I was right, because on Monday I start a whole new life as a full-time student nurse. The impact this change will have on the whole family is enormous. Olivia will no longer have me waiting for her at the school gates, and reminding her to go back and get her lunchbox/horn/coat/homework; Cam will no longer have me putting the kettle on for a cup of tea for him when he gets in from school or from a friend's house; Graham will no longer have someone willing to wash yesterday's stinky running kit at a moment's notice. Instead, everyone else will be joining in with the cooking, cleaning, tidying and looking after the hens. Once I've tested Cam on his French vocab, he will have to test me on my biology in return. Graham will have to listen to me discuss essay plans rather than sewing plans.
The change for me is, of course, enormous too. I will have to get better at delegating jobs around the house to others (the hardest one will be delegating the supermarket shopping to an online service, because I really love doing the supermarket shop), and I will have to be ruthless at carving out study time for myself. I won't be able to go to any more class assemblies at school, and appointments for the hairdresser, optician, orthodontist or gas man will all have to be squeezed into the weekends.
But despite this impending domestic earthquake I am not stressed, nervous or doubtful - just incredibly excited and full of anticipation. This is mainly because there has been an overwhelming surge of goodwill and incredible support for what I am doing - from everybody: friends, family and complete strangers.
|The Ladybird book of nurses - a present from Tess|
So many of the mothers at school have offered to pick up or look after Olivia for me - "If there is anything I can do to help just let me know!" has been the generous phrase I've heard most frequently since term started. It's so reassuring to feel that there is an army of mothers behind me, whom I can call on if there is a childcare crisis (and of course there will be - and of course at the most inconvenient times, like when I have to be in University for an exam by 9am).
|A wonderful handmade card from Gill|
Friends and family have been delighted for me and have sent me so many sweet cards and presents and offers of childcare. Each week this summer the postman has brought me new surprises - the most recent one was yesterday from my dear friend Janine who is embarking on her own new beginning this autumn.
|Alpaca yarn - a present from Janine|
|My new basket - a present from my parents|
So many blog readers, many of whom I've never even met, have sent me touching emails and comments expressing their support and delight - frequently letting me know about their own experiences of nursing. Thank you all - it truly does mean so much to me.
This force of goodwill has been overwhelming and very moving. It means that I leave behind the domestic world of a stay-at-home Mum with very little sadness or regret, even though I have loved (almost) every minute of it. What comes next for me is even more exciting.