Before you start to read this blog, let me introduce myself. I am a 40 year old mother of two who has worked full time since the age of 18, and have continued to do so right up to, and not long after the birth of both of my children.
Why did I choose to work full time?
Quite frankly, because I wanted to.
I absolutely love my two boys, however I get an innate sense of satisfaction from helping others around me to succeed, and love knowing that I can be instrumental in assisting my employer to implement change and be a part of their business growth.
I inherited my father’s commendably strong work ethic from a very young age, and after being in the same industry for over 21 years I transitioned from Receptionist, to Sales Consultant, to Product & Marketing Manager to finally, General Manager.
I was always incredibly proud of what I had achieved. That was until my 10 year old son Lachlan asked me why I spent more time at work than I did at home, why I was always too tired to play with him, and why I always looked so sad and tired.
It was at this point that I realised something was not working.
Was it wrong that I was 100% committed to my employer and the role I was employed to do? I don’t think so; I believe that my high level of commitment always set me apart from others, and the reality was, that a strong work ethic is at the very core of who I am, and I know that will never change.
Where I went wrong is by choosing to accept a position that didn’t necessarily play to my strengths, where I was expected to constantly change who I am in order to fulfil a role that simply wasn’t me.
Sadly, it literally drained the life out of me.
This Mother’s Day, if there is any advice I could give to fellow working mothers, it is to follow your passion, be amazing at it, and come home happy and full of endless energy because you are doing what you love. My new Employer and fellow amazing mother of three, Sue-Ellen Watts, calls it the “ripple effect”.
What you do in your working life filters through to your personal life and affects everyone around you.
I can’t speak on behalf of all women, but I want my husband, my friends and most importantly my precious ten year old to have the absolute best of me. So be brave, be courageous and don’t be scared to take a risk. Change careers if you have to, or stay in the industry you love, but find an employer that truly values and honours your ability.
Most importantly, stay true to yourself and remain authentically you.
Happy Mother’s Day!