I thought I was ready for my kids to leave home. I thought that I would be used to them not being around because after their Dad and I split they were often gone for stretches of time. In fact my eldest moved in with his Dad when he was eleven and then came back to me at 14 so I figured it wouldn't be so hard when they all finally started leaving home.
Turns out I was wrong.
Nothing really prepares you for your kids leaving home.
Sure, after blending our families together and the messiness of that and it never really feeling like it is blended completely, you get to a point where you are just longing for them all to leave home so you can have some time just being a couple. ( although we are not supposed to admit that or worse, say it out loud)You know how in recipes it always says " blend until smooth" when you are a blended family it's never smooth. There are always the lumps of the other parents. The lumps of the kids not wanting to follow your rules because Mum/Dad does it differently at their house. The lumps of acting out, acting up, the shit storms and the dramas.
And then my last baby flew the nest four years ago and after 28 years of being a Mum I looked around and wondered what the hell happened? I looked at the man that was my husband and I wondered, quietly to myself if this was all there was now? Just us? Now, don't get me wrong I love him dearly and he is my best friend but there had always been the buffer of the kids and all their problems and dramas to deal with and then suddenly it was just us.
That moment of being "just us" and as the saying goes "be careful what you wish for- you just might get it" well it was here now . So what was I going to do with it?
I had already been playing around with blogging and trying, trying, trying to get some kind of business off the ground and so I started writing a book.
I loved it. Writing is cathartic. You can pour everything out onto the page. You can write to your heart's content but putting it out there for someone else to see? That's a different story all together. Well , actually the putting it out there wasn't the problem. Hitting "Publish" on the very first blog post? that took a while. Pacing back and forth from the computer and then finally hitting the button and ohh, the relief once it was done. And the world didn't end.
A few people started reading it. Some left comments on my earlier posts ( thanks so much for that!) I got my first hateful message and survived ( take that trolls!) ( in fact, the one and only message I got like that made me giggle as it was so random and ridiculous).
What has been really scary is putting my first ever book up for sale. I took the "easy" way ( and yes, those quote marks are on purpose. There is nothing easy about self publishing. It is just a whole lot more technical know how you have to have tucked up your sleeve) and self published
This year has been amazing. A steep learning curve of self publishing, Kindle and soon to be print on demand. And now the marketing kicks in; tweeting, pinning, blogging, facebooking and anything else I can think of. Getting people to find and buy my book all the while creating the program to go with it and working on the next one and making notes on all the other ideas that are now flowing like an unstoppable river and at the same time maintaining the house ( I'm a shocking housewife) and channeling my inner Domestic Goddess to keep the kombucha flowing, keep the kefir fermenting, make the apple butter, freeze the other fruits that we have coming ripe and make dinner from scratch every night.
And now my youngest is moving back home. He's been living overseas for the past two years and is now faced with a health issue and needs some support. So he'll be living with us for a few months while we get that sorted.
You see kids never completely leave home. They always come back. For a visit. Sometimes to regroup before moving overseas. Sometimes to heal a relationship break up. Sometimes with their family for a long visit.