks up when the kids come home from school. Then it's homework, dinner, places to take them, baths, bedtime. I don't get kudos for that because that's what a mother does, unless she hires someone else to do it for her. If the kids don't do well in school or life, it's because I haven't done something right. I haven't fed them the rights foods or vitamins. I let them stay up too late (my husband's favourite). I'm too hard or too soft on them.

I'm not having a dig at working mothers either. No mother ever seems to get it right. And the biggest critics are other mothers. I don't work and I have stayed at home with my kids. That doesn't make me a martyr or an idle cow. That is just how it worked out for my family. There have been many times I wished I hadn't given up my career. No regrets about having children though. I wasn't planning to be a stay-at-home mom. No, I was going to be a career woman and there was no way I was going to stay at home with my children and eat bon-bons (yes, those were my words). I've eaten those words (though not the bon-bons, which I don't like anyway).

Now at 47 I look ahead and think no one will hire me now. I'm too young for a pension and too old for most employers. I do want to work but whatever it is will have to be something I start up myself. And though my children are older, they still need me around. The answer to what to do with the rest of my life will come eventually.

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