Monday, 11 February 2013

You mean I have to work to earn money?

When I was in primary school, all the girls (and the occasional boy) wanted to be hairdressers or air hostesses when they grew up. I wanted to be a hairdresser and to be the first girl to play for the Collingwood Football team. In high school, I saw myself as a psychiatrist, a librarian or a drama teacher.

I became none of those.

As I told you in my first blog, my year 12 English teacher told me I would be nothing more than a housewife. Sure, I'm a housewife now, but I'm more than 'just a housewife'. We all are.

My first job was for the local pharmacy delivering medicines to people's homes after school. I would ride my bike around the suburb through strong winds and hail, the scorching heat and the freezing cold. I hated it. At 15, I then worked in the pharmacy helping customers. Mums would come in and ask me where the S26 was. What the hell was S26? My boss was a nasty sour old lady who rarely smiled and scared the life out of me. I only lasted a couple of months.

I picked up a weekend job at a garden centre during my later high school years. We checkout chicks had the best time. I was there for 2 years and the only thing I didn't like about the job was having my nose full of black snot from the dirt and dust at the end of the day. 

After high school, I tried to get into a drama and literature teaching course. I wasn't successful. I took a year off before trying uni again and worked for a newsagent, until I realised how unsuited I was to customer service. I spent the rest of the year, to my Mum's delight, on unemployment benefits, going to nightclubs and sleeping until 2 in the afternoon.

My shitbox was red, with the inner roof
cloth sagging down and puddles at your feet.
And the kids complained..?
I began my primary teaching degree the following year, and did an extra year in special education with a focus on hearing impairment. While studying, I was babysitting for a few wealthy families - one lot of children refused to get in my 'ugly old' car to get to school. I stopped babysitting when I couldn't find the two boys I was caring for during a storm. They were climbing across the roof and I was climbing up the walls. Their parents simply told me, "Yeah, they do that sometimes. Cheeky monkeys." Okey doke...

After graduating, I worked as a prep teacher in a regular primary school (so much fun) and in a few schools for the deaf in Melbourne and country Victoria. I have travelled hundreds of kilometres to get from one remote school to the next as a visiting teacher for students who are hearing impaired. I loved, with a passion, being a visiting teacher. Then I had kids. That stopped that - for a while, anyway. Ironically, my daughter was diagnosed with a hearing loss.

Deafblind signing
When my first two children were quite young, I worked in respite, providing support for people living with deafblindness. What an amazing experience that was! I then went on to coordinate the respite program - until being a working mum proved to be too bloody hard. I managed to pick up a short term job with the Multiple Sclerosis Society, promoting awareness of MS and of the MS Readathon in schools.

Eventually, when the kids were both at primary school I returned to work as a visiting teacher, supporting hearing impaired kids in mainstream kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. I managed to squeeze in a Master's Degree in there as well (well half of one) until the twins interrupted that idea. Because I was so bored with four kids (yeah, right) and because I had so much time on my hands (of course) I hung out at a kindergarten helping a little three year old friend who needed Auslan and language support. So cool.

When that was finished, and I could loiter around playgroups with my Wondertwins, a friend and I decided to embark on a business of our own. Both of us were teachers, both doing our Master's Degree in something, and both lamenting how hard it is to keep our skills up with rugrats under our feet. We began a language intervention playgroup for preschool children. Most of these children were from Sudan and many others families had English as their second language. The Wondertwins could join in, too. Sweet! 

Oops. Pregnant again.

And here my employment journey comes to an abrupt end. Again.

Now with five kids aged 13, 11, 3, 3 and 9 months, I wonder if I will ever enter the workforce of adult conversation, regular lunch breaks, a time to clock on and off, and be known again as Mrs M, or Lisa, instead of Mmmuuuuuuummmm!!!!

Thanks again Home Life Simplified for another great Listmania treat. 


  1. Your teaching work sounds incredible.

    Laughing at your oops!

  2. Aha! I had been wondering what your background was when you commented on my post. Seems you've done my dream career! I enjoyed reading your journey...

  3. Wow what an interesting range of jobs you have held. I love the fact that you and your friend created something that would work for you and help in your wider community. Good luck in finding that perfect fit again in the future.

    1. Thanks, it was great while it lasted. One day it might come again.

  4. WOW you have done some really valuable work and helped numerous people! Sounds like it's been great fun.

  5. Hi!
    Just found your blog through Deb's link up. You really have had an adventure! Although I'm yet to have my first child, I'm sure there will come a point when you can be part of grown up society again... At least, that's what I'm keeping my fingers crossed for! ;)

  6. Memories!!! That pic of your red car took me back! L-plater "teaching" you to drive a manual.... Of course, that was your upgraded car (tho the white one was so cute - wonder what the kids would have said about climbing over into the back seat?!) You've come a looooong way babe! Love your work :)

    1. That's right! I remember bunny hopping all the way to Tim's house! The red car had the bonnet fly up when I was driving 80kmh. I can remember stuffing 5 people in the back of the little Toyota. I tell you - if my kids ever pull stunts like that in their cars I will kill them! Yep, I've come a long way - now I drive a bus! xx