Monday, 26 January 2009


I've been reading Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck and finding much help and comfort. I've read quite a lot of self-development books and have found a fair proportion of them annoying due to the author adopting a smug and superior tone, but I really like Martha's way of writing. She's funny, and reveals wry stories of how she has failed and achieved in her own life, which make you feel that she's a friend who really understands.
As a result of reading and thinking and thinking some more, I've come up with some thoughts for possible future careers, and one I'm really interested in researching right now is antenatal teaching. The largest organisation that does this seems to be the NCT (National Childbirth Trust). They seem to be an organisation that some people have some issues with, and I must admit that I have never been involved with them having found them, on a short acquaintance some years ago in a different town, a bit snooty. Anyway, I'm thinking about it as I think it might be something I'd enjoy, the only current stumbling block is the training - finding money for it and also the fact that it involves a couple of residential weekends. Both these issues mean it's out of the question right now, but I suppose both could be got around with some planning.
We are now a couple of weeks into our 'experiment' of having no-one in the house with a full-time job and it does seem to be releasing us both to think about what we'd really like to do and how we might go about that. I feel the creativity is flowing in the house much better than it has for months. If only we were independently wealthy and could drift around like this indefinitely, it's so nice having my husband around all the time. The kids are really benefiting too.

Saturday, 24 January 2009


So, some creativity is returning. My husband, read his blog, is running a Creative Writing for Self Expression workshop at our local new age shop on 26th February between 7pm and 9pm. If anyone is local and fancies an evening of digging within to re-discover their creativity, I can heartily recommend him!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Times of Change

Right, I'm finally starting to feel better, but what a slog it's been! And straightaway we're thrown into a period of change as my husband is now without a job as of last week. Trying to look at this in a positive frame of mind, I think it's a good thing as it allows us to re-assess what he wants to do i life and what I want to do in life and how we might move a little closer towards that. But it is also frustrating as we obviously also have to cover the bills and I'm always amazed and down-hearted at just how big those bills are - even when we try to live as frugally as possible, never buy anything new, re-use, recycle and all that kind of stuff. I suppose I always forget that there are 4 of us (and the cat!) now. In my head it's still 1992 and only me.
So, given that in theory, we could do anything, what do we choose to do to make a living? Argh! It's too hard. I don't know what I want to do when I grow up! I think I'm pretty good at seeing to the kids and the house, so that has to remain my main priority, and I do have my current job for AQA but it's barely more than minimum wage and I would really like to do something a bit more skilled and fulfilling, as well as a bit better paid. I'm interested in training as a doula but that's not very compatible with being the main carer for 2 home educated children so I guess that ahs to go on the back burner until the children are pretty much independent during the day - 10 or so years probably.
I've looked into doing classes for Tatty Bumpkin but I don't think it's really me. What I really fancy is working on a one-to-one basis with people helping them to change their lives for the better and supporting them through changes, helping them come up with ideas and choosing the ones which suit them best. I think maybe (?) I might be good at this, I certainly do it regularly on an informal basis with friends. I guess this is what's called 'life coaching' which is an awful new agey kind of name which makes me cringe. But I don;t know how to get into it - you don;t need any qualifications to set yourself up as a life coach, but obviously, if I was going to do this, I'd want to do it properly and be a respectable one. There are so many charlatans out there offering courses in ti though that it's hard to tell the wood from the trees. And it's also potentially expensive and time-consuming to train. And would anyone actually pay me real money for my services when I was qualified? I don;t know. I'm needing to do a lot more research and am feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. How to fit everything in? And it doesn't really help with the original question of how to sort out our currently working lives so that we're all happier and we also pay the bills. Sigh. Thank you for bearing with this long ramble...

Monday, 12 January 2009

Bad HE Mum

I feel like I'm failing the children this week and it's not just the usual 'new year, new regime' kind of thing. I've been ill, seemingly constantly, since late November and instead of feeling better, I'm iller than ever. I'm not one to say I've got flu when I have a cold - in fact I've only ever had flu once in my life - but I'm starting to wonder if I've got it again now, at least a mild dose. I can't shake this cough, my chest is tight, my nose and sinuses are blocked, I'm feverish and achey, and just so damned tired all the time that I'm really finding it hard to pull out that energy the children require of me. I'm particularly upset that I can't read to them - usually we sit and read together a lot - but my throat is so sore and has been for over a week that I just can't right now. Just getting out all the craft things seems a huge effort right now. I'm feeling completely sorry for myself!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Good HE Mum

Well, despite being ill, ill and then ill again just for a change over the solstice, christmas and new year, I pulled myself together, got out the new science at home book we got for christmas and forced myself to do some of those messy, time-consuming and fun projects that the kids love and that parents wish they had never started, about halfway through. So, we have made cornflour and water to study the weird properties of non-Newtonian liquids (behave like a liquid if you're gentle with them but like a solid if you whack them hard with a spoon - but, hey, of course you knew that!). And also made a hot-air ballon out of tissue paper, paper clips and with a hair-dryer! As you do!
I'm tired now, can I go and have a little lie down? *totters off*