I spent the evening with some girlie mates on Saturday, we're a mixed bag which is why we compliment each other so well. We have one that will listen, one that gives an honest opinion, one that you can call from anywhere in the world and she will help, the list goes on but it's comforting to know we all offer something different.
During a chat a friend of mine admitted she was unsure how she felt about being described as 'the career one'.
1. Why was she upset to be described as that? It's a testament to hard work
2. Once upon a time it was me that would have been described that way and I missed it
This made me ask - where do I fit now? I don't need to be pigeonholed/ranked amongst the group but we do have friends that have an obvious fit.
* The 'Dater' who enjoys coasting, not seeming to be rushing to make plans for the future. She's out a lot and has a good social life.
* We have the 'Mumsy' who has raised two kids on her own and done remarkably well but doesn't want her girls to grow up so will be staying mumsy of a while yet. We think it's time she finds herself the gorgeous man and has fun. That said she is studying for a degree so once the kids are gone she can enhance her career.
* The 'Fit One' - the MILF of the gang. The less said about her the better!
* That 'Career Girl' - she's worked hard and will be a director soon, she doesn't have a huge amount of luck on the man front, she's a tad fussy! I also admire her skill in having different pockets of mates that enhance her social life to the point of overdoing it sometimes. She likes to keep everyone happy, while maintaining a really good job.
* Then me - I used to be the career one, working hard and playing hard. I moved to the Big Smoke and had a fab working life but craved a personal life too so came back to the mighty West Country to gain some control. I met and married Mr S and had a baby all within two years.
For a while I was the 'one that had it all' - a family and great job. I practically worked through maternity and went back to work after five months, so I guess I did have it all. Then circumstances changed. I was made redundant and I became the 'stay at home mum with a bit of freelance thrown in'. I'm not sure that's where I want to sit.
On a personal level I am the one that organises the fun stuff we do as a group, the one that instigates us getting together, sometimes I'm not sure why I bother as everyone is always busy, which just cements my place in the group as the stay at home mum with time on her hands, I wish the latter was true.
I have another set of friends 'The Witches'. I've been friends with them a long time, we've always worked but I couldn't bring myself to call this set the 'working girls!'. We get together for a good old gossip but recently I've felt a little out of the loop. They all have older kids now and all work full time.
Our kids aren't going through the same thing - mine's in nappies, they are looking at senior schools and unis. We did have work in common for a long time but that's out of the equation at the moment for me, so I found myself bailing out of meeting them for dinner. I didn't feel I had anything to bring to the table.
I try to think about the times when they were going through potty training and school runs and I was on a beach in Barbados or schmoozing with Johnny Depp. Right now I don't have anything exciting to add so I step away. Don't get me wrong I love hearing about their work and families, I love them all dearly but I guess part of me is a bit envious and it makes me reflect.
I want to be a bit of everything - that mum that cooks and cleans, works full time and looks amazing. Not sure that is even possible, there always has to be a compromise.
The Career girl works hard, doesn't put the time in to meet the man of her dreams and has probably chosen her path (I envied her as she could go home to lay on the sofa nursing her hangover), the mumsy works hard enough to get by with her priority being her kids, the mates that have older kids and work full-time - they do this to sustain the lives they lead. All of which are commendable in their own way.
I've realised I need to stop looking for a label and enjoy this time. We survive financially, still have great holidays, the little man goes to nursery a few days a week so I can work and still have some amazing adventures with him. I may not be that career girl anymore with an amazing wardrobe and I'm certainly not that full on bake at home mum, I hope I fit somewhere in-between, I hope they don't care where I fit. As long as I am there for any of my crazy friends if the need me.
That'll do for me. For now.
Pic Author's Own