What happens when your ‘children’ become grown ups
This is the card I got for my youngest son this week at he turned 19! We bought the card as joke which he loved, but as I keep looking at it the reality has hit home. It’s got me thinking about what happens when your children become grown ups.
My eldest son is 21 and is still away at uni. My youngest decided against the uni route. He is working part time to enable him to do as much solo travel as possible before deciding what he wants to do.
I’m extremely proud of how both my boys have grown and support them fully in choosing their own paths to walk down.
However, for me as a mum it’s bittersweet. I literally have ‘grown ups’ now instead of children, and with that comes a level of enforced ‘mum redundancy’ as they branch out and need us less. I have much more time for ME and whatever that entails and this year I have really struggled with that if I’m honest. It got me thinking about what happens when your children become grown ups.
My chronic illness and chronic pain have stopped me conventionally working for many years. From one day to the next I’m not quite sure if my body will work properly and therefore having a 9-5 style job just isn’t possible.
That slowly over the years led me down the blogging route which I did as a hobby only while the kids went through their teens. It gave me focus and a purpose and over the years has led to some great opportunities and online connections.
When, by complete chance, I landed a social media management client I knew I had to take the chance to go self employed and make it more of a business. Thankfully taking that leap has paid off over the last 18 months. My main client has grown from just social media management to something more of a PA style role which has allowed me to make more business connections locally.
I’m also now writing reviews for London theatre Reviews for Fringe Theatre productions – again something that came about through online connections.
The ‘work’ fits in perfectly with the unpredictability of my illness and pain levels. I mean no one sees that I may still be in my pj’s having a rough day when I’m answering a query for a client online. I don’t have to be in a particular workplace at a certain time 5 days a week ( that would break my body completely).
There is no commute to contemplate as that would already see me exhausted let alone face a full working day. On the occasions I have to accompany a client to a meeting or networking event I can adjust my routine to allow for the activity. I make sure to create the down time to deal with the inevitable fatigue and pain fallout.
In truth, I absolutely love where my online ‘work’ is taking me and the connections and opportunities it is placing my way. I hope that continues to grow over the next few years. It’s a nice feeling that people will pay me to write words or create content depending on what they need at the time.
So far I’ve created and managed social media accounts. I’ve created CV’s, written articles, written reviews for events. And now I also review London Fringe theatre too.
I’ve created client applications for local Business awards, which subsequently won Retailer of the Year in 2018. I was asked to be a judge for the Love Your Local Business category at the 2019 local business awards on behalf of my client. This entailed prepping and undertaking 10 business interviews and creating the business feedback for those interviews.
Please don’t even ask how I managed to get up in front of 300 people to help present the award with my client for the category. I still haven’t worked that out myself.
In November 2019 I was also contracted to help a client organise a huge local charity bash and fashion show in aid of our local Mayor’s charity appeal. This event was so well attended and enjoyed that my client raised over £3000 for that charity alone.
So, it’s fairly safe to say my line of work is VERY varied!
It’s also safe to say I LOVE IT.
But truth be told, without my now work commitments I think I would be struggling big time with the reality of the statement on the card above. It struck me hard this week actually, as the card is sitting in our living room reminding me every time I walk past.
I also have a few friends in the same boat at the minute. Struggling with letting go, struggling with moving on, struggling with the enforced ‘mum redundancy’ and therefore struggling with what our role is now regards to being a mum. It doesn’t help that I am hurtling towards 50 at a rapid rate of knots and have all the usual life doubts that that brings.
Goodness only knows what I will be like when they are finally in a position to move out into their own homes. But we live in Greater London, so the chances on them getting on the property ladder anytime soon is probably less than winning the lottery. So I think I’m safe from that for a while at least.
Are you in the same position or have you been through this? How are you coping with the change? I really would love to know