Sometimes you just have to go for it.
I’ve always been very driven, and ambitious when it comes to my career and the things I want to do with my life. I’ve always wanted to do well, be successful, but at the same time I’ve always had a deep rooted sense of wanting to have a good work life balance, and be able to spend time with my family, even before children, as well as work hard.
When I first started writing about my experiences in Jugglehood, I had just returned to work when Lylah was around 10 months old. It was my way of communicating how I felt at that time. I wasn’t ready to go back to work, and I felt like I had been thrown back into the lion’s den while all I wanted to do was be at home with my girl. I embraced it though and went back doing a part-time role, but still working 4 days a week, and often working on my day off. I gave it everything, as the earning potential was good, and I wanted to help my husband provide for the family. Now, for me, having to go back doing 26 hours a week felt like a lot, but I do realise how lucky I was to be able to do this, when I know there are lots of parents who don’t have that option, and have to work full-time and extra jobs to bring an income to support their expanded family and all the expenditure that brings.
When I had Malachy, I thought long and hard about returning to work, and what my options were. I knew that going back to what I was previously doing wouldn’t make me happy. There was a lot of pressure in the role, and now my priorities were different. I wasn’t in love with that working life, so that lack of passion for it meant that it wasn’t something I was willing to sacrifice time with my children for. Having been used to living off maternity pay for a while, I knew how much I’d need to pay the bills, put food on the table, and enjoy the occasional treats with the children, and Chris and I decided together that I could leave and look for something more part-time that worked around our family. I had to take that jump and go for it. I lost a company car, a good wage and job security, but I didn’t have that feeling of dread anymore, or the constant stress and pressure of meeting targets.
Doing my part-time role allowed me to develop other things around my children, and qualifying as a makeup artist was something that I’d wanted to do, and I took another leap and launched my little makeup business. That brings me so much joy in itself, as I love doing it, but I’m proud of myself and the decision to put myself out there.
More recently I have felt that fire in my belly again, the hunger for more where my career is concerned, and less guilt at the thought of leaving the children for longer. School and pre-school mean that I have more spare time now, and while I’d love to watch a bit more daytime T.V, I’m keen to get out there and see what else I can do.
So once again I took the leap, putting social media posts out about doing some freelance work, and all of a sudden I’ve found myself with lots of options. My work is varied now, not the mundane 9-5 that I used to dread, but a range of things that I love to do, that fit around my life as it is now.
You have to find joy in what you get up to do everyday. And you also have to be realistic. Money must be made to survive, but your happiness is crucial for your mental state and wellbeing.
If you’re someone who thrives on the office life of a 9-5 role, climbing the career ladder and being promoted time and again, then you won’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything. You get to be both career person and parent, and that’s amazing. If, like I was, you are feeling trapped, and desperate for some flexibility, then take that leap, and try and do something that makes you feel excited about your day. I’m a strong believer in destiny, and everything happening for a reason, and I also think we can be a major force in our own destinies, shaping our own futures by making the right moves at the right times. You might come up against problems, you might even fail once or twice, believe me I have had a few bumps in the road and I’m sure there will be more. Those bumps are what make us and what shape us to be better versions of ourselves.
Whatever you do, whatever hours you work, and however you manage that around your family, as long as you’re happy, then you’re doing it right.
If you’re dreading going to work tomorrow, stop and have a think about what you can change.
Sometimes you just have to go for it.
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