ChallengeClare then and now…. A little update!
When I started ChallengeClare I was on the cusp of a major life change. My youngest child was about to turn 18 and all my children would finally have reached adulthood. It just felt really weird. I’ve been a Mum since I was 18, all of my adult life. To be honest I didn’t really know what to do with myself.
My youngest son had his sights set on university and he would be off to begin his life as an adult. My eldest son moved out and although I still had other adult children at home, they are out at work, living their own lives and no longer need me to do all the day to day things that parents do.
We pretty much live like adults sharing a house, laundry and cooking responsibilities. (If I’m honest one of my sons is actually much better at ‘adulting’ than me!)
So, I was desperately trying to find things to fill the gap that was left by my children growing up. I thought that occupying myself would help me get through… Which was where the idea of the challenges came from
Turns out that much like everything else in my life it wasn’t that simple.
I did set myself some challenges, but rather than give me a sense of purpose I just found it a little bit overwhelming, and it all felt a little bit false. Like I was just trying a little too hard if that makes sense?
So I just kind of let life happen. The challenges became less important and I lost interest in the blog. Although it was always in the back of my mind to try and get back to it
So, ChallengeClare now… Well there are still challenges that I want to achieve. I just want to go about it in a more relaxed, realistic way, I suppose organic way?
I also think it’s important for me to to be honest about the real challenges of day to day life. Real life is busy, messy and sometimes totally overwhelming, often taking you by surprise.
That has certainly been the case for me. I’ve been taken by surprise by just how hard I have found it to accept that I am now the mother of adults, rather than children. You spend years looking forward to when it gets easier, then when it happens, you wish you could turn back the clock!
I have to be honest. It’s really upset me.
Obviously I’m happy for my kids and bursting with pride at the wonderful young men they have become, and I absolutely want them to cut those apron strings and grab every opportunity that life presents to them.
The last thing I want is for them to feel like they need to be close to home because of me. But if I’m honest I’m a little bit gutted that they’re not little anymore and all at home together.
I think what makes it harder, is that I was barely into adulthood myself when I became a mother. So, I find myself asking the question ‘what do grown ups without children do?’ and the answer is: ‘What they like!’
But… Having put the needs of others first for so long it feels completely alien to me. Not only that, but my contemporaries are still in the middle of the chaos that is parenting. Quite frankly I’m a little jealous.
I think that the answer to all of this, is that I need to start discovering what it is that I do actually want to do with my time. What do I enjoy? What do I want my life to look like?
That was kind of the point about the challenges but it was far too structured and I think I need to take a more organic approach.
I need to fill my time with fun stuff, rather than wistfully waiting until the next opportunity I have to get all my offspring together under one roof… (That’s Christmas by the way!!
So my plan for the New Year (and the blog) is to stop dithering and say ‘Yes!’ to everything, so that I’m not letting opportunities pass me by.
What can you expect from ChallengeClare now?
Well I do need to pay attention to my health and make it a priority, so there will most likely be some health, diet and fitness stuff. In an ideal world over the next year there will be a huge transformation. Chances are I’ll just move a bit more and eat a bit less but hey! What can you do?!
I’m also re-evaluating my career, so there will be some stuff about that too…
Family and parenting info – I’d like to think my experiences of raising boys with Autism and Bilateral CTEV (Congenital Talipes) and being a SEND Teacher will be useful to someone…
Then some fun stuff, travelling and my exploration of new hobbies! How to keep busy now I’m about to hit 40!!
Phew! Thats it!
Well done if you’ve got this far! Any suggestions for how this redundant mother should fill her time would be gratefully received! (Nothing too fruity mind!)