For a while now I’ve felt as if my brain is stagnating and that I need a change of direction. I just couldn’t decide what direction said change should take. I wanted to study something while on maternity leave*, I knew that much – I just couldn’t decide what I should study. It had to be something I had a vague interest in and it couldn’t cost thousands as I’m obviously not currently earning anything and what if I hated it? It also couldn’t have set lessons or deadlines – Toddles and Tiddles do not do that. It had to be something I could pick up and put down. I considered doing an IT degree as I could get a student loan for that despite already having studied but there’d be deadlines so I couldn’t start until bedtime and nursery was a thing for Tiddles. I looked at apprenticeships to the Civil Service as there are a lot of Civil Service jobs in this area but they want people to work full time – I don’t want to work full-time, at least not yet. We live in England which means that the only person who speaks Welsh to my children is me, and my family but they live in Wales and obviously don’t speak to them every day. If I were to work full-time this wouldn’t happen and my children would be monolingual as opposed to bilingual which is a) excellent for brain development and b) incredibly important to me – I am incredibly proud of my language and my country, I just happened to marry an English man. It’s very frustrating there are so many different options and nothing which is quite right.
“Why not libraries?” I hear you say, “that is what you’re qualified in after all!” Well it turns out that having worked in some very unique libraries I don’t have the desired experience to work in either public libraries or academic libraries. I do have the option of business libraries and Information Management however these jobs are few and far between, at least in this area. They are even fewer and further between if you want to work part-time. So what now… my husband inadvertently gave me the answer, well an answer anyhow, whether it’s the right answer for me remains to be seen.
My husband is wonderful, but here’s the thing he’s an overachiever – or at least he has ambitions to be an overachiever. He has studied two bachelors degrees – International Relations along the traditional route, and more recently a Physics and Maths degree from the Open University while working full-time mind you. Then he decided that he would do a MSc with the OU as well. Though he has had to defer this year due to the strain of home working COVID-19 a toddler and a newborn. Proving that he is at least human. He’s a keen gamer and has taken to playing DnD* with two groups of people one of which actually pay him to Dungeon Master for them. His long term goal is SPAAAACE. He may have an obsession, the annoying thing is he’ll probably manage it, and here I’ll be, still going “what the heck do I want to do?* The boy has even taken up Russian lessons recently – all to help with his ambition of seeing the stars. Oh and in his spare time he’s had the audacity to start writing a novel, about the Napoleonic era, it’s annoyingly good. I should know as I’ve been busy proofreading it for him in my spare time, also while trapped under a sleeping or breastfeeding baby. The thing is this has given me an idea; I think that it may even be a good idea.
My idea is that I should actually study proofreading and copy-editing. I have found a course on the PTC – Publishing Training Centre – website and signed up for it. I also signed up for a grammar course while I was there as my grammar is kind of shaky. My spelling is excellent my grammar not so much and it is kind of important. So my aim is to study these courses over the next few months and see how it goes. I may find that I hate it and this is absolutely not for me but if I enjoy it I’ll sign up with ciep – The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading – the professional body and do other courses through both the PTC and ciep. What I’m hoping to be able to do is freelance so I can work around the children. I’ve no idea if this will work, it may be a completely mad idea, however I intend to give it a go. You never know I may have found my niche.
*does it count as maternity leave if my last job ended just before the baby was born? I can never decide. I tend to call it maternity leave for the sake of not having giant gaps on my CV
*Dungeons and Dragons for the uninitiated
*I mean I’m incredibly lucky as I’ve achieved my main aim in life which was to have my babies (it took a few years and a couple of rounds of IVF but that’s another story) I still however feel the need to use my brain and have a job of some description. I’ve tried administration and honestly the work is dire not to mention that the administration jobs I’ve held make me question the work ethic of my predecessors. My brain needs feeding it doesn’t like to be left to rot.