Recently my husband and I met up with some friends. At different points during the day, both the friends asked me what was new. And that's when it hit me. Nothing was new. Everything was well, but nothing was new. And for the first time since having my children I wondered if I didn't need something more.
As every stay-at-home-mum will tell you, the minute your youngest starts school, so do the questions. 'So, what will you do now?', 'Won't you find the house quiet?' and the ultimate kick-in-the-teeth 'Back to work then?'. I always want to say 'Shut your pie-hole' but since I know that's not allowed, I usually tell everyone I'm considering my options. But inside I'm thinking about the pie-hole thing.
I have never regretted my decision to be a full-time mum. I think it's the singularly most important challenge I ever undertook. Maybe it's because I side-stepped corporate cubicles a while ago anyway, swapping high-level meetings and office politics for the life of the freelancer. Maybe it's because I achieved the career goals I set myself sometime in my 20's. I certainly didn't feel it was a sacrifice and I don't - or I didn't - miss work.
But now I'm faced with some time to myself - which is great. I go to the gym and I can get to the farm shop without a soft toy peeping out of my handbag. But with free time comes head space. For the first time in seven years I can think about myself. The old me, the current me and any future me.
And current me thinks that I still want to be there at drop-off and pick-up, when there is an assembly or show to attend, an event that parents need to pitch in with and if the winter (summer, spring or autumn) vomiting bug comes calling. Current me knows there are packed lunches to be made, reading books to be listened to, number bonds and number lines to navigate and lots of play dates and pick-ups to organise.
But current me also remembers I once enjoyed real writing - and wonders what happened to the schoolgirl me penning pages and pages of stories in a frenzied whirl. Long before I needed to think about a career, cash and commercial writing.
So after a seven-year hitch, I'm going back to basics. I'm blogging and I'm tap, tap, tapping short stories on my laptop. I think I'll have to write pieces that are slightly tongue-in-cheek, because that's mostly the way I think. And I'll be blogging bits along the way that I hope will keep us all entertained. No one wants too much space in their head.
And one day, maybe I'll be able to pick up the girls from school and say 'Mummy sold a story today'. Although they'll probably just ask if I have any biscuits...