I have touched on this vaguely before but thought it would be worth going into a bit more detail. The visa I've been given as Tom's wife for the United States doesn't permit me to work there. In fact in some states in the US it makes it difficult to get a driving licence or bank account but let's not go into the oddities of the H4 status here. Or the fact that an American citizen coming as a spouse could work here.
What I do know is that I'm not allowed a Social Security Number and therefore that I can't work. Of course I haven't done a paid job for some time now, not since the children were born. They came at a natural break in my then career in academic publishing and somehow it just didn't feel right to go back. That's not a judgment on other women's choices; everyone has to do what works for them and what they want for their family. We are in the lucky position of not needing an additional income and so far I think the children have benefited from having a mother at home for them. Of course it's often bored the pants off me, but I have also enjoyed having time with them.
This January when Lottie started at full-time school nursery, I briefly started looking around at what next for me. A return to education or work? What could I do here in Wales with the rest of my life?
Then of course the American option came up and we were thrust into limbo for the next seven months, and now I know that I won't be working or being a full-time student for at least the next three years.
So what should I do? Especially as gardening and chickens are unlikely to be as available in a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco.
So far my ideas run as follows:
A cookery course/s to turn from a competent self-taught cook into an accomplished knife flashing, sauce making cook
Learn Spanish and brush up my sadly ropey French
Explore digital photography in more depth than taking snaps for fun
Take a writing course of some kind
Volunteer at a community garden scheme
This is of course in addition to helping out at school which appears to be obligatory and hard to escape in the US (aren't I keen!), housework (which ought to be obligatory but somehow always gets forgotten) and exercise (which may involve a lot of hills so I'm already worrying about my knees).
What would you do?