Life after being a stay-at-home mum

Jane Reddington

Column

Tuesday, April 5 2016

I have been on an incredible ride this week. I’ve been a stay at home mum for the last 11 years. This week I rejoined the work force and left the house dressed up in my Sunday clothes. I sat at a desk, answered the phone and greeted customers at the counter of this newspaper pleased to be present.

Little did I know or understand how much I needed to get out of my house and comfort zone. Eleven years is a long time in any career, but in one that involves raising two children who are 21 months apart it has been a very long haul.

I have given willingly, knowing that I needed to be there for them for everything or I would have regret. I have been to every school concert, and been a witness to every accident that has brought tears and bloodshed. I have been there to mop up the mess and blessedly, now they are starting to say thank you. 

Being a mother is a choice and one that I believe to be the root of my life, my anchor, just as being a wife and partner is the rock that gives my life meaning and helps me measure the chapters of my life.

But getting back to work. I would say for me, it’s like a very old friend looking me up and asking to get back in contact. All my years in Journalism school at Carleton University feel like a distant chapter of my life. 

But this week, as I have gone out into the community to see children at work in community gardens, artists pursuing their songwriting dreams and owls introduced to school aged children, I have realized there is a brave new world waiting for me. 

The best part is I can still be here when my children return home from school, I can still cook them dinner and do the dishes but the difference is now I feel like I am “something” again in the world. A reporter, a photographer, and someone who gets to asks questions on behalf of readers of this newspaper.

I like meeting this old friend at the door and realizing that those years at school were never far away, they were just waiting to be called out again to play in the sunshine in the yard. 

I am a lucky woman and grateful for the chance to try again at something I love so very much. Meeting people. Sharing laughter and being amazed by this incredible island that has been my home for 11 years. Gabriola, I feel proud to meet you.