Friday, 24 April 2015

Back to Work

My baby boy starts kindergarten this September. It's hard to believe - I can hardly wrap my mind around the fact that nearly four years have passed since he made our family complete and my last little baby boy is off to join the great big world.

This also means that after years and years (almost eleven!) of full-time Mommying I will be going back to work. Not part-time work, not freelance work, not middle-of-the-night laptop work, not work-at-home-doing-whatever just to scrape a few extra dollars together to keep the show going; actually, honest-to-goodness, back-to-work work.

With my last baby finished with babyhood and off to school full-time my life is going to change dramatically. For six and a half hours every day all three of my boys will be at school, giving me the chance to actually work out of the house again.

I can hardly remember what that's like!

For so many years "work" has had to be whatever I could find that would allow me to earn an income and be a full-time all-the-time caregiver for my kids. The reality that I will be able to go our and actually work at a job that I choose, one I have trained for and actually almost seems too good to be true.

What I will do for work when I return to the workforce in a few short months has been a pretty big decision. It's one thing to waffle about what you want to be when you grow up when you're a student or even in your twenties. It's quite another when you're thirty-six and people generally expect you to have already actually grown up by then.

I have worked a lot of jobs in my life, with varying degrees of enjoyment and success. I worked in aquatics for years managing programs and aquatic staff. I worked in health and fitness in a half-dozen different capacities. I've managed recreation centres and private gyms. I've coached a swim team. I've run a first aid training school. I've worked a lot of jobs, and it's pretty clear I lack focus when it comes to life planning.

I went to university for English Lit, changed majors a half-dozen times, and ended up graduating with a double honours degree in History and Political Science, a minor in English and a certificate program in creative writing. Utterly useless, as degrees go.

I returned from university to work for the Town at the same lifeguarding job I'd had in high school - just until I figured out what I really wanted to do. I got more qualifications and became a trainer. Then a supervisor, Then a manager. I worked at multiple sites managing the pools and pool staff, then got my fitness qualifications and started teaching fitness classes and doing personal training on the side. That led me to get my national coaching certifications and begin coaching and training athletes (I was a competitive swimmer when I was younger.) A gnawing sense of inadequacy, a feeling that I should really be doing something further removed from the job I had in high school - a "real job" - prompted me to finally leave the Town, where I spent years jumping from private pool management company to recreation facility management to private gyms to running my own fitness company. It's only after years away, working from home and full-time mommying, that I realized the job I left was a "real job". It took skill and training and paid me a good salary, I liked it and I was good at it. Why did I leave? What else was I looking for?

Once I worked all of that out, of course, the decision over what to do for work when baby boy starts school was easy. I'm going back to aquatics.

I spent a few weeks contacting the various certifying agencies to figure out what I had to do to get my qualifications back. I dug out all my old resources, I reached out to all my old contacts. I registered for the courses I needed to bring my certifications up to date and providing I pass the exams I have scheduled over the next three months, by September I will be working once again in the field I should probably never have left in the first place.

I'm so excited!

I'm going to be working at a job I actually enjoy. With two full incomes instead of one and a half, we're going to feel like millionaires. And with hours I can control myself, I can work within the school day, I can still walk my kids to school and back, and I can still be an at-home mom for all those after-school hours and P.A. Days.

I'm so excited!

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  1. You mentioned you had your own fitness company. I don't know at what point in your life that you did that, but why not do it again and be able to have the freedom of working for yourself again? I run my own company and couldn't imagine having to work for someone else again. All the best with the job hunt and getting back into the working world.

    1. I know - it's going to be difficult working for someone else again. I suppose for the time being I feel more comfortable in a secure job with all the benefits that go along with that rather than the constant hustle of being self-employed. Things change, though - who knows what might happen down the road? For now, this is what will make me happiest & most secure. Thanks for the well-wishes!