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  • Writer's pictureLorna J Westley

My House is Spotless and My Brain is Mush

The kids are at school; you have time on your hands and don’t know what to do. Your house is sparkling clean, the washing is folded, the ironing put away and dinner is cooking in the oven but the truth is, you really don’t care. You could just sit on the couch and read a magazine but that doesn’t do it for you either. You’re not sure who you are anymore or where you fit in to your family or the community.

You want to go back to work, contribute and be a valuable member of society but your self-esteem is low, you are lacking confidence and you’re not even sure what you’re capable of doing. You feel empty, confused, insecure and worthless. You might even feel resentful of your partner for having a life outside of the house and family that you don’t. You just know that you need something else, something more, something different, but what?

Firstly, let me reassure you that it is okay to be feeling like this and very common amongst mothers who are contemplating re-entering the work force. Fear of facing the unknown often outweighs the excitement of chasing a dream. It is the reason that many mothers remain contemplating and avoid actually doing anything to change the status quo.

Transition at this stage of your life is very different from in your youth when you were single, commitment-free and green. After being absent from the workplace for an extended period to concentrate on raising your children, you find that your priorities have changed and your life purpose has shifted. You acknowledge your mortality and reflect on the gap between the reality of your life and the dreams you once had. You want this chapter of your life to be worthy, inspiring and meaningful and the importance of status, success, money and meeting the expectations of others has diminished somewhat. This is your time to do what you really want to do because you now realise that you won’t get another chance.

What better time than right now to do something you have always wanted to do? This is your opportunity to turn your dreams into realities. The possibilities are endless but perhaps just a little daunting or intimidating too…

Why do you want to go back to work? "Brain rot", boredom and lack of adult stimulation at home may be an important reason but not necessarily the only one. It may be financial. Maybe the children are older and you are looking for something to satisfy your own needs and help to fill a void. For some, working is intertwined with your identity and is directly related to your sense of significance, certainty, growth and development as an individual. Being a viable, contributing (paying) member of society is essential for many women’s self-esteem. For others, it may simply be your way of connecting to the greater world.

Imagine yourself in one year’s time when you have successfully made the transition back into the workforce and are enjoying the wonderful new life that you have created for yourself. See how happy and radiant you look, hear the laughter and enthusiasm in your voice and feel the warm glow of confidence, motivation and empowerment as it radiates through your body. Look back to now. Look back to this moment and realise that this was the life-changing moment when you stepped up to the plate, embraced the uncertainty, seized the adventure and decided that right now is the time, your time, to start living a life that you love!

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