Today the summer holidays start. A time when my feelings have been known to bounce between “oh crap now they’re home ALL THE TIME” and “…but it’s still kinda nice and relaxed, this holiday thing”. (I do think the latter feeling only really came to the fore in the last year or so. Before then it was just SUPER hard.) Now, I’m bouncing between “oh thank goodness it’s almost holidays, I really need less pressure” and “WHAT are you thinking, you’re still working full-time!” So mostly, this has just served to make me more aware of how much easier things have been getting with the kids, and that’s good, probably.
Two weeks of day camps, two days full-time that I still have to figure out, and then it’s August. At which point my current contract is changed to 50% (hours) because I foolishly said I’d support them in any way needed until my contracted maternity leave period ended. I meant more “I will help with handover to my replacement and/or handle work overflow because that’s a particularly busy time for you”, but evidently it was taken as “You guys really don’t need to bother recruiting anyone else, I’ve got this.” So… whatever. I’m still trying to push them to find someone, but it is a big ask (recruiting over the summer is basically impossible, as is hiring someone for a two-month contract). Whatever. I’ll be working two jobs, 40%+50%, until November. Fine. Ouch. Fine.
Probably this is a reflection of my fairy godmother complex: I have this instinctive desire to solve people’s problems (oh noes how will you find a replacement!) and also a completely inflated idea of my own importance (oh noes how will you ever cope without me!). I’m aware that it’s a bit ridiculous. Yet here I am.
This whole experience – the temp job, the surprise job offer, and the reaction to my quitting the temp job – has been enormously good for my battered self-esteem. I’ve gotten such good feedback on my work, both before and after quitting, and if the new thing doesn’t work out, they’d no doubt be very happy to take me back somehow. So that’s nice, but it’s more than just the actual compliments. I just feel so much more like a grown-up again. More like myself. Like a person who is capable and good at stuff and has a contribution to make. It’s been a while.
Been thinking a lot about self-image, and how much it’s changed over the years, in all kinds of ways. Finding out that I am in fact capable and good at stuff – employable, basically – that was a surprise, once. Then motherhood turned that around a bit. Now it’s back. There have been other surprises: like finding out that I love to run. BIG surprise. So many little and big things have changed over the years, I think 16-year-old me would find it hard to recognise the woman I am now. She’d be impressed in some ways, appalled in others. But that’s fine. She’s 16. What does she know.