Monday, 19 December 2011

Heading Back Home

As I write this, the Sporty Family is preparing for our road trip to Sydney, and then on to the Far North Coast of New South Wales….Where I grew-up.

Part of me loves going home. I just love spending time with my family and I love the more laid-back life-style. The kids get to run around barefoot with their cousins and spend all day in the neighbors swimming pool. We go to the stunningly beautiful rainforests and the deserted beaches that stretch on and on for kilometers. My children  get to experience what it was like for me growing up.

Maybe it’s the humidity or the warmer, more tropical climate, but the sky looks different, the air feels different. You can hear the buzzing of the cicadas, the croaking of the frogs cane toads and the cars revving up the street. You can smell the Christmas beetles in the breeze, the mangos ripening on the trees and the unmistakable sent of the meat works burning off the cow hides……home.

But there is one mostly psychological reason that I don’t like going back to my childhood home. When I was at high school I had big dreams. I wanted to change the world, cure cancer. I wanted to be successful….rich and famous, and a Nobel prize was on the to-do list  too! I would fantasise abut driving down the main street in a red convertible to demonstrate just how successful I’d become…I wonder if anyone else has dreamed of doing the dame thing.

The reality is, as always, in stark contrast to my fantasy world. Although I have achieved my aim of completing a PhD in medical research, I haven’t quite cured cancer. I have also made the choice to give up my career and be a SAHM for my three children. I have been out of the work force for almost 9 years. Now that my youngest is approaching school age, I have been thinking about returning to work. But after being away from science for that long I’m not sure if I could or want to go back.

I have also given away my music, which was such a large part of my life at school.

In short, when I return back home I almost feel like a failure.

 I am again, that girl at school who was dared to eat Perkins Paste…and did!. Items on my to-do list now include shopping, cleaning, and bathing. Somehow the jobs of playgroup coordinator, unpaid neighborhood music teacher and speech therapist , taxi driver, cleaner and cook are not really worth mentioning when I run into an old class mates and I am asked the inevitable question…

“…so what are you doing now??…”

Another reason for my hesitation in going back to my home town is a little ironic. You see, at high school I just couldn’t wait to get away from that place. But now, when I am back in my new home city I find myself lonely, lost and longing for my family back in my old home town. I feel in a ‘funk’ for several weeks as I get used to being on my own again. I wonder what the ‘high-school me’ would think about that??

I have heard it said, I think from a movie, that…

“…When you go back to a place that remains unchanged you find out how much you yourself have changed….”

I think that this statement sums up how I feel, because I have changed. I am no longer the self obsessed high school kid I once was full of idealistic dreams to change the world. I now have my children. My priorities have changed and I will now do whatever I can to help them realize their dreams.

I can’t help feeling though that I have too easily given my dreams away…..

I’m wondering if there are any other mums who feel a little like that??

....And, because It's Tuesday, I'm linking up with Jess from Diary Of A SAHM for #IBOT. Come over and have a look at all the wonderful posts!


  1. i moved back to Perth after 7 years (when I left I had no plans on returning) it is such a small city. everyone knows everyone.. and I hate it. but its the best place to bring up my children, I will not and will never return to my highschool reunions or get back in contact with the people I didn't like back then! Thinking of my highschool years of being bullied makes me never want to bump into them out and about now!

  2. Wow, what stunning scenery!!!

    I was always very academic so I feel like, in many ways I haven't reached my potential. But then again, I'm now a mother in my thirties... when I was a child, I didn't realise how many things there are out there in the world to hold my attention so of course i was focused on a few small things. Now I do hundreds of small things.

    And I've always been very creative and I still am. Plus, as the saying goes "you can have it all, just not all at once".... life doesn't end when you have children, it goes on for another 50 yrs. So I have lots of time to fill, I should just enjoy the time i have now, plod along putting money away, spend quality time with my kids. It will all come together in the end.

  3. Thanks Yvette, I understand. I didn't go to my school reunion this year for similar reasons. I only go back because my family is still there. I hope things get better for you in Perth.

  4. Laura, You made a great point when you said

    " life doesn't come to an end when you have children".

    I'll keep thinking that this christmas holidays, Thank you!

  5. I'm in a similar position professionally... I think because I've been out for so long now I would have to go back to uni for some kind of "refresher" course. I haven't even looked into it yet. I hope that you find what you are looking for. Good luck for xmas and returning "home". xo

  6. I understand this. A few weeks ago I went to the schools end of year concert and saw all the graduating students full or hopes and dreams, and it doesn't feel like that long ago that it was me. I have always wanted to move; for some reason being in the same town feels like I have gotten stuck and done nothing. Instead I try and remind myself that having kids means I have done much more than those that haven't; I have changed the world. :)

  7. Misha, It's nice to know that I'm not the only one in a similar position when it comes to the paid work force. Thank you for your good wishes!

  8. lol Jess, Having kids does change the world and it sure changed me!!.....and for the better I hope!

  9. This is similar to my story (although i never even made the phD). I grew up in the States and went to very elite schools. Everyone I know is a doctor, lawyer, success - even while having kids. I travelled instead and met my husband. I have had great jobs in several different countries, but never made a full career of any of them and then left to be a SAHM (have been at home 8 1/2 yrs now). My blog is the first thing I have really done since having my oldest that is just for me! I feel strange in dealing with my old friends because i do feel less than as almost none of them simply stayed home. (when i was younger I wanted to be a lawyer and become a senator or president of the US LOL - missed the mark by just a little bit)

    deb @ home life simplified

  10. Wow Deb, we do have similar's so nice to know there are others who can unserstand that I feel strange when being with old friends. Thank you for your lovely comment!

  11. Far North Coast is so beautiful, I grew up there too, in the mountains, away from the beach, and loved it. Such a beautiful area. Employment took me to the city with life moving on from there. I had at the academic scores to become whatever I chose, yet my heart was towards being a SAHM (I did go to Uni). I am now indeed a SAHM, homeschooling our 8 children, yet the reality does not meet my fuzzy dreams - because it involves real life and real people. I think the reality is much more grounded than my ideals and our character grows along the way.

    I am thoroughly enjoying blogging which gives me a new window to the world and helps me connect with others while in the midst of being at home. It has also helped me appreciate my life and our beautiful surrounds even more and helped me further define some skills and areas of character.