20 October 2009

suzie homemaker or betty back to work

lately i have been 'evaluting my life' if you will. rhys and i are trying to figure out what the next step is for us. we have some ideas, but nothing is set in stone yet. the only thing we know for sure is that the next step is not london. as most of you know, i have sent a plea out to practically all of my american friends asking them to help us move to the states. rhys is looking to his buddies about other jobs in england or wales. so far nothing fantastic has really jumped out. its been discussed that perhaps rhys will go back to school and get his mba. or maybe try to get a job with an international charity. or we could win the euro millions this friday and be 50 million pounds better off.

all the uncertainity has caused me to really think about what it is that i want. kitchen table and back yard aside, what is it that i really want? i am thinking i better make a list. i have always made lists. my freshman year of college i made a list of things i wanted to do before i was 25. Get a graduate degree, check. Go to europe with my friends, check. travel around the world, check (for the most part). get married, check. more specifically marry someone with an accent, check. (yes, the accent was was honestly on my list.) live overseas, check. once i got married i said that i wanted to have a real job in the corporate world, commute to work and then have a child. i did those things, pretty much in that order too. gotta say though, communting to work was not nearly as cool as i thought it would be. that aside, i have pretty much accomplished everything on all of my lists that i have set out to.

except now.

now i feel slightly stuck. i always said when it came down to it, i wanted to be a mom. a mom of the stay at home variety. i wanted to keep a house, take care of my husband, my children. and i feel that i cant do those things based soley on the fact that i live in the second most expensive city in the world. i must detour here for a moment and add a slight disclaimer. this is not a giant "rant about london" post. i am just processing out loud. so, back to the post. since rhys and i currently reside in the second most expensive city, i feel that the current things that are starring me down on my list keep slipping further and further away from me. it seems like i will never be able to cross them off.

if i want to be suzie homemaker i like always said, then we will never be able to afford anything bigger than our current residence of 380 square feet. however, our flat at the moment does not lend itself to family living. there is constantly laundry hanging in the living room because that is the only room large enough to hold our drying rack. the only time laundry is not up is when rhys' family comes to visit and we try and make our flat look presentable. because our kitchen is not big enough to hold more than 2 people in it at a time, rhys and i never cook together. we dont have a dishwasher which makes it hard to keep the kitchen clean. basically because of the space situation, cleaning is dificult. again, i am not complaining. (sounds like it though, doesnt it?!) there are things i love about the flat. but i dont love that the situation at hand makes it next to impossible to fulfill my dream of suzie homemaker.

it werid, i have to think about things that never would have entered my mind before living here. for example, i really want to be able to have eleri on the floor so she can roll around and explore. however, because we have no ac or ceiling fans for circulation, we have to open the windows. because we live in london, big red double decker buses and taxi cabs galore are constantly driving up and down our street. the amount of smog and soot that enters our home daily through the windows is insane. curtains turn black in a matter of months. so to have eleri anywhere on the floor, even on a playmat or blanket, would require a thorough clean and dust and vacaum every single day. thats a lot of time. perhaps that is what normal people do and i am strange for thinking that i dont want to dust, sweep, mop and vacum every single day. is that werid? other moms? werid? the point is, this city makes living the life i imagined difficult. does that make me materialistic? the jury is still out on that one.

i could have a different home, a different space. but that would require me to be betty back to work. because london is so expensive to have anything different that what our current situation is, i would have to go back to work. and not a nice, part time job that would let me hang out with the babe. a real, big full time job. becoming betty 'full time' back to work was not on my list of things to do. i want to raise my daughter myself. i want to teach her things, not have her in day care where someone else gets to do all the fun day to day things.

but being here does have HUGE advantages. the biggest one being that europe is on my doorstep. literally. and its not just europe, its the entire world really. it is dirt cheap to go to say, egypt. or morroco. or russia. or china. plus, there are amazing all inclusive travel deals over here. unlike anything i have seen in america. i would love for my family to be able to travel the way that living in the uk would allow us to. at heart i will always be somewhat of a wanderer. no matter how much it sounds like i want the picket fence and apple pie baking the oven; the backpack living will always hold a big part of my soul. and i want to share that with my children. but then living in the uk wouldnt really allow us to have more than one child.

so its all give and take really.

so where does that leave us? i feel another list is probably in order. but until i can muster up the energy to make a list that could possibly determine the next few years of my life, i still have some questions. like do i become betty back to work or stay suzie homemaker? and even though asking this next question is opening up another can of worms entierly, would i ever really be content living in america long term? moving to arkansas so rhys can go back to school is an option. could i handle arkansas? or woud i be longing for the european lifestyle?

see? i said i was stuck. i am stuck between not wanting to be in london anymore, but not really knowing where that means we should be. i want to give eleri the very best. i want her to have the best education, the best homelife, the best opportunties, the best, well the best of everything. i dont think she can get the best of everything here. but she cant get the best of everything in america either. i know, i know, no place is perfect. so for the meantime, here i shall stay.


sarah said...

i'm with you on the cleaning. it's so dusty here, so to have matthias on the floor would mean i would have to sweep and mop every day. not gonna happen. also, i vote move to arkansas. little rock to be more specific. :-)

Sohailah said...

totally understand. been living that feeling for 20 years now. not very much help at all, i realize, except to possibly ensure you that you are most certainly not alone.