Sunday, 19 November 2017

Turning 30 - Musings on a Milestone birthday

Last week I turned 30 and it got me thinking about life, reminiscing about the last 30 years and the last 10 years in particular. The older you get, the faster time seems to go by; have you noticed that? My twenties seem to have gone by in a flash and now I enter my thirties with excited anticipation.


So what were my twenties about? Mainly, my twenties have been about motherhood; pregnancy, newborns and dealing with toddler tantrums. I became pregnant with my first child at the age of 21 and my baby girl was born a few months after my 22nd birthday. Although I was married at the time, I was considered a young mum and I felt this had quite negative connotations. 

I remember the excitement of experiencing pregnancy for the first time, not knowing what to expect. I went to wonderful antenatal classes which helped prepare me for childbirth and looking after a newborn. I remember bringing home my new baby daughter, incredulous at the fact I was now a mother.

Over the decade, I had three more children so now I have four altogether. Each stage of child development fascinated me, and still does. The first smile, the first roll, sitting, eating, walking and talking. I love to observe them as they grow. 


My first child was born while I was in my second year (of a three and a half year course) of university. This brings me to the second thing my twenties were about; studying. I feel like I have been a perpetual student, going from one course to the next, my love of learning never diminishes. 

After graduating, I ended up starting a PhD at the University of Reading. To my surprise, I was offered the position without having a masters qualification due to my degree classification. I was relieved as I could not afford to pay to do a masters degree and did not want to borrow money and get into debt.

Being a PhD student came with new challenges and adventure. I relished being surrounded by academics and absorbing knowledge from them. I enjoyed learning new skills and acquiring the mindset of a researcher; a mindset that has made me look at the world differently. However, no matter how much I enjoyed the academic side of things, I knew academia was not for me. So, with mixed feelings, I quit my PhD two and a half years into it. I knew the stress and sacrifices to family life were not worth the reward. I needed to concentrate on being a mother and spending time with my children while they were young.

Despite the relief at quitting my PhD, I suddenly felt lost. I also felt angst at my unemployed status. What would I do with my life now? 


I decided to concentrate on my blog, something I had been neglecting. This seemed to fill the void and give me a purpose besides motherhood. There is no doubt that motherhood is the most important and best job in the world and so I enjoy documenting and sharing my experiences in the hope of inspiring others.

Being a blogger was not something I set out to do. How could I when throughout my childhood the very profession I now find myself doing did not even exist. Nothing could have prepared me for it, which makes me think, can we truly prepare our children for their future career paths?


We may be equipping our children with knowledge that will become irrelevant. Worrying about them acquiring the grades to become lawyers or doctors when in fact they may choose occupations which do not even exist yet. 

In a fast-paced, ever-changing world where innovations are constant, how can we prepare them for these occupations we are yet to know anything about? That is the question.

This may be enough to send you into a panic but, in a way, this calms me. Why worry about what we are told they should learn when this may not be important in the future? Though perhaps this is not the point. Maybe it is the skills that come with learning how to learn that are important, regardless of the topic. 

They learn what we teach them and also what we don't. Homeschooling allows for this. The way we homeschool enables the children to identify their own interests and discover their passions within a supportive environment. As a mother, I am the facilitator and this is what my thirties will be about. Taking on the role of facilitator, not teacher, for my children's education. Facilitating their learning when they express certain interests and following their lead.

But above all, my thirties will be about motherhood because, to me, being a mother is the most important thing in the world and nothing else comes close.

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