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Spent my 30's having children. What happens next?

(95 Posts)
MojoWanted Mon 09-Feb-15 22:31:40

Hi there.

Name changed for this one. Bit of a silly title but I don't really know how to word what I am feeling. It feels like a blinked and went from celebrating my 30th birthday to approaching my 40th in less than a year.

I have 4 kids, from 3 months to 8 yrs old. Life is busy, but 2 are at school.

I felt excited at first at the prospect of no more pregnancies, being able to think about myself and what I want to do next. Now I just feel overwhelmed, angry, hugely f***ing fed up, slightly depressed in a 'blues' way not a 'can't get out of bed way'.

How did you deal with this change from producing babies and being a stay at home mum, to needing/wanting to do more or at least have a plan once you had finished having babies?

I know many out there will have kept their careers going, but I'm aiming this at those who didn't, like me. I would love to return to work but don't know where to start. At almost 40 I can't afford to make the wrong decision. Looking at GCSE courses today and I can't even make any sense of it all .....

Mrsjayy Mon 09-Feb-15 22:41:18

I started having children in my early 20s mine are way older than yours I did short courses I volunteer I diddle about,I can't work full time I have health problems.

life after babies is a weird feeling isn't it? You feel redundant almost but it is ok to feel like that if that is how you are feeling
now you need to get out of that rut, do you want to go to work you could try and get an evening job or just find something you want to do or enjoy. There is life after babies you are not just your childrens mum

Mrsjayy Mon 09-Feb-15 22:43:36

Your baby is only teeny are you sure you are fed up or do you think you might be depressed

MojoWanted Mon 09-Feb-15 23:43:50

No, I honestly do not think it's depression. Some days I'm very upbeat and positive but I sometimes have 3-4 days in a row where I just feel fed up and can't get excited about anything. It's boredom too.

I do want to return to work. I am even thinking about working towards a degree. I have this desire to prove I am clever and not just a baby making machine. That's how I feel at the moment. Prove to myself and to others. I should not care what others think but I do. I hate being ignored when the conversation turns to work. I achieved a lot in my career in my 20's, but people seem to have forgotten.

rootypig Mon 09-Feb-15 23:45:17

What did you do in your 20s, OP? and did you enjoy it?

MojoWanted Mon 09-Feb-15 23:49:07

Something creative. I LOVED it. But it didn't prove my intelligence. I was fairly high up within a well known company but the job would be considered a flouncy job that anyone could do by most academics! You see I seem to be stuck in this rut of thinking, I am nearly 40 and need to have something to show I am intelligent! For me, for those around me, for my kids when they're older. I don't want them to think I was only ever a whimsical creative type with no actual brains.

MojoWanted Mon 09-Feb-15 23:49:52

I realise how stupid this all sounds . . . . .

GoofyIsACow Mon 09-Feb-15 23:53:30

I don't think it sounds stupid at all, i am place marking because i must sleep but i feel exactly the same!
I will return grin

Sn00p4d Mon 09-Feb-15 23:57:14

I think, personally, life is too short to worry about "proving" anything to anyone. Do what you love, it's better for your kids to see you as a role model who is passionate about their career, good at it and happy than to think, oh my mums quite clever. Clever and miserable isn't something to look up to imho, especially given that your children are young and may not grow up to be academics themselves.

noonienoo Tue 10-Feb-15 00:10:06

I could have wrote your post OP, I'm feeling much the same. My youngest of three DC started school last summer and after 10 years of being a stay at home mum am starting to feel, well, useless. And not wanting to be seen as lazy by family. And scared too, of knowing that now I need to get back to work, 'get my life back'. But have been out of the employment game for so long that it's daunting.

Watching with interest to read the advice you are given, but wanted to post to let you know you're not alone xx

rootypig Tue 10-Feb-15 00:13:47

Since when has being creative meant having no brains?! I think the world has moved forward a bit OP......... if you loved it, go back to it. I say this as someone with an Oxbridge degree who is still trying to find something I love. Go the academic route, by all means, if you think it will make you happy, but don't do it for the sake of it.

Balaboosta Tue 10-Feb-15 06:55:00

I think this is a very difficult moment for women. I know few people who don't struggle at this moment. You are not alone in these feelings of confusion, inadequacy and low self esteem. It's like you're having to work your life out all over again.so it's something you have to go through. So be gentle with yourself. Try out some different things and share with other women going through the same thing for mutual support.

Yarp Tue 10-Feb-15 07:12:36

You are in the "relentless" phase of parenting.

I got back into work after my younger one went to school nursery, into paid work when he was in year 3. Thought I'd never work again, had lost confidence, skills etc. Volunteering is what turned things around for me.

At your stage, with the youngest so young, I would worry about depression. Aside from that, I'd try and do something that takes you back to who you were before babies - dancing, sport, something creative. Be gentle with yourself. It is very very unhelpful to think in "shoulds and oughts". I promise noone else is judging you.

Did you always plan to have 4 children?

GoodArvo Tue 10-Feb-15 07:19:41

I agree with Yarp, volunteering is a great way to get back into work and get your confidence back.

When my youngest started reception, I started volunteering two days a week for a charity. I'm getting training, which will hopefully help me get a paid job when my children are a bit older. It's also very interesting work.

PrimalLass Tue 10-Feb-15 07:30:15

I feel the same (but have two kids rather than four). I've worked freelance for a few years, but am going back to part-time hours in an office to ease myself back in to the workplace. Thankfully I have found something flexible and local.

NotYouNaanBread Tue 10-Feb-15 07:33:03

Don't worry about "proving" anything with your job except being personally fulfilled by it. You don't have to be an actual research biochemist to demonstrate your intelligence to people.

Start with what you have.

The flouncy job. Sounds great. I'm thinking it's probably related to PR or media? Let's just say it is, and you're stuck at home with a tiny baby for the short term right now.

Would you consider a freelance career in PR? Or do you have any friends who left to have babies around the same time that you could reconnect with and maybe start rebuilding your address book with a view to a small agency? I know two people who did this have have a really successful small PR agency now.

In a related way, and it might be a route to rebuilding your contacts, you could get into blogging - not wishy washy blogging, but "blogging as a career" style blogging. Take a close look at the blogs that are getting it right in the fields you enjoy (I love A Cup of Jo by Joanna Goddard - I can relate to it, and she is clever and funny) and plan and execute your blog carefully - it can turn into a small business in its own right in a couple of years. By the time the 3 month old starts nursery we could be all "OMG, do you know that MojoWanted used to be on Mumsnet??".

NormHonal Tue 10-Feb-15 07:36:39

I'm going through similar myself, and am tackling it with a course of counselling sessions - so far aimed at rebuilding my sense of myself, but the next aim will be to help me decide "what next".

It doesn't help that when I was a child and teenager, I had a very strong vision of how my life would be. That vision ended at the point of having a family/children. So I now need to discover a brand new "passion" (sadly my first career isn't something I can revive or build upon), but I am completely lacking ambition.

Sympathies, OP.

ChunkyPickle Tue 10-Feb-15 07:46:13

I've done the education/career bit, now I've done the kids bit, and I'm looking at the going back to work bit myself.

I think now would be a perfect time to do a degree if you feel so inclined - I know that I would do so much better at it now I'm older, get much more out of it, enjoy it more (well, perhaps enjoy the degree more... I was obviously more interested in the stuff around the degree when I was a teenager!). It doesn't even have to be something with a job aim in mind, just something interesting.

My mum did her Maths degree when I was at Uni (so she'd have been about my age! God I feel old), no reason you can't do anything you want!

BlinkingHeck Tue 10-Feb-15 07:59:06

I'm mid 30's, already got a degree but took time out to raise my two DC, when made redundant.

I returned to work in January as Foundation Stage TA. To get this quite coveted position I did my level 3 in Early Years whilst being a childminder. I volunteered in school and was a school governor.

It's not a job that requires my previous degree, and I could do a PGCE and teach therefore stretching myself and proving how intelligent I am and finally fulfilling my childhood ambition of being a teacher. But actually I love my TA job, it fits in perfectly with family life and I love going in every day it doesn't feel like work!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that being happy is more important than showing how academic you are. Think of the profession you want to do it's much easier going to work if you love what you do smile

Delilahfandango Tue 10-Feb-15 08:05:05

When my now 12 yo started school, he's youngest of 4, I started volunteering in a charity shop - was great for building confidence. I now have a part time job. In October I started an open university access course and I'm hoping to start a degree with them this year. It's fantastic - I'm really enjoying it - have started this the same time as DD went off to uni! I'm 46 so it's
never too latesmile

muminhants Tue 10-Feb-15 08:10:01

I bet there's a school near you looking for school governors - why not do that as a start to updating some of your work skills and the blog idea is also a good one - google Joanne Dewberry for how she got started.

Shortofcash Tue 10-Feb-15 08:12:48

Could you start a small freelance business related to your previous work? That may be something you can fit around small children if you start off by using nap time and once they are in bed to work. Starting your own business could provide you with the achievement that your looking for

Shortofcash Tue 10-Feb-15 08:14:27

Or use the time you have left with little ones at home go study for a qualification part time so you have a new direction ready for when all the children have started school

Shortofcash Tue 10-Feb-15 08:15:17

I think there are a lot of qualifications you can study part time from home with open university or even some colleges

Chunderella Tue 10-Feb-15 08:24:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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