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To be grieving for my lost career and me

(31 Posts)
thetrap Tue 24-Oct-17 07:58:31

I lost my job several months ago and after initially feeling relief, am now feeling awful. I’m very lucky (hence the AIBU tag) as we can survive on one income and I got a good redundacy package. I have two small DCs, early school years so freedom for six hours a day (except for hols!) I thought I would love this quality time with them but am secretly resenting them and being a SAHM. It was a very fast paced, exciting job that I lost, I was rarely home before bedtime. I knew it was a young person’s game though and would have to end eventually. All other jobs out there look so dull in comparison. I hate being at home but the few times I have reconnected with industry people, I feel as though I have nothing interesting to say anymore. I put off having children as I knew it would kill my career. I was right but now I am old and directionless and wake up feeling sick. It’s everything I worked for since leaving uni. I wouldn’t give up my babies for anything so feel very guilty even moaning when so many have it much tougher? My job was not perfect and I was undervalued but how do I stop this complete loss of confidence? There is no chance of going back in. It feel like grief which seems totally OTT.

Tatiannatomasina Tue 24-Oct-17 08:08:45

Could you look at a part time role to start with, something just to help you get your mojo back? Or do you have any ideas of a home business you could run round your family?
If you dont know what you want to do there are plenty of women in business networking groups, maybe join one and see if anything floats your boat. Dont give up, there is something out there for you.

eyebrowseyebrows Tue 24-Oct-17 08:15:49

I'm intrigued as to what job it was?

Is it really a 'young person's' job? I'm struggling to think of anything that only young people can do?

Clearly being a SAHP isn't suiting you...

NataliaOsipova Tue 24-Oct-17 08:20:41

I think you need to separate the two, honestly. There's grieving for your career....and there's grieving for you. You are not the job you do. Whether or not you have something interesting to say does not depend in any way on your employment status.

I'm not sure what you did, but in anything that's a "young person's game", you don't want to be the old man/woman of the team. It's not the same in your 40s as it is in your 20s - and from what you say, you know this. So then there's the need to separate nostalgia for your younger days from the focus on now and your future. I always think of university like that - it was great. I loved it. It was a great time. But it was in the past...and I'm not nineteen any more, so it simply wouldn't be the same if I went back and did it now.

I apologise if I'm sounding a bit blunt as I genuinely do sympathise; it's awful to feel directionless and like you don't "fit". So do your grieving. But then focus on the positives and the "what's next?" - whatever that may be.

Candlelight234 Tue 24-Oct-17 08:21:22

I understand what you mean. If you currently don't need to work money wise , why don't you look for something with less hours in a completely different field for a change of scenery? It may give you a different sense of perspective?

Nan0second Tue 24-Oct-17 08:21:36

It's ok to want to work. It's ok to not love being a sahm. (It's ok for others to love it obviously but it's not for everyone).
I would suggest considering career counselling or a decent "life coach" (hate that phrase but the premise is good) to work out what you want and how to achieve it.
This redundancy may be a blessing in the longer term if it leads to something else great - it's just a case of working out what that should be!

HermionesRightHook Tue 24-Oct-17 08:24:22

If you've got some money and a chance for a breather, why not look at changing direction to another fulfilling role that gets you home earlier? Doesn't need to be the same as your old job. I would look at careers counselling or a reputable coaching sort of thing, someone to help you identify what direction you can go in next with the skills you have.

I think there's a happy medium between high pressure and fast paced and not working outside the home at all.

steff13 Tue 24-Oct-17 08:34:28

You didn't lose your job because you were too old, did you?

thetrap Tue 24-Oct-17 08:37:02

Thanks for the suggestions. I tried a life coach but the sessions are now up and I’m back where I started. Natalia - you are on the money. I really don’t want to grow up. I could probably get a better paid job but I don’t want to have my time controlled and I am too old to be a junior employee but not interested in being a boss. I miss the fast paced banter and buzz. I don’t want to work in some dreary corporate environment or have to beg for holidays or start from scratch. Yet I am probably a social creature. I am hopeless at paper work and admin so would probably fail at running a business from home, even if I had any idea of what it would be.

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 24-Oct-17 08:40:33

Is there any volunteering role you could do? I was a Trustee for a group of children's hospices when I became a SAHM. It got me out to meetings where I still had to dress "for work", use my brain other than for meal plans, household budgets etc and (I hope) was helpful to the organisation.

jay55 Tue 24-Oct-17 09:16:47

What would have been the next step in your career? If you hadn’t had kids?
Sounds like you would have had to change direction at some point.
Are there smaller firms out there who would appreciate your experience? Can you freelance or contract to get around being a boss?

user1497997754 Tue 24-Oct-17 09:21:57

Why not do something different get a dog.....lots of healthy walking and fun for family....will get you out and about....if you can manage on one could always get a part time position lots would not be so stressful.....why not do some redecoration, de cluttering etc

Acadia Tue 24-Oct-17 09:24:52

What is so unique about your last job that you can't log on and start searching for something similar? You might be over-romanticising it as The Greatest Job Ever, forgetting there are plenty of companies out there with similar jobs.

You lost a single job. Add it to your CV and go find another.

thetrap Tue 24-Oct-17 09:26:07

I need to declutter and sort many admin things - but I can spend hours doing it and not achieve anything! If I hadn’t had kids I would have been a foriegn correspondent, traveling to war zones and film premiers.

museumum Tue 24-Oct-17 09:41:21

If I were you I'd be looking fir a new job. I would never give up my career but I have adapted it a lot for family life.

You say your old job was a young persons game but what do other people do after? What do the men do as they get older?

I can't imagine what except maybe dancing or modelling or sport doesn't have options for people a bit older and more experienced.
When then a friend of mine from school who wanted to be a dancer now runs a dance school and loves it.
A dj/music promoter I knew now organises big events that are only once a year so desk based for 11 months of the year.

It sounds to me like you're not enjoying being at home but you have the time and money to spend on something new. You don't have to work alone at home to be self employed if that's what you want - there are loads of shared workspaces where you can get a hot desk.

Canklesofglitter Tue 24-Oct-17 09:48:55

I'd echo a previous poster and suggest a volunteer role. I walked away from my career when my children were small. I had a very senior operational role in the NHS - on calls, demanding days, big team, big budget.

I found a few good voluntary roles and found new skills. Eventually I career changed and now work for a national charity . I'm not yet back to the level I was at but I'm on the way.

Charities often have senior volunteer roles and are grateful for your skills. I ended up being trained as a mediator and I loved it.

Peanutbuttercheese Tue 24-Oct-17 09:53:49

Some jobs are a young persons game well really more of a no family commitments sort of game because of the amount of socialising expected after work.

LewisThere Tue 24-Oct-17 09:54:27

You need a job and one that will tick the right boxes for you.
If your dream would have been to report news in war zones areas, being a SAHM is never going to make you happy or fulfilled.

Tbh if your sessions with a life coach finished and you are no further forward, then I would say the life coach was crap.

What I do feel from your posts if the tension between feeling guilty that youmwoid prefer not to be at home all the time and devote all your time and energy for your dcs and the longing of working in an exciting environnement, busing, and with plenty of opportunity to meet people and connect.
The reality is that not all mothers are made to be SAHM. I certainly wasn't. It doesn't mean I don't love my dcs ornthat i made a mistake having them.
And that's because I am a mum AND I am myself, a woman, someone who is working and enjoys plenty of other things than anything child related.

IF it's really not right for you to go back to your previous job (a few months isnt that long!!), then you need to think about what else you would love to do. What will make you tick and fulfill all the things you got from your old job. And maybe others too.
Then works towards that and do NOT r strict YOURSELF into being 'just' a mum.
Otherwise you'll end up depressed and miserable (you are going down that route already!)

Twirlstwirlstwirls Tue 24-Oct-17 10:11:26

There's some excellent advice on this thread - look what constructive points people have posted in just over two hours!

What you say resonates a lot with a position I was in last year, when I wasn't able to get the flexible working request I needed approved so I had to walk away from the job in the City which I'd been yearning to have back. Thing is, it wasn't all brilliant - BUT that's my situation, not yours.

My dear traplady, start looking at the path ahead, stop looking over your shoulder at what you've left behind and take action (preferably by lunchtime) to do something constructive here.

I do hope this is the 'loving boot' you were seeking by posting this morning...

thetrap Tue 24-Oct-17 10:34:31

Thanks twirls! Perhaps it’s a cross between a midlife crisis and angst that what I had always feared is coming true...In an ideal world I’d keep up a freelance/flexible media career that would fit in more with family life but you spend more time chasing the work than doing it! What did you go on to do? How have you found life post big job? I was definitely squeezed out of my role - just as I was starting to improve after a flat bit post-kids.

Ttbb Tue 24-Oct-17 10:37:42

Why don't you start your own business, wrote a book or, go back to university? You were always going to stop working eventually children or not, you shouldn't let your job define you.

HandbagKrabby Tue 24-Oct-17 10:45:18

I know how you feel. I’m setting up my own business based on a hobby- tbh with tech these days there’s not piles of paperwork and you can get virtual PAs to do it for you anyway - don’t let that put you off if you have an idea you’d like to try.

There’s a group called Mothers who Make who meet monthly or so in various cities and discuss combining motherhood with being a creative. It’s really very helpful and inspiring meeting lots of women combining the two things in different ways.

I couldn’t do sahm full time, I don’t know how people do as it is so full on. School hours are an absolute bind as well - I’m always rushing to get back for pick up or rushing to get to school on time, feeling guilty that the baby is dragged out in all weathers.

Best of luck smile

BlueSapp Tue 24-Oct-17 11:01:24

Just because your older now doesn't give them the right to boot you out thats ridiculous, I can't see why you would want to go back to a job like that, start afresh you are never to old to do something new!

But most of all enjoy your children they are only little for a short time, in years to come you will see they are your greatest achievemnet in life always!

thetrap Tue 24-Oct-17 11:19:24

Thanks Handbag, I shall look them up! I even struggle to post pics on a website I set up so there is little hope for me (yes I should go on a course!) and BlueSapp I know what you are saying is right. That compounds the guilt about not enjoying every minute with them...I loved maternity leave and always felt anxious at going back. But now they are a bit older (but still under 7) it seems a bit lame being a SAHM.

steff13 Tue 24-Oct-17 11:25:07

Doesn't Christiane Amanpour have a kid? She can't be the only one.

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