The only reason I delayed having kids for so long was the fear that I would have to give up my career. I've always been a career girl. I love working and when I find something I'm passionate about, I'm driven.
Since having 3 girls in quick succession, I learned very quickly that priorities had to change. I wanted to be near them (and not on a 3 hour commute to the office), I wanted to see the nativity play (and not ask permission for time off) and I wanted to be around (and not constantly feeling guilty that I chose career over my kids).
In all honesty, since becoming a Mum I don't think I've ever enjoyed working so much!
I've found a niche and started a business. I love what I do and am now fortunate enough to bring others along the journey with us.
Sure, I feel guilty when working and the kids are asking for another episode of "Peppa Pig" on the TV, but they are probably seeing more of me now than if I were in a corporate role cruising up and down the country.
My kids have taught me a lot about being a better person at work and my work has taught me a lot about being a better mother.
- I've learned patience.
- I've learned to appreciate that not everyone thinks like me.
- I have slow things down and explain.
- I have to negotiate (a lot!).
- I have to motivate - sometimes in the midst of a tantrum (that's not our team btw).
- I have to function - even after a 5am start with a headache - the show goes on!
So my message is that you don't have to choose either/or. You can choose both. It works. Balance is tricky but it's possible. More than that it stretches you and develops you in ways you can't imagine.
My kids now understand what it is to juggle life - whether it's work, parties, cooking meals, packing lunches. But they also understand how to prioritise time. When I'm with them, I'm fully with them.
It's tough and it's not easy but I'm not ready to change it :-)
"Your journey to motherhood has taught you a whole new skill set. Can you get to the GP for checkups when you're supposed to? That's timekeeping. Can you keep track of PE-kit day and playdates? That's organizational skills. Do you help other mothers pick up their kids in a crisis? That's teamwork. Have you connected with other mothers in similar situations to you? That's networking. And don't those sound like the qualities of a desirable employee? When you interview for a job, you don't have to limit yourself to talking about what you've done in a paid situation. Think about what you've had to learn in order to be a good mother, and find a way of putting it in work-speak.