“Mummy,” said my 6-year-old daughter, “Do you want to go and work in the chip shop again?”
So began a conversation with my daughters about where I used to work. The local chip shop was a part-time job while I attended college as a teenager. I then explained to my daughters how I worked in a jewellery shop, did a few years on seasonal contracts at a theme park, and moved on to office work in customer service and logistics. All of this stopped when I decided to start a family with my husband. Back then I was working part-time as a shop assistant and trying to develop my freelance writing business. I was hopelessly naïve about the whole industry, relentlessly positive about the good things that could come, and I stubbornly went ahead with my dreams, much to my husband’s dismay.
Fast forward several years and I am now settled into the role of housewife, or as I more recently decided, Hearth Witch. I am reading a book called The House Witch: Your Complete Guide to Creating a Magical Space with Rituals and Spells for Hearth and Home. The book is simple and practical. It reminds me that I already practice as a hearth witch. Currently I am working hard to redecorate our house and make it into a home that reflects our family personality (well, mainly mine!). Every day I make sure my children are clean, fed and their basic needs are met. I care for my husband, who works ridiculously long hours outside the home and battles with severe anxiety and OCD. I am training and settling our rescue dog into the family, and he needs time. I ensure that groceries are bought, meals are prepared, clothes are washed, and the house and garden are mostly neat and tidy. All of this is hard work, and important work. Without it we could all end up sick and hungry.
For years I have battled with the need to be a good role model to my children, to show them that there is life outside of the home, and that they can be whatever they want to be. I used to have vague dreams about working in the media, but the industry has changed a lot since I was a child, and I didn’t have many of the opportunities that might have helped me to progress a career. It took me a while to recognise that I just didn’t have the personality required to be a journalist or broadcaster. I am naturally a quiet person. I am not shy; I just don’t feel the need to talk constantly. I am happy in a quiet, peaceful space. I am happy working at home, with my dog for company, doing my writing and caring for my family. Why should I change what feels natural? Are you living a natural life? Does your job fulfill you, or are you still searching for a place to belong?
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