Frumpy Mummy

Sometimes I look in the mirror (the picture is not me looking in a mirror, just in case you were wondering) and think, what happened? Where’s my style gone?

When I was younger I had quite a strong sense of style. When I could afford my own clothes as a teenager I was a bit of a hippy. Late teens to early 20’s I just wore black. Early to mid-twenties I was retro/geek chic. Somewhere around late twenties when I started a proper job, and I earnt a bit of money, I started to follow trends. I’d buy cheap fashionable clothes, that I think I got away with, and lost my own sense of style. This became worse after I had my son when my weight was all over the place and comfort was placed way above style.

Now at 40 I’m starting to take an interest in looking good again! Just for me to feel confident in myself. But I’m a bit lost. I’ve been doing the same make-up for 10 years and essentially clinging to my jeans as though my life depended on them.

Looking back at my style I think my favourite period was my geek chic phase. I also like the 1940’s and 1950’s style. I can’t afford to throw out all my clothes and start again but I’m going to try and remember this when buying any new clothes. I’m not going for a sudden transformation but a phasing out of clothes that don’t fit very well and are not very flattering. First of all I need a big clear out to actually see what I have, then I need to take the time to put an outfit together properly rather than picking random things, that don’t need to be ironed, before I head out in the morning.

I’ve told myself I can’t buy any new clothes until I have a new job. Not only because of the lack of income but also the type of job I get will influence any new clothes I’ll be buying.

I have to be realistic, although I love 1950’s dresses and pencil skirts I am not a dress person! I live in jeans. But I do want to smarten up my look, add a few signature pieces and most of all wear clothes that flatter my figure.

I’m off to check on Instagram what 40 year olds are wearing nowadays!

40, redundant woman with child care responsibilities, seeks part time, well paid, term time only job!

I’ve been in my current job for 8 and half years and it has certainly had its ups and downs. I always planned to move on after the second baby but the second baby never came and when I was able to take flexible working when the little one went to school last year, I thought why change the status quo?

Fast forward a few months and I’m being made redundant! Instant panic set in when I heard the news. 40 and redundant what on earth am I going to do? I’ve had a few months to think about it now and I’ve calmed down.

The obvious choices are get another part time office job, 3 or 4 days a week, or try to get an office job in a school. These are the types of jobs I have experience of, I’m skilled in and which would fit in with home life. However, the idea doesn’t really fill me with joy.

What if there is another way? A creative self-employed option? A work from home option? That is the dream of so many parents.

My dad said he thought it was funny I worked in an office as when I was younger I’d said it was something I’d never do. And certainly the start of my career wasn’t going in that direction. I completed a theatre degree and wanted to be an actor. After a couple of years of rejections, and badly paid jobs to pay the bills, I realised that although I loved acting I didn’t like the lifestyle and I wanted a family and a house.

I started doing drama workshops and almost went into teaching but segued into arts admin instead. I don’t know what made me make that choice at that time. Looking back, I should have gone into a behind the scenes theatre role. But I started an arts admin career. We managed to buy a flat and then a house and have a baby. And everything is plodding along quite nicely until you get made redundant and you realise you really don’t want another office job.

Taking inspiration from my mum, who retrained as an upholsterer at 40, I’m looking for something new. Or possibly, looking back to childhood dreams, something old. With the possibility of working for another 25 years looming ahead of me I need something to pay the bills, fit in with family and to possibly enjoy!

The risk adverse side of me wants to get a part time job as soon as possible and build a new business on the side. I think this is a positive way to start. But it will be hard to find the energy and the head space to learn a new skill and/or develop a business. I am going to give myself a couple of months, after looking after The Boy for the 6 weeks holiday, to find a part time job that I will enjoy. A new environment, and possibly sector, will provide new challenges. I will try and focus in on what my new enterprise could be in the next 6 months, as I don’t know where to start, and next year I want to be working towards something new.

The next 6 months are going to be interesting.