So two quite big things have happened recently. My young daughter started nursery and my mother retired, literally on the same day. Two massive milestones in a persons life which have happened to two people that mean the most.
The start of nursery sees the start of the education chain, where from now on, their day to day existence for most of the year revolves around a institutionalised environment where we just hope they come out the other side still wanting to learn and play. It is the start of a journey that traditionally will accumulate in ‘retiring’. A school is a place where they will make choices (bad ones) make friends (good ones) have crushes (terrible ones) and eventually move on through the cycle of study that will one day lead them to what they are meant to do with their life…..and the changes are happening so quickly. She is already mistakenly calling me by her friends name, she wants her hair styled like another girl in her class and when I ask her what she did in school, she responds with ‘I can’t remember’…..
Where as my Mum has just come through the cycle of study and work and out the other end and she did very well. She trained as a midwife and delivered babies (which I think is just such a awesome job) she worked in a hospital as a nurse,she has worked for large corporate organisations dealing with health, she has worked in schools as a nurse and finally she worked for the police (in between all this she worked for Laura Ashley when she couldn’t find a job..but I think this was really for the staff discount). My mum worked, always, since she left school and now she doesn’t work, she has ‘retired’ and a new adapting phase begins. I think she is doing well. I was expecting daily/hourly phone calls from her with Jeremy Kyle blaring in the background but as of yet we have barely spoken, she is busy….busier than she was when she was working.. which is exactly what I say to people when they ask me how things are now I am not ‘working’ full time…
So I am currently in the middle. I have ‘semi – retired’ (which according to the dictionary means to ‘withdraw from a professional career) from a career as a school teacher (that in itself sounds dated..educational mind shifter) and with that comes the feeling of change, fear, loss and I have started a new career in the shape of EsmeLoves jewellery which is a passion and a personal joy to do…but I feel like I am in the nursery school of business and branding (making bad/good choices, trying to put my hand up to get the teacher to notice me) So I empathise with both my daughter and my mother…I am the mummy in the middle.
Attending a mothers meeting business event yesterday brought into me contact with so many other mothers and women who are out there, starting again, redefining themselves in a new role, whether it is because their current career doesn’t support the ideal working hours for mums (see flex appeal and Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka for the amazing work on this matter) or whether it is because they feel different, changed in some way that has led to a new business idea, opens a new door, one thing is clear, there is a new ‘middle’ phase of women out there, not starting out, not retiring, just redefining.