They say you should be careful what you pray for.

A few of you know that I’ve been searching for a paying job for the last few months, in amongst the steady stream of visitors and birthday parties we’ve had.

The search itself has been a little painful – job hunting is always a bit of a soul suck because you’re constantly having to put yourself out there, and rack your brains to try and remember the minutiae. Besides which, the ACT is especially enamoured with this ghastly concept of Selection Criteria, where one gets asked a series of questions (usually asking you everything under the sun, and sometimes thrice in different ways) which one then has to address. This means one typically ends up writing 2,000 word essays selling one’s mad work skills. I had hoped, after writing about five, that the questions can be recycled between jobs, but I’ve only managed to do it for two out of 33 questions. Selection Criteria are pains in the derrière and thankfully, something that is growing out of style.

The job search has also triggered a series of smaller events, such as my very first this-is-my-natural-but-professional-face photo session. Thanks to Kate J’s shutterbug powers and some natural lighting in my typical setting – a café – I finally have OK pictures for my social media profiles.

It also made me think outside the box a bit and seriously consider freelancing again. So I put some things together, called a few people…

Today, I started a month-long project with The Gideons – a wonderful result of a Matthew 7:7 moment. Then I got a call around mid day for a freelance gig, and danced a small jig in my seat in celebration. And then I got a call for a job.

I am now gainfully employed! Or will be once I sign the contract and finish my project with The Gideons. It’s been a funny ol’ day. I’m relieved that the searching is over, and I’m excited about all these new beginnings but gosh, I am getting heart pangs about what it all means.

It is the end of an era. It means my babies are growing. I look back on my five short years of (mostly) full-time home duties, and I wonder if I’d done enough, or if I’d squandered too many teaching moments and opportunities to show more love and kindness.

Yet…

I remember being in the thick of things, when I was physically depleted and had succumbed to turning on the TV just so I could buy an hour’s reprieve to do housework or talk to tradies… I remember telling myself sternly that I will feel guilt over this one day, and wonder if I should have tried harder. I remember telling myself to remember that this was all I had energy for, and that I gave it a fair go. That this period wasn’t squandered on social media gawking, that it wasn’t about busyness and productivity, but about soaking my babies in and being there for them. Just being there, for them.

That I needed time to myself to heal as well.

That my job wasn’t about keeping them entertained, that it was s fine – even healthy – for them to get bored so they would learn how to find new interests and flex their imaginations. That it was good for them to feel lonely on occasion, so they would learn how to enjoy their own company.

But I’m going to miss some of the freedoms I’ve enjoyed these last five years. I’m excited, and slightly terrified. And wistful. And on fire with new ideas. And wondering how the children will cope, how this family will cope, how the housework will cope. And knowing that New Normal will find itself, and we will be okay.

And so thankful that today, God answered my prayers threefold, maybe even more.

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The work bag, ready and waiting
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