When I went off on maternity leave this time around, I told myself I was going to make it count for something. Yes, I would spend my days drowning in nappies and cleaning up barf but, I promised myself I would pursue my dreams in between. Because, contrary to belief, us mums can have dreams too. We can also chase them and feel ok about doing so. Our job titles can transcend just being a ‘mother’. We are Superwoman daily so, why not?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve longed to be a writer of some kind. With this blog, I guess I kind of am. But, I mainly wanted to be a journalist. Alas, this was not meant to be for me. I fell in love with a man (boy, it turned out) who was ten years older than me and we set about creating a home together. Homes require funds and, to get funds you need a job. So at twenty, I abandoned my dream and entered the Civil Service, just like my mum before me. Don’t get me wrong, I was lucky to secure such a job. A job that is safe and has also allowed me to work part-time. But it’s not where I ever intended to be- nevermind ten years later! The boy-man who made me abandon my dreams is, thankfully, no longer in my life. He is probably breaking others dreams currently.
One evening I happened to be on Twitter and saw the BBC tweet about something called ‘The Network’. When I looked into it, it sounded amazing, if not daunting. It’s essentially a four day, paid for, working trip ran in conjunction with the Edinburgh Television Festival. The programme is jam-packed and you learn so much in a short time frame. There are also lots of big, TV industry people there that you can hope to impress. So I thought, f#ck it, I will apply. I mean, why not? The specification said no experience was necessary so I should give it a shot. I filled out my application, coming up with a TV show that I called ‘Trouble’ and pitched it as a mockumentary style comedy set in the Troubles. I spent weeks finding the time to complete it. Weeks! I had to keep dipping and delving into it around the kids and their needs. But I was finally able to hit send and, quickly forgot all about it. Then I got an email at the end of May saying I had been shortlisted. Oh dear, I was NOT expecting that!! Cue panic but, the panic of a mother of three (which is just panicking whilst having no time to do anything about it). My group assessment would be on the 4th July, followed by an interview. FMAL, what have I done?
As you all know, in the utter f#ckery of last week, eldest got Scarlet Fever. Now baby has it. I can only imagine middle hasn’t contracted it as he was either the bearer or, is just so independent he cannot be arsed interacting with the rest of them. Anyways, this did not a good situation make for my interview prep. Come the day in question, I was a nervous wreck. I vomited once and, very nearly twice. How was I going to do this?
When I arrived at the venue, it became clear that I was the oldest one there. They were all energetic, young things and, they actually looked rested (I can’t remember the last time I ever looked ‘rested’). This was not boding well for me. But I was there now so, no going back. We were put into teams and told to pitch a TV show idea. I found myself taking command of things in a way I have been too shy to do my whole life. What was going on? When we had finished our discussion, we had to pick someone to pitch it in a minute. No one wanted to do it. “I’ll do it then” I heard myself utter. I got all our points across in just under the minute and, they seemed impressed with our work. First stage completed- phew! We were told to switch groups and get ready to talk about which TV channel we felt should win TV channel of the year. Well, I would not shut up! All these amazing thoughts seemed to be flowing freely from me. The others sat there looking at me, slightly baffled and afraid. If I could have looked at myself the same way, I would have.
Last thing was the interview. I was feeling quite pleased with myself by this stage, not going to lie. But I detest interviews and generally fall apart during them. This time I held it together. I spoke about my children and how I want to show them that you can follow your dreams at any age, with some hard work and determination. I sold myself more than I ever thought I could. I left that building feeling so proud of myself. So proud infact, that I had a little sob. I am not just a mum. That is one very important part of me but, there are many parts of me (saggy ones mainly). Don’t be afraid to chase your dream, mum or not. Maybe you will get somewhere, maybe you won’t. Maybe you will just surprise yourself and that will be more than enough. I will keep you posted on what happens- eek!