I’ve certainly been asking myself that for a while now. I’m a mum of 2 boys but they are now 20 and 17 (almost18), finding their own independence, as one is at uni and the other is at 6th form and also working a part time job. I have been married for 24 years and my hubby is a shift worker so that means I now spend the majority of my time alone! Due to my illness and chronic pain I’m no longer able to work a conventional job (I was a driving instructor), but I’m lucky that blogging and running social media accounts can be done in pj’s even on a bad day if necessary.
Yet when the boys where younger my life was busy (illness or not) with after school clubs, kids parties, meeting up with friends in the holidays etc, and although I am still officially a taxi service, a cook and a bank, my life is much more subdued. That in itself gives you time…………………..LOTS of time! Time to ponder and think about your own role in life. Yes I am still a wife and a mum but I am also ME. So, with 48 looming very quickly (and my hubby turning 50 last year!) I am starting to think about my time. How do I want to spend my time now my kids are off doing their own thing most of the time? Obviously my illness plays a huge part in what I am able to do day by day. I cant exercise conventionally therefore joining a gym is not an option. I have in recent years started dressmaking classes which I love and will continue to do. But what about the rest of the time?
I was talking recently with a friend, who also has boys of a similar age, how different it can be to those who may have girls in their house. Girls when they hit 18 are more likely to go to still want to do things with you as a mum……….afternoon teas, meals out, drinking cocktails just because etc, but the boys………………….not so much. Another friend made me laugh when she said her 18yr old daughter would happily go to the opening of a paper bag if it meant a night out, a freebie drink or a meal lol- yet her son of the same age- he’s off climbing mountains and cycling the country somewhere and not interested at all in doing something together. So, I do feel it is a little worse for us with grown up boys in that regard. When they were younger teens I would search out things to do and places to visit that were quirky or interesting and being a 30 minute train ride out of London there was a lot to chose from. But as they’ve got older they are much less interested which is a natural course to take. They are off with their friends happily doing their own thing and I totally respect that.
That definitely leaves a HUGE gap in my life. I feel a definite empty nest syndrome closing in. With the big 50 approaching in a few years it can almost make you feel like your life is just passing you by. A lot of that feeling definitely stems from having chronic illness though, as it determines day by day how much or little I am able to do. Having had it now for almost 10 years though I feel like a total pro in managing it. Yes, there are times I push myself way too much and pay for it big time afterwards (which could last days or even weeks) but generally it’s for things that I want to do, or the fact that everything happens at once instead of being nicely spread out over the month. However, I don’t want that to just be what I do. So, like I said after talking to a friend with boys of the same age we have decided that instead of trying to coax any of them to do things they wouldn’t be interested in, I mean what’s the bloody point in that as it just makes everyone unhappy, but to go together as friends. So I’m talking about experiences, special afternoon teas, going for cocktails, finding quirky places to visit and probably all in London as we are so close, and there is so much on offer. I literally saw an offer the other day for a meal and a cocktail in one of those Ice Bars in London for £29, which was what initially got me thinking. If I was to drag my hubby along it would end up being a very expensive evening, but if I went with a mate it would be affordable and I would have a proper laugh as I know she would also WANT to go rather than feel she has to go ( which would be the hubster as some of the things I would love just wouldn’t be his cup of tea!).
Anyway, long story short (after all of the rambling) is that I will be scouring good old Groupon and Wowcher ( no this is not an ad they just do some great deals and I have used them many times) for some ideas of things to do in London and writing about it. Strangely enough she is also a Mrs B so it’ll be like the random adventures of the 2 Mrs B’s, grabbing life with both hands and seeing what experiences and good times we can come up with and embrace along the way.
So, if you have found yourself in a similar position please let me know and leave a link to your blog/ social media so I can come and give you a follow. I would love to hear about how you now fill your time, or alternatively if you’ve done something or gone somewhere in London you would suggest we visit as a start to our adventures then please let me know in the comments.