It is days like today and nights like tomorrow evening when I am due to attend a function that I realise that there is indeed life after your kids grow up and start going their own way. For a while there I was floundering when the realization hit me a few years back that soon I will be doing everything by myself.
It hit me that the kids have now got their own interests and very often I’ll be left behind all dressed up and no where to go. Having friends with younger kids does not help the issue either because often I am free to go out whilst they are not.
It was a very difficult phase for me. A phase that I often felt like crying and hiding in my room to never come out again. Because not only was I feeling alone, I was feeling scared. I was wondering if this is what my future held. Sitting at home, feeling very sorry for myself. Too scared to go out by myself, too scared to go to places by myself, too scared to walk into a place by myself. Somewhere in the last 18 years since having kids I seemed to have lost my courage to do things by myself.
For years now I’ve been part of a trio or during the times when hubby was home a quartet. going out on my own was just not a thing. I was either out with the kids as my companions, with the whole family or date night with hubby. Ever since I started my own business though things started to change. I was invited to events, networking groups, coffees with potential clients etc. I started out being ever so nervous, was I dressed correctly, did I have the right address entered into the gps, did I know what I was doing? After all, apart from teaching for many years I was not used to leading a very social life anymore. The highlights of my social life the last few years included school plays, parent teacher evenings and the odd birthday party invite from friends.
It took months of shattered nerves and self doubt before I started finding my feet and my confidence in socializing with strangers without having to throw up at first. I started looking forward to my forays into a new world, filled with adults, fun, wine and sometimes even going to the movies on my own.
Today was one of those days that I relished not being tied down so tightly anymore as having older kids that don’t need their mom home 24/7 I had the freedom to spend the day at a friends home having fun and letting the creativity flow. Days like this I know. Whenever the kids are ready to leave I’ll probably be ok. I’ll find my solace in meeting new people, trying new things and living life because after all…..There is life after kids.