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.
Quite a surprising thing happened to me on Tuesday in the early afternoon. An email zipped into my inbox from the organisers of the Realex Web Awards, dropping the bombshell that I was a finalist in the awards. I have to say, I wasn’t expecting this in the slightest and thought that my days of attending award ceremonies were over and done with for this year. But nope, not just yet. The Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards, two weeks ago, was great fun. I anticipated it with excitement and, I’ll admit, slight anxiety since it was my first Blogger event and as a finalist no less. Papa Bear came along with me and we made a night of it, booking a hotel, revelling in the incredible acrobatics of the Circus and picking little miss up at 11am the next morning. This time, I wasn’t following the announcements for the Realex Web Awards and missed that I was a finalist. The Awards were thrown on me a day before the Ceremony. Yep, a day before! The event was last night, in Dublin’s Liberty Hall Theatre. Since it was all very last minute, juggling work, babysitters and life in general, I pretty much figured it was out of the question for me to attend. I had almost resigned myself to missing the night until Papa Bear encouraged me to go if I could get a date. A date? But of course, there was only one person to ask. I was absolutely delighted that my Mum was happy to be my arm candy for the night.
The first thought I had when I decided to attend the Irish Blogger Agency launch on the 25th of September was Frick, I better pluck my eyebrows! This was to be one of my first blogger networking events, and there would be fashion bloggers at it. Fashion Bloggers!! I have chatted with plenty of fashion bloggers since I started Over Heaven’s Hill and they are absolutely lovely people but boy do they send me into a cold sweat. Especially, if I am going to be in a room full of them. You see, I’m not the most fashion conscious person. I am by no means fashionable, up to date or on trend. The best I can come up with, as far as the fashion stakes go, are skinny jeans – which I pray will forever be in fashion because I’m not sure I could go back to the baggy jeans days of the noughties. Let’s face it, I’m a Mommy Blogger and we’re not exactly the coolest bloggers in town. But I know, through my pregnancy, that I’d have been lost without the numerous parenting blogs I read. Those nine months and that first year of fighting through teething was hard. I struggled and barely knew what the hell I was doing as I learnt about my new life as a mum. Parent bloggers – their advice, their happy moments and their torturous hard days – said one very important thing to me, “you’re not alone.”
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.
B and I are both working parents. I love my job. B is “so, so” on his but he’s damn good at what he does. But it sucks. Whether, you work part time, full time, work from home with 1 kid, 2 kids or 6, it’s hard. The balance is torturous to try and get right. Parenting is difficult no matter what way you do it, whether you work or stay at home. There doesn’t seem to be a perfect balance, so we try to make the best of it. Returning to work after maternity leave was difficult. Here are my tips on returning to work to help make the transition smoother.