It seemed easier all round for me to become a full-time mum, and barring a bit of voluntary work, that's what I have done for the past nineteen years.
With the prospect of no-one at home to actually mother ( no jokes about the old man, please!), I began to think about what I should do. I had started volunteering at the Citizens Advice Bureau last spring, but my heart was always with nursing. However, after so long away, I wasn't registered anymore but after a conversation with a lovely friend who I had trained with, many moons ago, I began working as a Healthcare Assistant on the Manchester Health Bus. I loved this as the hours were flexible and the work felt very worthwhile.
Unfortunately, the funding for the bus ended so I was back to square one. Then an opportunity came up for a couple of days a week at a health centre, working as a healthcare assistant. Happily, I must have interviewed well, as I got the job and now work Monday's and Thursday's.
It is odd to be the new girl at my age! Computers leave me rather stumped and the jargon of the modern health service can be incomprehensible. However, patients are the same, illnesses are the same and being part of a team is starting to feel rewarding. My pay coincidently matches my daughter's monthly rent in Durham almost exactly, which is a help!
So, after almost 20 years when I hung up my uniform, I'm back. With the help of my young, and not-so-young, co-workers, I am feeling more confident with each working day. At the age of 49, I feel that I've got a new lease of life. Work should not define us and I have never felt the need to apologise for being a 'stay at home home mum', every family is different and what works for one, may be disastrous for another. However, it feels good to be facing new challenges, learning new skills and becoming part of a team again.
So here's to change at any age and although I am an empty nester, I'm far from depressed about it!