I’ve had quite a few people contact me about quitting my career and taking the risk of freelancing since I published the post Why I’ve Quit My Job. Some have wanted to do what I’ve done but have been too scared. Others are desperate to do the same but lack the confidence. I’ve been told that I’m brave, that I’m strong and that they admire me for doing something I’m clearly very enthusiastic about. It’s been an ego boost and a positivity rush which, I’ll be honest, I’ve needed. The past few weeks have been up and down, a rollercoaster of dear gods, what nows and general wonderment and worriment about whether this decision has been a good choice. At the end of the day, it’s done now. So what’s a girl to do? Feel the fear and do it anyway as my mum would say. Which is probably the best advice I can give to everyone who has asked me in recent days what steps they need to take to make the same jump.
I think I’m classed as a millennial woman. A mid thirties, career minded woman with children in the mix who is trying to figure out how to have it all – if “have it all” really exists. I am the type of woman who has a partner, a mortgage and ideas in her head to climb all sorts of ladders. A woman whose ideas about herself, her life, her future, changed almost without her knowing but those ladders were still there. I was twenty one leaving college with a Bachelors Degree in the Arts. I jumped feet first into my career as a Librarian and continued with postgraduate studies in the evenings. I loved it. It was a plan, a path, an ideal I was working towards. And here I am twelve years later, abandoning that career I worked so hard for. It wasn’t always the plan to stay at home, but life has changed my options, and more importantly, my perspective.
This week I handed in my resignation. Dun dun duuuuunn! My intitial reaction last night, after a very anti-climactic day of talking to my boss and sorting things out with HR, was “Oh dear god, what the fricking F have I done?” Followed by mild panic and anxiety as it was all finally oh so very, very real. I was due back to my post as a Medical Librarian in May but now I will officially not be going back to work after maternity leave. I am leaving behind a twelve year career to start something brand new. It’s the big decision, the big change, the new me I was talking about last week. So, why did I take the massive step to quit and what am I doing now?
I’ll be honest I’m glad to see the back of 2017. In a year when I should have been ecstatic at the fact that our baby was born without any issues, I was a mess. There’s no nicer way to say it really. I struggled for months with postnatal anxiety and I’m still not over the final hurdle. There are days that are tough but I’m managing a million times better than I was a few months ago. Even so, I’m starting this year with a particular mindframe that is going to keep me balanced and in control. I’m finding the positive again and I’m living to my full potential. Or at least trying.
The root of work life balance is supposed to be happiness. Where are you happier? How can you be happier juggling two separate scenarios- work life and home life but for many, the root travels deeper on a very basic and monetary plane – money. Is it there? How can you get it? And how can you spend less of it? When making decisions about how you are able to balance a career and a family, the basis of it all often comes down to how you will survive – on one income, on two, on cut salaries or by getting creative. Finding your worth and appreciating what you are worth to your employer is the first step to earning a wage you deserve. But are you brave enough to chase your worth? A question I constantly ask myself.
With the new year just days away, I can’t help but start to consider the ideal that is “work life balance” as a parent. There is no doubt that it is not easy being a parent and working a full time job. Being constantly pulled in each and every direction becomes tiresome and we end up constantly questioning why there aren’t more hours in the day, because damn we need them! The thoughts of returning to work have played on my mind since Little Bean was born and I’m wondering is there an answer to the perfect work life balance.
You may remember that B and I have a certain style when it comes to our bits and bobs that are mingled around our house. We’re collectors and over our twelve years of living together we’ve managed to gather some cute and quirky bits that simply say “us”. Annnnndd then along comes the offspring and I don’t mean the band. A is probably the best thing we’ve picked up over the years and is the best addition to our house! She’s also the most expensive item we own (I know we don’t own her. Don’t worry about pointing out how completely politically incorrect it is to say that). In the last few years, with a beautiful new mouth to feed, moving house and paying bill after bill, we’ve had little chance to add to our collection. I miss shopping for quirks and oddities. I miss picking up an awesome find in a random shop in some back street of Dublin. I lost the shopping gene when A came along and resorted to spending my time and money in Boots on soothers and beaker after beaker after beaker. Until last week. Oh last week I was a happy giddy Momma Bear. Enter Kopper Kreation!
Between September and November this year, I have four blogging related events to go to. I’m excited and thrilled to be a finalist in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards. I’ll also be at the Irish Bloggers Agency Launch in September, the Women’s Inspire event in October and BloggerConf in November. As you can see, I’m pretty damn serious about blogging. Time to get some business cards! It’s true that if you want to come across as being professional in your field, a business card or two won’t go amiss. Read my five tips for designing business cards that wow, that pop, that make you memorable.
This week I had the pleasure of speaking with Lorna who works part time as a Community Support Worker. Her passion, however, is her handmade craft store, Simply Felt Ireland. I have found that the parents I have spoken to throughout this series, use their talents and hobbies to regain a part of their identity in the midst of parenting. Lorna has crafted a niche in the market with beautiful wool roving angels and fairies and other felt gifts for children including crowns and quiet books.
I’ve been blogging a month now! One whole month! Whoop Whoop Holla, Yayy me! Enough hooting my own horn, let me tell you that this has been one big old steep hill of a learning curve… curve? Mountain, no, try, about to erupt volcano! Gigantic slippery glacier! Am I being dramatic? I don’t think so and I’m sure there are a hundred bloggers nodding their heads saying “Oh baby, yep you’re right.” But I’ve uncovered some blogging tips along the way which I’d like to share with you.