Sunday, September 27, 2015

It's a hard day today...


I'm struggling. I'm in a place I never thought I would be in. I'm a long term unemployed person and it feels like I have no skills, no talents and nothing to offer the work market. I simply feel useless and absolutely washed out. Invisible and unwanted. I guess I'm good enough for loading the dishwasher and running the vacuum around the house but that is it. Is it?

Those are hard words, I know, but today this is true to me. Tomorrow might be different. I might rock tomorrow, but today I feel like a nobody. Today I feel like a looser and a failure and so be it. Let me cry and let me perform the highest performance of self pity for a moment. I'm allowed... like the kids' say...

I was a stay at home Mum for many years. Looking back, I would say I was blessed to be able to stay at home with my kids for so long as 9 years. But being Swedish and brought up in a culture of equality between men and women, I grew up becoming a working woman from age 16. I never even questioned it. Because this is what you do in Sweden. Women work. A lot. We have child care and social services making it possible for women to take part of work life and gain independence. We are expected to perform in the work arena.  People would frown upon someone being a house wife. I was always a woman of independence. Driven, brave, focused. I made every profession I wanted to try out reality, no matter what. That was up until I got married and had kids.

I through  myself into motherhood. And without knowing it, I lost my professional me. Now I find myself trapped with a big blank gap in my CV... Employers say I am to old or that I don't have enough high educating University diplomas... Which is true. I am not an academic. I never went to University, but my life is a big adventure of different industries and work titles, worldwide living experiences and crossings of different countries, cultures and languages... I am a humanist, a simple person with a mediocre education and high work ethic, but I guess no one wants that here in Switzerland, a country who strives for perfection...

So today I'm a bit low. I struggle with my self esteem while surfing job adverts and customizing my CV, only knowing - if not expecting - it will be rejected once again... Life abroad can be hard. Today I wish I lived in Sweden and I would for sure have a job. Any job. Because there I know how the work market functions. I speak the language and I know my way around, but here... It is hard.



Kärlek
Annette



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73 comments :

  1. Alt bliver godt. Mine bedste ønsker til dig.

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  2. You cannot do a more important job in the world, then being a mum and homemaker! That is my believe. I LOVE being at home, but I do not find my worth in things or positions. I love the Lord Jesus with all my heart and I find my worth in identity in Him and what He as done for me. Keep you head up high and be proud of what you achieved. You are busy raising a precious child. Lots of hugs Sonja

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  3. I hear your words and send my sympathy for how you are feeling today. I hope that tomorrow you may feel better, but know that there is someone here in Canada who hears you and understands how you feel today.
    xo

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  4. You are not alone....as I am in the exact same place in life and feeling the same. Been home for 14 years...I am 52....trying to reinvent myself and find my place in life. We will find our ways...you and I....in the mean time, I send you virtural hugz!!

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  5. Hi Annette,

    I have been a stay at home mum for almost ten years too when my daughters were younger. I never regretted it. It's such an important job! You can give your children the necessary 'basis' which is so important when they grow up. To have a happy home, a mother who is always there for them and introduces them to so many important things that you don't learn at kindergarten.

    When my youngest was four and went to primary school, I started working again, as a sort of apprentice at first. Perhaps that's a possibility for you too? You don't get paid at first, but you get lots of experience a perhaps a real job will follow.

    Hope you will feel better soon!

    Take care Annette!

    xox

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  6. I'm sorry you are having a hard time, but I think it was very brave of you to admit feeling that way. I have up and down days, too, and it's never fun.

    Guess I just want to tell you I care and am sending hugs...lots of them.

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  7. I just wish I could give you a hug. I have never commented but today you touched me
    Be strong have a nice sleep and tomorrow will be better.
    Big kisses from a Lady that's also away from home xx

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  8. Dejar kärlek, muy english es not. Rey goog ut enough to understand tour words. De dont know each other, but i know you existe. The little i know about you es that you are a great personas thant every crochet work you share makes me happy. I fe el sad listening you fe el like this today... because i am sufre you are cable to work anywhete un spite ofot having titles. To me, you are a crear worker¡ i know i dont pay you anything and that muy works dont will help you to get a job... but unless ley me send you a big hug from north spain and congratulate you por allí the beautiul things you. Come en and do t vive up trying but un the meantime please smile¡
    Noemi

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  9. I'm am so sorry that you are having a day like you are. I think, at one time or another, we have all been there. I am blessed to live here in the U.S.A. where, at least for now, it's okay to be a wife and mom. I stayed home when my children were small and joined the workplace when the youngest started school. I then worked to help put them all through University, always intending to go and get my degree sometime myself. However, we paid our house off and had no bills when the youngest graduated and my husband said I could do anything I wanted to. Guess what I did. I quit my job and have never looked back. I love being a stay at home wife. I know that financially all aren't so blessed as I am and so I will pray that you will soon find a job that fits exactly what you want to do in your life.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  10. Anneke,depois que descobri o artesanato,não vejo a hora de me aposentar para ficar em casa fazendo artes sem compromisso com horários que eu vou administrar.Falta 1 ano para isso acontecer :)) Espero que mude de idéia e faça bastante crochê na sua linda casinha.Boa semana.Beijo.Valéria.

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  11. I am in almost exactly the same position as you here in England. I did go to University, but in my nine years of being a stay at home mother, and the 13 year since I completed my degree my field has changed beyond recognition. I want to retrain as a teacher, but ill health is getting in the way. I tell myself to take just one day at a time, just like you tomorrow might be easier. Chin up! Best wishes x

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  12. Of course you can feel sad and self pity today, but tomorrow you will pull yourself together and keep focussing on what you want. You have so much life experience and diversity to bring into a job I am sure there are people out there who will be dying to hire you. You just have to make sure they know where to find you. So scrub up your CV, put on your smile and keep looking. I wish you all the best! XXX

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  13. I totally understand your feelings. I am in the same situation right now. Being a stay at home mum for 9 years now and it seems impossible to get a job. I never do envy anything besides the mums that can return to their jobs after staying at home. When I was younger I was so optimistic to get back to a job. How wrong I was...
    Feel huged ♥ from a mum to a mum
    Angela

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  14. I am in a similar situation. With one difference. I know it is not you it is 'them'. Something is very wrong with a world that doesn't see the value of a woman with many skills, many relevant and some transferable (able to learn new ones too). You have integrity, honesty, passion and interest. If these don't count in an employee then you have to wonder. I don't wonder what is wrong with me (not after the ridiculous interviews I have been to with some very silly people) and nor should you.

    You have been a fine mother and worked out side the home too. There is nothing intrinsically wonderful about the world of work. You have literally had the lives of others in your hands and been responsible for it. What a shame we don't respect and value that. A woman is to be many things, a mother might be one of them. That deserves respect for a job well done, and we should be valued for it. Any other job when compared to its value, responsibilities and necessity falls short. Yet we are led to believe that staying at home stunts your mind and that you have decreased value to society. What rubbish!

    Wherever we choose to do our work - inside or outside the home, paid or unpaid, all our work should be given its true worth. Sadly motherhood is not a viable currency right now. Never mind, you will see the results in your children and that shall be its reward.

    Don't give up. Even women who have been in the work place continually with no breaks, get to this age in life and get shown the door. It's a disgrace. I have known many professionals who become devalued just because of their age and find it very difficult to find work. It is meant to be illegal but age discrimination certainly exists. It is rife.

    So hold on there. You will find a way through eventually as will I. Do not believe the messages you are receiving though - that it is somehow your fault. It really is not. You have so much to offer. Direct it to yourself and your family if the world doesn't want it. Do some volunteering (if that is an option where you live), to keep a place on your cv and give you current references. You will also enjoy it and people are appreciative and it will bolster your confidence.

    You are multi talented and skilled, never stop believing that. But more importantly you have great qualities as a human being. You don't want to work for anyone who can't see that. One day there will be the employer who will see all of that. I am sure it will not be long!

    So chin up, and hold your head up high. You are great and I hate to see the world treat you as otherwise. Good luck.

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  15. I'm so sad you feel like this because you are a very talented person - I love reading your blog and seeing what you create, whether it's your beautiful patterns and projects or your home or the beautiful children you have brought up. If and when you go for a job interview remember, they will be lucky to have you not the other way round. I hope tomorrow brings a better day. Love Brendie xxx

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  16. Hi Annette, I know exactly how you feel being English and living in Spain, although my circumstances are very different to yours. I gave up work when my oldest was born but have been lucky enough to be able to gradually slip back into working from home. I have always been there for my children and still am and I know that this is the most important job I've ever had. Last week my oldest went away to university and this has been the toughest week of my life. I feel so proud of the wonderful person he has grown into and know that he's loving his new life, but I miss him sooo much and can't help feeling that it has all gone by too quickly. If you can't find a job outside home maybe you could use your wonderful crochet skills to become self employed in some way at home. What I'm saying is that the daily grind sometimes seems so tedious, but all of a sudden you blink and it's gone and you can never get it back. Sending you a vitual hug and hope you feel better tomorrow

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  17. I hope by the time you read this that you are feeling better. It must be even more difficult in a different country and culture than you were in before. There really is an importance in raising your own children and to keeping a household running. Never underestimate the importance of clean laundry!!! But it is easy to feel invisible in these times. Wishing you the best and hopefully you feel better today. Smiles...Sue.

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  18. I admire your talents so much, thinking of you at this time.

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  19. I understand your feelings. The job market does bring up such feelings. It is difficult after being at home raising a family. It does make me sad that you feel that way. You have many skills. I have faith that things will work our well for you.

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  20. I'm sorry to hear you are in a dark place at the moment and feeling hopeless. I think we all have these days at some time. I work in our company but would like more time at home how that our girls have grown up and moved away to the city to pursue their careers (media and nursing). I want to do more craft work and be more social - just the opposite of what you want at the moment.
    I enjoy seeing your crochet work which is so beautiful. I have a knitting project on the go at the moment then a crochet knee rug which is every colour of the rainbow.
    I wonder if there are any courses you could do to boost your CV. What sort of work do you want to do?
    I hope you feel better in yourself soon. Take care of yourself,

    xx Joolz xx (Australia)

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  21. I know what you are going through. I have a gap of 4 years now but I am not looking for a job right now. Even two years gap is considered a lot in market these days and the situation around the world is same. I was in IT industry and you know how fast technology changes. If you are so keen and serious in joining back then I would suggest you to select one field and join a course, not university ones, but sometimes we have specific technology courses. It will somewhat open up your interaction with same market people. It may or may not be successful and you would end up wasting money on course also but worth to try. Also, joining after a gap means finding oneself at the starting point. It's very difficult to get higher level jobs.
    Don't feel low, something good is always there :)

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  22. I'm sending you comfort and happy thougths cause I know what it's like to feel like a nobody sometimes... I haven't worked for the last 5 years now, at least I haven't worked on the market, but I do have worked at home for my family.
    Please, don't underestimate yourself!
    Sigrid x

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  23. In 2010 my Mom passed away, she could sew and crochet better than anyone I know, and taught us a love for crafts. She was loved dearly. In 2002 my grandmother passed away, we all loved our grandmother dearly, and she loved everyone. She had little money, and lived simply, but she was the best cook ever, and gave us a belief in God, praying for us everyday. We were brokenhearted, and a piece of Heaven was gone from the earth.
    My Dad passed away this year, he worked hard all his life, had alot of money, but had no good relationship with family. His life was work and money. As I sat in the pews looking around, I thought how sad and empty it was knowing noone felt that love, noone had a good relationship to remember. He'd taught us nothing, he left no good memories. When the only thing you have left in this world when you go is the memories you leave behind, nothing else matters. It's the love you give to those around you, what you can pass on to them that matters, trust me on that. When I see what you create I'm inspired, and I know many others are, you make people happy and what you create is beautiful.

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  24. I can understand what you are going thorugh. I am Finnish and when our 3 chidlren were small we lived in France, Belgium and Britain, all of which have less emphasis on women's work careers. Though from what I have heard from friends living in Switzerland, it is even less there. Finland is similar to Sweden, being a mother is important but only at the side of your "real" career. What defines you is your job, not your family. This is what I myself think also and have always lived by. I have had periods of unemployment and found that hard, like a loss on indentity.

    Reading your blog, would you not consider making crafts your new career? There are so many ways that together can bring a full income whan you combine them. I myself am working towards that, while working as a teacher. you can use so many channels, depending on what you like to do and can do. Blogs can be a means of income, as can Youtube tutorials, there is Etsy to sell on, Ravelry and Etsy to sell your patterns on, could you teach classes locally or start your private classes... The great thing is that with all the possibilities internet brings, work is not restricted to any country or place.

    BUT don't change, you a Swedish independent woman, stay as such :)



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    1. Looked at your blog more in detail now and I can see that you are already using many of the channels I mentioned, sorry! You already have a career in handicraft, just expand it :)

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  25. Styrkekramar från mig. Tänk på att du är bloggerska, mönsterkreatör, sömmerska, virkerska, etc etc.

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  26. Sorry to hear you're down at the moment. I didn't give up work on becoming a mummy, but things slowed down whether I wanted or not... and even more after number 2 and 3 arrived. I'm looking for another job but people keep asking me why I haven't been 'productive' during the last five years (I'm an academic and haven't been able to publish more than one or two times per year the last couple of years)... well, as angry and sad as it makes me, I know that I HAVE been very productive and that I'm very happy with my kids!! You know, everyone is talking about family values, societies needing more young people, etc etc, but no one values the persons who actually make families work! Ah, I kind of get what you feel... Perhaps you could try to start something up by yourself? What about setting up a daycare centre? I've been toying with the idea myself...

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  27. Oh dear you sound so sad. I managed to keep a little bit of work ticking over while I was at home with the children and it did make a difference but someone will see your potential and snap you up - it is just a waiting game. Best wishes to you and your soul. Jo x

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  28. Oh love, I am sending you a huge hug as I know exactly how you feel. It really annoys me that so many people put so little value on the skills a mother has learned thoughout her life. I wonder how many 'corporate bigwigs' could do all the things that a mother does on a daily basis. If I were in a position to employ someone it would definitely be the lady that stayed home and raised her kids. I value each and every skill and life situation that mums have been through.

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  29. I'm so sorry to read about your dark day today but hopefully tomorrow will be a brighter one. If it is any help I can understand everything that you have described. I think we maybe all have a day where we question what are talents are. I work and look after my children and struggle with the same problems but feel guilty for not being able to spend more time at home. I think the role of a mother is sometimes so blurred that we loose our way, and a 'down' day is the result. Please don't feel alone. We all appreciate your honesty in this post and wish you happy thoughts to let you know you are a talented, blessed person. xx

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  30. Annette ...I'm so sorry, I regret not being able to be with you now and make yourself a big hug .... I also have friends who are in the same situation. I can not do anything to help, but I can support them with a coffee ... a chat ... I hope you have a good friend for to talk of your thoughts ... and especially I hope that you can quickly incorporate into the workplace ... is sad to think that entrepreneurs do not know how to value your talent ... enjoy your children, the rest will come soon! and think you in positive! for now you have time for your family. Good luck in finding this job! a big hug, my dear Annette!

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  31. Annette your words filled my thoughts just because they could be written by me, so many times I feel like you. Motherhood can be the most complete adventure in a parents life, no job can mix so much emotions and challenges, its our family, but as long as we have some personal independance e can deal with the goods and bads of being a full time mom/dad, if there is no space for us out of motherhood sometimes we feel like suffocating inside ourselves. Being a stay at mom for 4 years since my 1st and now 2nd son. I know that probably in more 3/4 years will try to find a job, to wait for the age of my second son to be able to go to school, and then I will be a stay at home mom for 8 years, and 8 years for a woman who went out of university with 25 years, and worked for a while in the area of study and them in aviation e know that I will face many obstacles in professional life, mothers are not valued in a job, is like: 'you have kids so you won't be available anythime'... I just hate when people say to me that I can't complaint about my life for some moments because there is people living worse that I, and I understand that but when I feel sad I don't want to feel worse... Kiss

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  32. We all know the feeling. I see some people have already proposed setting up a daycare centre. After all that is what you were 'training' for the past years while you raised your own children? I am a retired teacher and also find it very difficult to be without the stimulation of people around me and of course... the diminished income! Happy hunting! Best wishes!

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  33. But you have so many talents! You are an awesome mum you love your children and prepare them for their life to come. You write in such an amazing way, not many people can portray their feelings in words the way you do. I have kept your link because I love reading your posts, I don't always have time to link up but your colourful, happy posts cheer me up no end. I love your passion for the simple things and for nature and crafts. Thank you for all the wonderful crochet patterns you post and showing us all those beautiful things you make. I tried a blanket for a friend's baby and couldn't even keep the edges straight, on every row I had a different amount of stitches!!! I gave up 1/2 way through. Things will work out, they always do, even if it seems that everything is against you now. Try to keep smiling XX

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  34. Big hugs! I feel this too - having just graduated I'm now trying to figure out what next, and it is a little scary not knowing my direction. Luckily I have a supportive family - but when everyone else is going about their everyday business, I do feel a little lost. Big hugs to you - hopefully we will find our way soon :) <3

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  35. I'm so sorry you are feeling low Annette. Might I suggest that in the big picture of eternity, the very most important job on Earth is parenting children. Your job as a mother literally helps to shape the next generation. All other jobs pale in comparison. So don't let the interviews get you deflated, you have tremendous worth! And you have done an excellent job with your children and home. You are not your resume, but so much more. Praying a perfect fit comes along soon and you find yourself in a wonderful job that meets your needs for this current time in your life.

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  36. So sorry for you that you are sad and struggling. You are in good company.
    All over Europe a lot of women are looking for jobs and are rejected time after time. Great women with lots of experiences who can do great things for the society and for their family. I think you are one of those great ladies.
    For shore their is work, but the problem in Europe is that a lot of jobs are reformed to voluntary work without payment. In the years of the crisis a lot of men and women lost their jobs all over Europe. Businesses are getting out of the crisis, but they keep their amount of personnell as low als possible. Now it seams there are still not enough real jobs with payment for all the people who are looking for a job.
    Please, don't underestimate yourself. Keep hope for a new job and meanwhile keep possitive with all the things you can do like your crafts.

    Best wishes to you and to all the women in Europe who are looking for a job ( I am one of them with several degrees, a lot of working experience and an age employers don't like).

    Hugs, Margaret

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  37. Annette, I am so sorry you are feeling down and so hope that today seems brighter. You are a wonderful Mother, the first and most important job there is. It should be valued as much as any job, I am sorry that culturally it isn't. You are also a creative genius, I am sure that making the incredible patterns you do does not make you much money and that is a shame because you are brilliant. Have you thought about teaching crochet classes? How about submitting pattern ideas for a book, I would buy it in a second. Hang in there, you are valued for being you.
    Meredith

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  38. Wishing you a better tomorrow! Big hugs! It seems to be the same the world over.(Even with the degrees it's very hard finding work here in the US.) Here's hoping the world will be a better place for our daughters. I hope you think of all the positives in your life and let the negatives go as best you can.

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  39. I'm so sorry you are feeling like this. It seems like in most countries we women who choose to stay at home and look after our children are totally undervalued and forgotten, both while we're doing it and when we get to the point where our children are old enough for us to enter the world of work again. I've been a stay at home Mum for five years and I love it but I know that in two years when my youngest goes to School I will have to look for a job outside of home and I'm already starting to dread it for many of the reasons you have stated. I really hope that you feel better. You are obviously a wonderful mother and clearly very creatively talented. Sending you hugs and hoping you find a job soon. x

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  40. Before I started my own business I went through periods of being unemployed. During those periods people would shrug and say: but your husband has a good job. Or they would even suggest it would be a good time to start having kids. I was always a bit shocked by this. I would never rely on my husband financially nor start a family just because I was out of a job!! So, I get what you say. But I guess the most important thing for you is, that you like to work, that you don't mind putting in the hours and that you have talents that are now unused. This is SO frustrating. Yes, you have every right to be frustrated and please go ahead and be angry and sad for a few days. I am sure you'll get strength from this and you'll be able to gain from this. Yes, all this 'what doesn't kill you etc...' is actually true ;-) I'm sure you find your way, but for now: tea, chocolate, moping and Greys Anatomy for you.

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  41. Dearest Annette. you have put your feelings so beautifully in words. The exact feelings that I am having right now. I quit my job as a banker to be with my son who was dyslexic. It was a real struggle to get him to study and pass his exams. Then for two years he became defiant and refused to study or even listen to us, fell into bad company and they were the toughest two years of our life. Today by the grace of God he is successful in his chosen field and getting very good results. But all this took 10 years and now that he wants to go abroad for higher studies, I am wondering what to do with my life. At 49 I am beyond the eligible age limit for work, plus I have a degree in microbiology but I worked for 16 years as a banker!! My husband encourages me to blog, to crochet and "to do my thing" whatever makes me happy, I think the word we are looking for is "gainful employment". While it feels good to have a clean house, well fed family and a load of crochet projects, nobody is actually paying you for doing that, which is what I keep telling my family! Loss of financial independence is what hurts the most. It is a terrible feeling but I am glad I am not alone. While I had always planned to conduct crochet classes when I "retire", I guess crafts is something that people like to admire and even possess, nobody actually wants to pay for them. Also, I am a bit embarrassed to ask money from friends and neighbors. So for the present I am going to be content with my blog and my crochet. You are young, your crochet work is lovely and you have a real way with words. I am sure you will work out something that satisfies you.
    Lots of love and a Big Hug.

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  42. Don't ever doubt about yourself. You are so talented.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    Corine
    x

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  43. Felt the need to write again hopefully this one will post!!!
    You are not the same person you were 9 years ago, you have evolved so you can't fit into the box you used to fit into as you too have moved on. You need to look outside the box, you are creative and talented, good luck in discovering not rediscovering but discovering who you now are and where you now fit or connect.

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  44. I too feel low at times like u. At that time my DH say that u r raising two best kids.. Being a homemaker is also a blessing. Don't feel low. There is a better tomorrow. Hope for the best always.

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  45. I'm so so sorry you feel like that today and hope your tomorrows will be so much better. However, you can not do a more important job than being a wife, mother and homemaker. You have great talents so give yourself a pat on the back and feel better about yourself. I wish I could give you a hug and make you a nice cup of tea and have a chat.

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  46. I have never commented but want you to know your lovely pictures and projects have inspired me to knit and crochet- I have made 3 lovely hats, 2 afghans and am now working on a shawl- please consider you are having impacts on others even if you are not aware- keep the beauty in your life and just get back into nature to lift your spirits...thanks for the inspiration...Mindy from Kentucky in the USA

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  47. you're not the only one...I live in Milan, I married my husband 21 years old and after my first daughter, she is 18 now, I decided to stay at home with my two girls...now the second one is 14 and I would like to do something more for me...but it is hard!
    you are not alone!
    Isabella

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  48. As women there are many times when we devalue our worth - only because society is still putting so much emphasis on the dollar and looking to us as simply "the help." It will always be the battle between the sexes and who has more "worth" depends on how many dollars you bring to the equation. The only way this can change is that we, as mothers, teach our young ones - boys and girls - that your worth is not based on dollars but on how we make our children feel about themselves without gender roles. Girls can use a lawnmower and cut grass. Boys can clean dishes and toilets. As long as we teach our children that no sex is any better than the other and no job is below their sex I think roles will change and the whole system will revise itself. On an evolutionary scale I think men and women are still confused by their roles. It use to be men got the education, worked on their careers and then came home to their wives, children and a clean house. Everyone knew what their role was. Now, women are expected to take on the male roles and men are expected to fulfill women roles. Still a lot of battles over this scenario. Male and female worth IS NOT based solely on what you contribute financially. As parents we must teach our children the same thing and open their minds to all sorts of possibilities that are not gender specific.

    I am a 59 year old mother of five, grandmother of six and a "retired" woman still searching for what my worth is based on. I worked full time since I was 15, got married, had my children and with each one resumed my jobs after 6 weeks of maternity leave. Slowly the job market started changing and I became a "dinosaur." Shuffled thru jobs via layoffs, company mergers, etc. I found myself jobless in my early 50's with no new prospects. All of my children are grown now living their own lives, most of them in different states and far away. I am an empty nester who at times finds it difficult to fill my day and be positive. I look back on all the sacrifices to provide financially and emotionally for my family and end up in a place where my worth cannot be defined.

    In retrospect I would give anything to have had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom and a homemaker. Making money in no way brought me fulfillment as a mother, wife and company worker. Stress was my outcome giving me high blood pressure that I'm having to bring under control by far too many medications today. Who won in this scenario?? The only ones that made the dollars was corporate American at my expense.

    Still, my children grew up to be responsible members of society, raising their children and searching for their worth. I hope they have a more positive outcome then I have. And they remind me that I was a great mother and the only thing they would have changed in looking back is the time I fed them split pea soup!

    Hang in there and stay focused on the prize. YOU! :)

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  49. My Rose Valley IS your job , along with raising three wonderful children....which is THE most important job you'll ever have!!! Hugs!!

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  50. Hi Annette - honestly you are amazing. You described the feelings I have occasionally and I know exactly where you are coming from. I have read some of the comments on your blog and they are all so right. I am in my late 50's and left school with very few qualifications, did not go to university and had a variety of different jobs before I met my husband. We have now been married for 33 years and have 3 grown up kids. Sometimes, life is a struggle emotionally and I often find myself envying my girl friends who have careers and wish I had more of a focus to my life. However, my husband is my biggest fan even when my balls of wool are driving him mad, when I lose my crochet hook in the car on the motorway and we have to stop in a service station to retrieve it, when I drop and break things from the dishwasher cos I've emptied it so many times that I am SICK of it, when I throw coloured things in with the white wash and his expensive white work shirts turn out pink, when the dinner is burnt and so on. Despite all this he and others say that the best job I have done is to be a wife, a mother and a homemaker. Most of the time I absolutely love what I do and I am so lucky that I can provide for my family in the way I do with love, a safe haven to come home to and a space that they can express themselves and feel wanted and cherished.
    It seems to me that you do exactly that. As you said, this morning you woke up with a fresh perspective and everything looks a little brighter. No doubt a lot of the time we are all taken for granted but I bet you when the chips are down, it is you Annette that they all come running to for a big hug!!!
    Take care, keep positive and keep creating. Without women like us the world would simply just fall apart!!
    Sarah xx

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  51. Hi Annette - honestly you are amazing. You described the feelings I have occasionally and I know exactly where you are coming from. I have read some of the comments on your blog and they are all so right. I am in my late 50's and left school with very few qualifications, did not go to university and had a variety of different jobs before I met my husband. We have now been married for 33 years and have 3 grown up kids. Sometimes, life is a struggle emotionally and I often find myself envying my girl friends who have careers and wish I had more of a focus to my life. However, my husband is my biggest fan even when my balls of wool are driving him mad, when I lose my crochet hook in the car on the motorway and we have to stop in a service station to retrieve it, when I drop and break things from the dishwasher cos I've emptied it so many times that I am SICK of it, when I throw coloured things in with the white wash and his expensive white work shirts turn out pink, when the dinner is burnt and so on. Despite all this he and others say that the best job I have done is to be a wife, a mother and a homemaker. Most of the time I absolutely love what I do and I am so lucky that I can provide for my family in the way I do with love, a safe haven to come home to and a space that they can express themselves and feel wanted and cherished.
    It seems to me that you do exactly that. As you said, this morning you woke up with a fresh perspective and everything looks a little brighter. No doubt a lot of the time we are all taken for granted but I bet you when the chips are down, it is you Annette that they all come running to for a big hug!!!
    Take care, keep positive and keep creating. Without women like us the world would simply just fall apart!!
    Lots of love
    Sarah xx

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  52. You know, Annette, even if I have a degree (I'm a geologist), I'm living your same experience… After my studies, I did lots of different works while still living in Italy and before going to Egypt I was working as a geologist, a part-time one, as I was a mum of two mini boys!! Following my husband around the world was quite natural : I didn't want my kids to grow up without their father, so all together we went!!! I always considered myself lucky to have the opportunity to stay at home and follow the growth of my kids with my own eyes, but I was missing the idea to have my own job, too…. Today this condition hurts more than even, as both Matteo and Tobia are teens, so more independent …. I feel like I didn't get something for myself : I've been around just for the others, but what I did for me? And staying abroad for such a long time, well not so useful for my (any!) working career …. I know that if I go back to Italy I have no working future, being 48 and with no more experience in any kind of job…. I try to be positive, but I know I'm loosing some precious time for me…
    A big hug, xxxxx Ale

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  53. I can't hear in Switzerland you have this problems too. In Italy it's a disaster. Very sorry about that! You are full of talent. What a useless waste!
    Good luck!

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  54. Oh that dreaded moment when we are confronted with our purpose, or lack thereof...

    When I had to put a hold on my career due to living in a different country for 4 years, I was shocked to learn how much of my self-esteem was anchored in my job. Although I REALLY enjoyed the adventure, I did feel silently worthless compared to many friends and other people excelling in their careers. What made it worse was the fact that we couldn't have children, so I felt like a double-failure! But, an amazing thing happened with me: back in South Africa, right at that point where my self-esteem was at the lowest and my future was the darkest, I had a conversation with God. It went something like this:

    "Okay God, so I can list al of the bad things in my life right now, but I have been constantly complaining in your ears about them so I am pretty sure you are well aware of it. So, if I have to reaaaalllly scratch around and find just one tiny positive thing about this situation, it is the fact that I can re-invent myself right now at this point. I am in the unique position where I am not connected to any major resposibilities. I don't have children to raise, I don't have a career. So this is what I am going to do: I am going to take a few days to think about what things in life really excite me. Using the parable of the talents from the Bible, I am then going to choose 2 or 3 and pursue them, and see what comes from it."

    So, after some soul searching, I chose 3 things I really like: 1. my career as an audiologist, which I realised I still love, 2. crochet, and 3. writing. I started to locum to help out a friend on maternity leave for number 1, I started a blog for number 3 and I tried to make a business out of number 2. After just over three years, I can report the following:

    My business plan to turn crochet into a job was a majestic failure, and many of the things I tried didn't work (I won't bore you with the details). I got so frustrated so many times! However, it has put me on a strange path where I eventually met a publisher "by accident" and the end result was that my first crochet book was published this year! (yeah, I wouldn't have believed it even if you time-travelled back and showed me pictures of it, that is how unlikely this was!! I have never even written a crochet pattern before this!). It has been incredibly hard work and it still feels a bit unreal, but I have been really blessed in the process.

    My locum job started to become more permanent and we decided we work so well together that we are in the process of opening a new, shared practice.

    My blog started with a bang but I became so busy with numbers 1 and 2 that I have not had time to give it attention. But I guess "writing" a crochet book kinda meant I used number 3 too ;-)

    The reason I am telling you this is that these low times in our lives can sometimes leave us feeling without purpose, but it is also the perfect opportunity to think about what really makes us happy, and to actively engage in those things. To re-invent yourself. Not to become a different person, but to expand who you are, to think outside the box and to explore the many hidden talents that lie within you, which you wouldn't have had time to even find otherwise.I am not going to lie to you, it has been a terrifying experience for me, and it has been incredibly hard work too, but it has also been extremely rewarding.

    If I were you, I would retreat for a day or two to your holiday cottage and spend time with your own thoughts, writing down the things that make you happy, and choosing only 2 or 3 to actively start working on. It might not work out as you planned, it might not work at all! But who knows what you will be able to write here in three years time...

    I wish I was closer to give you a hug (and a cappuccino;-)), I wish I could make the blues go away instantly, but I also wish a new exciting path for you to discover! Best of luck and keep us posted!

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  55. Are self-employed people recognized in your society? Because you're already a self-employed business woman, you run an on-line shop. Don't take a second job outside the home, throw yourself into your home business...increase your Etsy store! You could even turn a room into an office or build an office space into a corner ( if you haven't already) so that you have that official validation of your career as an entepreneur...

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  56. I second Nita above and maybe you could look at offering classes to teach others your craft, people would gladly pay to learn to make such beautiful things and who knows where this may lead you, so please do not despair , you will find YOUR way and it will be wonderful ! :)

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  57. Hi Annette! I live in Zurich, I am a foreigner and a mum of two little boys! Drop me an email and I'll be happy to share with you, but mostly I'd like to give you some tips! ;-) alerai80@gmail.com takk takk Ale

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  58. I once read that if you put a price on all the things a mom did at home, you would earn a rate of pay of over 100,000 a year..you are an accountant, chef,clean-up person..(and that can get REALLY messy)..psychiatrist, planner of parties, multi tasker, referee, business woman, chauffeur, and don't forget the dog and all that goes along with that..yuck... keep doing what you're doing..your work is a reflection of your heart... beautiful.. xo susie

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  59. Hi,
    I read you from Spain and I am in the exact same situation. This video encouraged me to redefine my CV. It's called "Being a mother is a plus" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQTNS_223DU ). Please watch it (it is in spanish but you can turn on english subtitles in the bar down to the right). And one more thing: you are an entrepeneur, a self made business woman, a succesful blogger who touches and helps many like me through your posts... don't ever say again that you are a simple stay-at-home mom, because you're much more than that.
    Big hug from Madrid, Spain.
    Cris

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  60. Oh Annette, I am so sorry things are so tough right now, it is hard when you are turned down for a job, you can't help felling unwanted and rejected and wondering why you are not good enough, it isn't you, it just wasn't the job for you. You are great and the right job is out there for you somewhere. Sending you hugs. xx

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  61. Annette,

    there are so many people (including me) that go to work like a zombie each morning,
    feeling they're missing out on the really important stuff in life: family, kids, creativity.
    If you could just imagine what huge parts of the day I am actually wishing for being a stay at home mum, having a lovely home and being able to be creative every day of my life... I really envy you and I am telling you, you have absolutely no reason for feeling the way you do. You have three beautiful kids, a loving husband, a nice home and you can do whatever you want with your time and aren't forced to go somewhere doing stupid tasks dreaming of the things in life that really matter to you.
    I really love your blog, it is one of the nicest crafts blogs there is today and you should be so proud of youself!
    Also, if you feel uncomfortable because of the language barrier, use your freetime to study.
    There's nothing as satisfying as mastering a new language. Give it a try and never give up!

    My very best wishes, Anna

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    Replies
    1. This is such a sad comment, how can someone use others 'sad days' to hit with the guilty of you not being able to have a job were you can conciliate with family/creativity. When you say that you envy Annette you don't really mean it cause probably you would be the first to give up of being a stay at home mom. Zombie moms are also the ones that stay at home with their kids, giving them education, values and being part of their growth with the goods and bads that motherhood brings to each family, some of them don't have close relatives to help some have.... People get depressed for so many reasons and is not because other people have worse lives, sickness or any other problems that each one of us cannot suffer or just talk about it. Each personshas her limits and I, stay as at home mom of 2 kids I have a busy day, and at the end of the day I'm tired as well as you or other moms around the world that have a job or not...

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  62. I read your sad post a few days ago and wanted to respond but caught the flu from my husband who had just returned from China and have been quite unwell. Reading through the other comments there really isn't too much that I can add but there are a few things I do know for sure. The most important job you can ever have is to be a good mother to your children. You have a beautiful way with color and crafts and look at that amazing garden outside your home and that little cottage in Sweden - most of these talents would be suspended if you had a job outside the home and still tried to maintain some form of family life. I worked 35 years while raising a family and know that I could barely make dinner for them most nights and keep the house clean never mind indulge my crafty side. Enjoy this time that has been given you and you will feel fulfilled in their smiles and achievements because you have the time to just be there for them. You can work on your self-employed business by improving your on-line store. Sometimes what everyone else is doing is not right for you!

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  63. Annette
    Please know that you are an important aspect of many peoples' lives, notwithstanding your little clan. And never underestimate the importance of the time spent connecting with your children. No one will ever mutter on their deathbeds, "I wish I spent less time with my children". You are a person of grace and integrity and you are more than a job or a profession.
    I spent a number of years with my kids, I achieved nothing more than ensuring they became people I respected and admired with strong family ties and a sense of wonder for the world.
    That wasn't wasted time.
    I hope that you will also look back on the time you have spent creating your wonderful family as more important than anything else, because we send these humans out into the world and we need to make sure they are the best people they can be.

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  64. (((hugs))) -
    i am english and living in Germany - i gave up work - 10 years ago now due to pregnancy.....
    it is hard - and lonely esp when your "immediate" Family arent there......
    you have though this amazing blog - Keep up the good work here!! - i Keep meaning to learn - i just cant get my head around the wool and hooks yet!! - but your blog with all it's colours, flowers and fun - keeps me motivated - that i will ONE day "get it"....!!!

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  65. Glad to see that you've gotten a bit of support here already and just wanted to chime in with my own ... these feelings can be tough but it's great that you reached out to the community there. We believe in you. HUGS.

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  66. Dear Annette, I have always been a stay at home mum and for many years, had to deal with people's disapproval when I told them I did not work. I will not tell my story, i want you to know that being a full time mom and homemaker is one of the most difficult job in the world. And also the most fulfilling. Look back at the times you spent creating a safe and happy world for your children. Be proud and hold your head high because you are a woman of many talents, you are a wonderful mom and wife. sending you big hugs 💞👏🏻💞 and as we say in French ' je te lèves mom chapeau ' which would probably translate to ' I tip my hat to you lady!' 😌

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  67. Hey Annette,

    I'm sorry that you feel bad and can understand why. I hope that things change for you.

    But nontheless I have to say that Switzerland is proud to be a country where many people don't have a university degree. Lots of Swiss people are workers, proud workers. I really hope that you don't think perfection has something to do with education on a Universitiy level. As a secundary school teacher I am happy and proud to see my students make apprenticehips.

    You are wrong to think that your education is mediocre, it you describe it as "a big adventure of different industries and work titles, worldwide living experiences and crossings of different countries, cultures and languages".

    However, it is true that in Switzerland you need certificats.

    I know that you don't want to insult stay at home mums but what you write sounds like they would not work. Swiss women work. They work a lot like the Swedish. But think about the difficultites Swiss women have to face because there isn't equalitiy between men and women regarding salaries or promotions, and there are no benefits like maternity leave or day care.

    I like to call my subject in school home economics because this is what it is. It's a business and you are the boss of it. You have to make a budget, you make decisions what to buy or not to buy, you consider the envioronment. You set goals and think long term. You calcuate and manage not only yourself but also the family. So please, do not underestimate you and your work.

    I really hope someone is going to see your qualitiies and hire you.

    Regula

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  68. Querida Annete, no estés triste...a mí me pareces muy dulce, educada, perfecta!
    El mundo laboral es difícil, no importa tener títulos o no, por lo tanto, no te sientas inferior, eres encantadora y encontrarás trabajo.
    Un gran abrazo!

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  69. Elisabeth Elliot used to say: I don't know what you are going through, but I know the One Who does. And He says: "Come to Me and I will give you rest."
    Run to Him, He is the Only One Who has the ALL the answers!

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  70. My you sound like me. And I am older, 64 now. I have been looking for work for5 years. It really makes you feel worthless and here in the states all aplications are online. You don't get the opportunity to meet the employer and convincethem that maybe some of you skills are rusty, you are terrific asset otherwise. Thankful my husband doesn't mind. Though it would be nice to feel worthwhile again.

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Thank you so much for visiting my world. I love reading your comments and I do my utterly best to respond to questions and sweet messages. Thank you again for popping by.

Kärlek
Annette

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