6 February 2012

What Would You Be Doing?

Why is it empty? Two reasons...

Very recently, a good friend asked me if I ever give any thought to what I would be doing, if the children had never come along.
To be honest, I never have.

But for the purposes of research, you understand, I did so.

Firstly it felt incredibly disloyal to entertain the notion.  Secondly, I knew, within an instant, I would be a Travel Journalist - or certainly would have put my efforts in that direction.  I don't know where that came from, because I'm not exactly trained, yet my love of travel has sustained me through my life.  When all things have been crap, a new country will suffice, thank you, to escape - in all possible ways, the woes of existence that we all meet sometimes.

Yes, in a heartbeat, there was the answer and it was as though an ache had been uncovered.

She had nothing wise to say herself, just that she'd be down the pub more and fatter for that!  The fact this friend even posed the question was more surprisng.  We both feel lucky to have our children at all - they came in our forties - hers through IVF, mine, as you know, with my Shitty Ex.

I asked a couple of other friends and they felt they would have continued in their happily established and fulfilling existing careers (catering and Nursery Nursing).  They also got the same sort of whistful look about them that had crept up on me, followed, of course, immediately by mother's guilt!

The only man I asked, just said he'd be far better off financially.  Wouldn't we all, mate?

None of us would be without our little ones, even for a moment, to even explore what we had uncovered, but it just shows how much of us we lose of ourselves, once we become parents.  Surely, it's never too late though?

What do you think?  What would you be doing?


  1. I have no idea what I'd be doing. Would I still be married? Would I be more implicated in my ex-husband's career? Would we be divorced anyway?

    I've never really thought about it. I would definitely have more money though!

  2. I guess we'll never know, will we? It's a strange thought!

  3. I know what you mean about the guilty feelings connected with that thought as its almost wishing your child away. Of course I have moments when I think of an alternative existence - I would be throwing myself into my therapy career, travelling, reading, exercining, oh I could go on and on. But I have Little A and if it wasnt for her I may never have discovered blogging! Its funny though because when Little A arrived I distinctly felt she has always been apart of my life - had always been here .....

  4. As the mother of two teens and an 8 year old (surprise!), this thought crosses my mind a lot as my friends all ask me if I want to go out mid-week, or do I want to go shopping/for a facial at the weekend. What would I be doing if I didn't still have a small child?
    And then of course, I don't even try to imagine, 'cause my life is what it is.
    (Not quite the same as your scenario I know, but I couldn't help responding.)

  5. Just tried to leave a comment and it didn't come up so I apologise if I end up commenting twice! Nice blog post. It's a very interesting concept imagining what we would be doing if we didn't have kids. For me there would definitely be more traveling. There is still a lot of the world I want to see. Also I would probably be writing a novel. A dream that I still hold on to. Maybe when my kids are all in school I will be able to pursue this dream again. But I would never give up my chance to be a mum for anything!

  6. Dear Older Mum, I'm glad you get the guilt bit and that you have kept hold of that part of yourself. It's funny how you can't remember a time before they came isn't it - like they've always been part of you? X

  7. Hello Expat Mum, You're always welcome to respond however you like! It's interesting that you think about it as it had genuinely never occurred to me. Like you say though, we would never turn back the clock X

  8. Hiya AB - Glad you find the concept interesting too and that you are holding onto your dream and that you wouldn't give up being a mum! The travelling bug just never leaves, does it? X

  9. Hi, loved it. and very true for women. I know men have to (we live in hope) provide for their family, they can, in most cases follow their ideal job. Women adjust their complete life style to accommodate their family, we see our man (mostly) happy and fulfilled, does that make us resentful?
    To give up our dream to have a family, children that will one day leave home and a husband that could be devoted to his job or (god forbid) his secretary. One day you could be alone having devoted your life to other people, is it worth it? The answer maybe is to do something for yourself. Ofcourse it's hard but surely worth it.

  10. Very well put Sheila, thank you. glad you enjoyed!It never hurts to be reminded who we are!

  11. And Almost Bedtime has even written an entire post, inspired by these thoughts http://www.12hourstobedtime.blogspot.com/2012/02/choices.html