Mental Health Check

I, like many others, got laid off once the pandemic shut everything down. For those that don’t know, I’m an ESL teacher at an international school where 99% of our students are from abroad. When the borders shut, we knew we’d be in trouble. We taught online for a while but it’s not what our students paid for and honestly, if I were them, I would have done the same and gone home to my family. So where does this leave me?

I had already been planning a career switch and was completing some schooling. Ironically (or maybe not?) my certificate was for online/eLearning instruction and I didn’t have a classroom to practice it in. I had planned on transitioning to training and development and instructional design but you know, it’s a pandemic and jobs are a little harder to come by and there’s a little more competition.

So, it’s been a few months of unsuccessful job hunting and I could feel my mental health spiralling downward. Today, I decided to take a break from job hunting and do a little daydreaming instead.

My husband and I have this dream of one day opening a little neighbourhood cafe that’s kid friendly, in terms of play, environment, and business hours (some inspo photos below). Realistically, we won’t be able to do this for a while but I thought it’d be fun to do a little more research into the costs and get some inspiration for what I’d want the cafe to look like. If anyone wants to be an investor, let me know! (Jokes! Or maybe not 😉 )

Needless to say it’s way more fun to do than job hunting and it’s been good for my mental health. I’ve been so fixated on finding a job and while I’ll be happy when I do find one, I know it’s not the end all be all. We’re doing ok financially, we have a roof over our heads, and everyone in our immediate and extended family is healthy. Plus, I get to spend more time with my daughters and that’s something I can’t put off for later. Like so many parents before us have said, the days are long but the years are short and my God is that true!

I feel like I’ve been rambling a bit but if you’re in a similar situation, remember perspective! Think of it as an opportunity to do things you perhaps didn’t have time for before. It’s also just good to take a break from the job hunting. My husband suggested that I focus less on getting a job and more on the number of applications sent out or the number of information interviews done. This is because I can control the latter and by shifting my focus to that, I feel less despair and more content with where I am now. I have often told others and so I need to listen to myself and remember that getting a job is so much about timing and being patient. So for those of you in the same boat, I offer the same advice:

  1. Focus on the things you can control.
  2. Shift your perspective.
  3. Be patient.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Confessions of a Tired Momma #2

It’s been a while since my last post of this sort and things have changed so much. Instead of one kid, I have two! My eldest is 4 and my youngest is 2 and boy can they be a handful. But as I read Confessions of a Tired Momma #1, I can tell that I’ve grown and changed as a parent.

Back then, I think I was still desperately trying to hold on to my pre-baby life and now I’ve accepted that my new normal is vastly different. I was also much too sarcastic and had such a negative perspective. I’m by no means perfect and always positive now, it’s pretty hard when the world throws COVID-19 into the mix, but seeing perspective has helped me cope a lot.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is that I’m still physically and mentally tired a lot. My girls, for the most part, play well together, but just like any siblings, they will fight. My mental battery drains each time I play mediator and my physical battery never feels fully charged because although my kids are early to bed, they’re early to rise too.

I’m tired of doing laundry multiple times in the week and the never ending stack of dishes in our sink. I don’t think our floor will ever be spotless and toys will always be strewn about somewhere in our home.

But I’m happy.

I sometimes fantasize about what life would have been like if we never had kids and although it would have been fun, I think I would have eventually wanted kids. Kids are exhausting, dirty, and infuriating but our girls are also incredibly compassionate, goofy, and joyous. The pros outweigh the cons for us and I absolutely adore our little family.

When the days are long, I have to remind myself that this isn’t forever. One day, our girls will grow and not need us for cuddles anymore. One day, they’ll want to be independent and do their own things. So for now, albeit frighteningly early in the morning, I’ll take the cuddles and be the help they need.