Callie I on 25 April 2021
Q. What big changes have you gone through in the past year?

When September came and the children went back to school, that's when groundhog day stopped, suddenly time began moving in a forward meaningful trajectory. My youngest had turned 4 so he began full time school, a totally new thing. For 7 years I've been staying at home mum looking after babies and toddlers and all of a sudden I had time to myself. My head improved as I began to do things for myself. I began running in the woods again, an activity I'd not been able to do since lockdown began as I can't go trail running with small children, suddenly I was child free. I had been with my children 24/7 since March, this was just amazing. Time for me, time to think. Although I was still stressed by the absent parent and surmounting debt. With that time for myself I began to think about returning to work. I got a job, far below my qualifications but I really don't care as its a job and one I love. I'm a special needs teaching assistant at my youngest children's school. It's great, I work 2 minutes from my house, I drop my boys in their classrooms and then walk to mine. Its the perfect job, and now I've been working there since December, I'm getting the hang of it, really getting into the swing of much so that last night I made proper plans with myself. I'm going to restart my PhD, I left 7 years ago owing to my accident that left my arm paralysed, I need loads of operations and physio and the PhD became a little too much with all the medical stuff going on too. I decided to have 2 more babies and be a stay at home mum my choice, a choice I'm proud of. But now it's my time, this is my year, my children are getting older and less demanding and I need to follow my goals. I've got a job that meets my Universal Credit commitments, I work 31 hours and I'm above the pay threshold meaning hopefully, fingers crossed, if my proposal is accepted, I can hopefully get the student loan to cover fees etc, and drop a day at work, and begin the PhD. I've done all the work for the MPhil, so I'm hoping I can knock some time off. So yes. A very turbulent year, marked by a violent loss of a helpful co parent. Being made to do everything myself in isolation.

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