In 1976 we moved from Melbourne to Adelaide, along with our 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter. Now this was before the establishment of formal play groups. Child care was not something easily available, certainly not used by anyone who was not working. Basically, you relied on neighbours and friends. So there I was in a strange city, knowing no-one and stuck at home with two young children.
We had previously spent 14 months living in Canberra, when we had just the one toddler. Given the location of our home, and the nature of Canberra society back then, I spent a miserable time, stuck at home with a young child, soon pregnant again, and only one neighbour. With the move to Adelaide, I was determined to at least meet some people. I realised that people who had lived there for some time already had their friends and neighbours – their network of people – so it was up to me to get to know them, not wait for them to approach me. BUT this was not easy for me, a quiet, introverted person.
Initially we lived in a rental property while we looked for a home to buy. Soon after moving in, I saw a couple of neighbours out on the street chatting, so I went out and introduced myself. While I did get to know them a little, even visiting their homes a couple of times, this association did not last as we soon found a home to purchase in another suburb. Here there were a number of families with children around the same ages as our children. Things were at least a little less lonely.
Then one afternoon, one of these neighbours had a Tupperware Party, and of course I went along. Before I knew what I was doing, I was talking with the demonstrator about how to become a demonstrator myself. I suspect that at first she did not believe I was serious. But before long I had my “kit” and some bookings. I got out of the house, met a few people, and in general for a couple of years enjoyed the activity.
I stopped being a Tupperware Lady when I returned to full time work in Information Technology. By this time our son was at school and our daughter at kindergarten. I had been reasonably successful, and the distributor wanted me to continue on a part time basis. But I had learnt that this was not for me any longer. I do not regret the time I spent with Tupperware. There were many skills learned that I took into my professional career.
Over the years, I have had to lead teams, meet new people, facilitate sessions of varying sized groups of people. My ability to do all of these, and many other things I attribute to what I learnt as a “Tupperware Lady”.