I had a new baby and a toddler. We had recently moved back to Melbourne when I was offered a part time teaching job at my old school. After some enquiries it eventuated that I would need to undertake part time studies for a Diploma in Education in parallel with the work. Apparently, this would not have been necessary under the previous headmaster due so some education qualifications he had. I have no idea what these were – it was a long time ago and I was not involved in the process of approval apart from being required to do the study. This was the first curved ball, but really did not cause much concern. I was able to easily enrol in the necessary course at my old University as a post graduate student.
All was in place for me to start studies and start teaching – years 7 and 9 Mathematics. That was when the big curved ball hit. My husband came home from work at the end of January, just before the school year started, to inform me he was heading overseas for work within ten days!
Here I was with a two-year-old toddler, a four-month-old baby, about to start part time work and part time studies, and my husband would be away for at least six weeks. I had some babysitting already organised, but now I had to also organise for babysitting for my evening study classes. And we lived 25 kilometres away from the school and university.
It seemed like a daunting task. But I come from a family of strong women. I started organising the strategy. Fortunately, my parents lived within walking distance of the school and less than ten minutes from the university. They had two spare bedrooms. And they could care for the children while I attended my classes at the university.
Now I think this has shown me that there is always a way forward. The most important result though was that my father got to spend lots of time with the children. My sister lived in Sydney and he rarely saw her three children. At that time neither of my brothers were married. It had given him the opportunity to get to know them as babies. I believe they gave him a lot of joy over the remaining years of his life.