As a young teen I enjoyed art, painting and aspired to do this plus more. I was easily influenced in favour of getting “a real job” and so the focus shifted to just that. My priorities were about earning money and even though I did enjoy a few of my more recent jobs it just seemed at odds with who I really was. Years later I find myself coming back to creating and, somewhat begrudgingly, embracing this part of myself.

I’m racked with self-doubt. Am I really good enough? Should this just be a hobby? My five year plan has been derailed. My previous professional ambitions have fallen by the wayside. I feel like I’m doing a full circle and it’s scary.

I’m aware that my identity is changing. I’ve been in a strange place for a few years now. The decision to stop trying for another baby can only be described as relieved heartbreak. But who am I without the “baby and infertility” stuff? My identity has been wrapped up in that for so long I feel like I’m rediscovering who I am, what my interests are, what makes me truly happy.

I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I don’t necessarily need to work, obviously it’d be nice for the extra cash but we’re not living on beans and toast so we’re happy plodding along as we are. Initially I struggled with being unemployed as I’ve never not worked but then I realised it’s a great opportunity to do what I always dreamed of. This is my time to study – or not study – whatever I want to do. To answer to no one (except Little Man). Why have I been so wrapped up in rushing to the next stage in my life, focusing on career ambitions I know I may not want? Why haven’t I been able to slow down and enjoy this time with my son?

I don’t know the answers, all I know is that the fog has lifted and calm is finally here. My mind feels bright again, my outlook is positive. I want to enjoy the good fortune of being a stay at home mum as this is what we worked so hard for in the time leading up to it. I’d like to be confident in this new role without a job or the baby stuff defining who I am. I’d like to be at peace with, who I have and, who I am becoming.

I would like to say goodbye to negative thoughts, goodbye to doubting my decisions, goodbye shoula woulda coulda. Hello camera, hello canvas, hello paint under my fingernails, I’m so pleased to meet you again. I can’t wait to introduce you to my son, he’s going to love you.

Until next time,

Katie

10 comments

  1. I love your optimism in this post. So many of your words here speak so strongly to me. In fact two paragraphs in particular were incredibly relevant to me:
    “I’m racked with self-doubt. Am I really good enough? Should this just be a hobby? My five year plan has been derailed. My previous professional ambitions have fallen by the wayside. I feel like I’m doing a full circle and it’s scary.”
    “I’m aware that my identity is changing. I’ve been in a strange place for a few years now. The decision to stop trying for another baby can only be described as relieved heartbreak. But who am I without the “baby and infertility” stuff? My identity has been wrapped up in that for so long I feel like I’m rediscovering who I am, what my interests are, what makes me truly happy.”
    Thank you for understanding and sharing so gracefully.

    1. What a lovely comment to receive. It’s so funny how posts can just “speak to us”. I’ve read many of yours (and other bloggers) and think “oh my, they’re in my head!!!”. I’m not sure if it is the same for you but I feel really comforted you’re feeling the same kind of things because sometimes it’s just overwhelming. We’re on different journeys yet stopping TTC is the same – maybe that’s what it is?

      1. Yes, our journeys are uniquely different, yet at this point in time we are facing the same type of next steps as we move forward away from trying again. So, yes, I suspect that’s why we are in each others heads. 🙂

  2. Creative people will alway have self doubt because the world demands that you profit from the things we produce . I believed that as most people do, but have developed a chronic illness I realised happiness is the richest thing we can own. You are lucky that you have a hubby that can let you run free. So run Katie run and never slow down long enough to look back! Xxx

  3. “Why have I been so wrapped up in rushing to the next stage in my life, focusing on career ambitions I know I may not want? Why haven’t I been able to slow down and enjoy this time with my son?”…this was just wow!!! for me when I read it. It’s like you’re in MY head 🙂 You’re posts just get better and better!

  4. I can relate to this post so much. Like, every single line! I’ve always been a creative spirit who then chose a more practical path (and always felt so much ambivalence in all my jobs) who then got side tracked by the all-consuming world that is infertility, and now facing a crossroads. I love how you’ve posed this in such an optimistic and freeing way. I’m so happy for you that you’ve found calm and new inspiration. It inspires me!

    1. Thank you for your kind words 🙂 I think a lot of people have the creative side/bug and it gets pushed aside to follow a more conventional path. In hindsight if I had followed my passion I could be teaching now or working in a gallery or museum (if not producing my own art) so there was a practical path to it too. That’s why I will encourage Little Man no matter what. If he wants to do music or dance over law or medicine then so be it. He’ll make it work. On another note the ripple effect caused by infertility and TTC is huge, I think it touches every part of our lives and makes us question everything.

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