You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘working mothers’ tag.

If you had to write the story of your work life, how would it go? Traineeship, apprenticeship, university degree, family business, interview (disaster/success), bosses, payment, experience…

My work life has always been grey. After leaving school I went to University for a year. It was a sad 12 months. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was studying Communication which was cool and all but my heart was not in it… unfortunately. So I dropped out and worked in the Travel industry for a couple of years, thinking that I would be able to travel. Which I didn’t.

I just had this nagging desire for something to do with my mind, something more. So off I toddled back to University and absolutely loved my new course, Bachelor of Creative Arts. I had never worked so hard in my life, because I was finally studying something I loved… Drama, English and even a little bit of Business. (Got a ‘B’ in Accounting which was a big deal for a Creative Arts student).

After Uni, all I wanted to do was to travel with my hubby. And we did… after a year of mindbreaking, soul sapping work as a receptionist. But I did it, I travelled and loved it.

Back home and once again I was lost about what to do. I really wanted to have kids, but what to do in the meantime. So I took a job with kids, fell pregnant and was/is a mum, going on 8 years. Panic set in when my first baby went to school… gotta work… but what to do!? Had I squandered my working years, wandering around in a haze of options, doubt and confusion? I had to nail down what I loved to do…writing!

I was sent into the blogosphere by a friend who is a headhunter. I was wary, unsure but it was here I found my voice. But the eternal question hovers; do I do what I love as a job or should I get a local job in a shop/office just to pay the bills?

So my husband and I are both freelancers. Scary and exciting…?! You never know when you’re going to get that magical job that will propel you forward in your career. But there’s part of me that wants the steady income every week. The magical increase of numbers on a Thursday! Ping! Love that ping.

In the end everyone makes the decision to either do what they love, or what they have to do. The lucky or smart people get both. I’m hoping to one day be that lucky or smart or whatever. In the meantime, I keep plugging away at my humble blog/s (oscarclub.wordpress.com – check it out!) and hope and plan and pray that one day I can do what I love for work.

Dougie Hoswer – First Blogger featured on Television?

Advertisements

Image by Bill Ebbesen

Tic, tic, tock. Time is a-ticking away to my daughty’s first day at school. I’m tired of the build up, the stress of getting everything ready, the geeing up of little gal… I just want to be in the routine. Then what?

Daughty is my last kid at school. It’s a big moment. Tears have already welled, as I push down the panic of what the heck is next for me. I’m sure she will be alright. Big bro will be around the playground for a bit of security. But as I look at my friends entering this new phase, it’s like we’re all looking at each other saying, “Whadda we do now?”

So, I’ve decided that after 7 ish years of stay at home mumming, I’m going to take the first couple of months reclaiming the fun in my life. Work can wait. I’m sure we’re all due some early long service leave. After all, parenting is 24/7 with bad pay and no real holidays so, ladies, live it up.

Plan 1: Go to the movies in the day time with a friend. Stuff this watching a movie by yourself idea. That just feels weird. I’m going to grab my nearest bud-dy and head off at midday for some popcorn and a girly movie AT THE CINEMA. Woweee.

Plan 2: Hire a canoe, boat, stand-up paddle board and get onto the water (or probably INTO the water knowing my poor boating skills). It’s a simple thing but there’s nothing more soothing that being gently rocked by the water as you look out into its sparkling vastness. You can’t help but breathe in the healthy, salty air and gain a little perspective.

Plan 3: Head to my buddy’s house, grab a floatation device and float around in her pool, perhaps sipping on an exotic drink and talk for hours about stuff without interruption. Bliss!

Plan 4: High Tea! Got it for Christmas so I’m going to sit, sip and enjoy some lovely delicacies while talking, once again uninterrupted, about STUFF!

Plan 5: Day trip. Finally I’m going to visit my friend that lives across the water. I’m going to catch the ferry and have a chat, hang out with her little bubba and reconnect. It’s going to be awesome.

The rest of the year can then begin. Hopefully I’ll be so full of ideas and zeal. You never know, I might just get some work done.

What are your plans for post school days?

I don’t know about you but my inspiration goes in circles. It’s like being on one of those silly kids rides that goes weeeeee up up up and then flows down making your tummy sink and tickle. Perhaps its just my all-or-nothing personality but that is just how I roll.

I can feel like “I’m the king of the world” one day, then the next I’m doubting my abilities all over again. I’m hoping that puts me smack bang in the ‘sensitive writer’ category. At least, then, there’s a reason for the roller coaster of emotions. Today is a great day. Whenever I have a ‘work’ meeting I leave feeling on top of the world. It confirms in my heart that I am on the right path, working in the right area. It’s a passion and I get to do it for a ‘job’! Yeee haaa.

It can be pretty daunting turning on the old lap top and checking out the brilliance that is out there in the interweb! But I figure, no one is me and I’m not anyone else. I’m a niche all to myself as others are to themselves. How cool is that? Comparing oneself to another oneself is not helpful in any area of life at any time… you dig?

I just love it and enjoy it when the inspiration surge hits. I’m a little childlike in these times. I fully believe I can do anything and reach high heights… except when I don’t, because sometimes I won’t.  (paraphrasing the Dr Seuss book Oh The Places You’ll Go here). But there’s no boom-bands playing, nor weird fluffy haired characters around (except my husband when he has his bouffant).

Like the dip on the ride, crashing down after an inspiration session can make my tummy feel weird and my eyes water. Questions race through my head, doubts rise and in the end I chow down on a few squares of chocolate look into my kids eyes and regain my composure and self-esteem. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

The bottom line is I love to write, I love blogging and I think the internet is amazing. I have a great family, I live near the beach and I have food in the cupboard. What more could a gal want!?

What inspires you in your work or play?

I’ve spoken to so many mothers lately who are struggling to find appropriate work. It seems that if you have been out of the workforce for five years or more, no one wants to hire you.

I have a friend who has 15 years graphic design experience and is finding it almost impossible to find part time work. No one will hire her. This is ridiculous. It seems that our society is not set up to help out mums after they put so much time and work into the next generation. Instead, we’re expected to pop out a baby and go straight back to work.

When your babies are in school, stay at home mums have very limited opportunities. This seems counterintuitive. There is so much that us mummas learn when looking after small children. We have computers, we know what is happening in the world, with trends, new technology etc. We’re not locked in a dark room watching Oprah all day every day. What a myth!

We are  hard workers, often  juggling a million things at a time. We are expert time managers and can handle disasters with a flick of our wrists. We are not a useless part of society, but one of the most important. We may not look sophisticated and savvy but do not underestimate us. Looks, as they say, can be deceiving. A woman in tracksuit pants can work just as hard as a stiletto wearing corporate type!

Stay at home mums know how to hold 2 conversations at a time. How’s that for multitasking? We can chat to friends, strangers, other mothers while having words with our little ones. We are creative. Who else can think of meals that the whole family will like? Who else knows how to keep small children safe, warm, growing, learning? We can make playdough and gingerbread men and cubby houses when it’s raining outside.

We are fun, imaginative and efficient. We can do 5 loads of washing, clean the house, make the beds and deal with tantrums while on the phone to each other. Sure the phone may hang itself up now and again as it teeters on our shoulder, but that’s what ‘redial’ was made for!

Perhaps we don’t wear suits and are no longer that familiar with public transport. Maybe we are not 100% focussed on our careers because our hearts belong to our kiddies. But our country should be ok with that. If we are a nation that values life over money and success, surely we would make room for the mummies of Australia to ease back into work. It’s not just for the good of the mother, but for the kids and the family as a whole.

For real help, check out this blog.http://interviewiq.com.au/category/return-to-work-after-children

It has some great advice for mums coming back into the workforce. All the best to all the mums out there heading back to work. It can be scary but just remember who you are and the incredible things you have already achieved through your parenting. Good luck.

You know life’s busy when:

  • You forget to eat
  • You don’t stand and stare at your wardrobe hoping for the ‘perfect’ outfit. Instead you grab the most comfortable outfit imaginable.
  • You buy your fruit and veges from Coles or Woolworths and wonder why your tomatoes are flavourless & floury and the state of the mandarines make you cry.
  • You order pizza for dinner instead of cooking.
  • You can’t remember the last time you had a decent conversation with someone you love.
  • You feel guilty when you watch tv.
  • The washing is put under cover on a sunny day.
  • You keep talking in fast forward.
  • Your typing speed increases.
  • Your heart hurts.
  • Sleep feels like a luxury.
  • You cannot plan past tomorrow.
  • Your skin is flaking and your eyebrows fluffy but you just do not care.
  • You keep cancelling fun things.
  • You make lists on your blog instead of thinking of something indepth and fascinating.
  • When you walk your small daughter sprints behind you to keep up.
  • You feel like you’ve run a marathon when you haven’t moved a muscle in 2 weeks.
  • Chocolate is like water.
  • Hanging out the washing is a welcome break.
  • Conversations with friends is conducted in under 10 minutes at break neck speed with many interruptions and you leave feeling rude but with no time or space for guilt you just get on with your day.
  • The iphone, ipod, ipad is taken with you to the toilet and if it was water proof you’d take it in the shower damn it!
  • Though your house is out of control you honestly don’t care if anyone drops in.
  • Lunch marks the beginning of the end.
  • And… you actually find yourself going to bed early!
Well, that is my life at the moment. My writing work is going off (yippee) which requires great organisation and concentration. Especially as the deadline is in the middle of the school holidays. What do they say again? When it rains, it pours. ‘They’ were so right! What does ‘busy’ look like for you?
Steps by Petr Kratochvil”>

Image by Petr Kratochvil

Do you ever feel as if you’re running, sprinting as fast as your pretty little legs will take you and you’re getting nowhere? I know it sounds like the beginning of an ‘Infomercial’ but I wish I could find a product that combines motivation with efficiency! It would taste like strawberry liquorice dipped in Cadbury’s best!

Once you’ve lost momentum, it is so hard to get it back. And being a stay-at-home mum in this day and age means getting back to work is a tricky thing. First there’s the self-esteem thing; “What have I been doing all these years? What do I have to offer the world? Who cares what I think?” and second, there’s the  flimsy old resume, worn down from years of neglect.

It’s so hard to revive an old career or kickstart a new one, something that I’m experiencing right now. I love writing. It is something that I can’t (and won’t) stop. Sure I’ve had a few things published but nothing consistent as yet. My aim is to be able to write from home so I can be around for the kids. Cos even when your kids are back at school, you still have to be available when they’re out and about! How do you start a career, be a mum, do the dreaded house cleaning, be a wife and still have time for your own stuff?

Parenting is often referred to as ‘juggling’ which sounds a little panicked if you ask me. But we’re not an ignorant lot just chucking things up in the air willy nilly. No, we’re like the seasoned juggler who is riding a unicycle whilst juggling batons that are on fire! How good are we?

However, there are some times when the rush of the day/s can give you headspins. When it is like running on butter and if you fall, you’re going to slide and keep on sliding (like the scene from Big Fish when Edward Bloom is born and slides out of his mother’s womb and down the hallway). I’ve had those days when I’m just not with it. The eyes are glazed over and I’m one step behind in the conversation, which leaves you feeling vague and a bit slow! It’s just hard keeping everything in your head. And if your day starts like this, well, there you are on your bum sliding and it’s not even morning tea time!

Yep, modern parenting is like walking in fast forward. The trick is learning how and when to slow down and look around. To regroup and gather all those thoughts in your head together to make something meaningful. And as our kids grow, our confidence and abilities follow, opening doors at the right time for us to follow our dreams.

Being a mum isn’t just about giving birth to a child, raising it right and doing the best you can. Let’s be honest. Once you have a kid, you are almost forced into interacting with other mums and they’re not always your biggest fan. We can be a judgemental lot!

You’d think that other mums would have your back. Shared experience is often what draws people together but there are so many variables within parenting that your experience or choices aren’t always the same as the mum next door. If you’re a stay at home mum, for example, there may be working mothers who cannot understand your choice to stay home, watch Oprah, put on weight and do nothing! It is as if they have tattooed ‘Loser’ or ‘Lazy’ on your head; like parenting is a walk in the park! I have heard of people who see staying at home and raising kids as “boring”. I say, why have kids if you’re not willing to put some “boring” time into getting to know them.

It’s a hot topic, that’s for sure. Then there’s the working mums who have to work and the stay at home lot give them the evil eye, like they are criminals. I have to admit to doing that myself sometimes. But, as I learned to be a bit more humble, I have now come to admire the working mums who are forced back to work by circumstances. It’s a tough gig having to work then come home and do the washing, cooking etc etc. I seriously don’t know how they do it!

I think judgement comes when there’s envy. The stay at home mum may wish she had a career where she could balance life and kids and the working mum may simply want to sit and watch her child as he throws balls at the window in the winter sun. Either way, they’ve made their choice and it baffles me that we cannot be more supportive of each other.

I have very definite views on motherhood, so this article feels a little hypocritcal but I do think mums could relate better. There are so many taboos when you think about it: bottle vs breast, controlled crying vs no crying, hover mothers vs the free range variety, sleepovers at 5 vs sleepovers at 15, tv vs hippy-ville, private vs public schools, activities vs hometime, junk food vs healthy, conservative vs liberal, toys vs books, discipline vs ‘freedom’, exercise vs video games, Barbies vs Brats, Star Wars vs Ben 10… yadda yadda yadda!

Isn’t it crazy? The comparisons begin when the child is in womb for crying out loud. Talk about competitive! We must give each other a break. Parenting is difficult enough without piling petty pressures on each other. So let’s air those taboos and see them for what they really are… For in the end, all that matters is that we raise whole, happy, together, loved and safe kids who respect authority, look after the ‘little’ and, when it’s their turn to be a parent, do a better job than us!

Ah the baby days. Early mornings in front of Kochie and Mel. The smell of dusty sunshine flowing through the window as your small, helpless baby lies on the play mat. The feeds, the sleeps, the politics of breastfeeding, the sharp looks from the non-baby set when baby cries. The nappies, the weight gain (or not) the routine vs whatever it is and when to put the little darling on solids.

Then there’s the baby fashion, the wrapping, the heat, the stroller/pram, the cooing, the limitations, the slow saturday nights. My oh my, it seems a world away now my babies are a little bigger. I’m in the post post baby season. I’m past nappies and dummies and nearly through the tantrum stage and life is looking rosy. I have moved on to readers and swimming lessons, to sport or not to sport, to dance or not to dance, deep conversations about a certain small man’s need for ‘alone’ time (that is, from his sister) and where to go for our next holiday.

Work is now coming back into view. A lump in the throat, terror in the bloodshot eyes as well as a growing sense of purpose and vision. The mum to work transition is terrifying. You have to pretend you’ve been doing something socially and culturally meaningful for the past 6 ish years to qualify yourself for life in work world. You feel sheepish putting ‘motherhood’ down as a job because, well, you can guess the response. A lift of the eyebrows, a straightening of the mouth and perhaps a muffled, “hmmmmmm”. ‘Tis sad days people.

The working mother is incredible. Up, feed, clothe the children and get them off to school. Find something decent to wear and perhaps make your own lunch. Bus it, car it, train it to work, pretend you know what the heck is going on and head on home. Pick up children, take them to activities, bath them, feed them, dress them, into bed and then what!?! I am not there yet. In fact working from home sounds ideal, even a bit luxurious. To all the working mums out there, two thumbs up and a toe. You’re amazing.


The post, post baby stage is a rocket ride, not a rollercoaster ride. It requires ‘balls’ of steel. You have to push down the fear of failure, of being labelled ‘just’ a mum, or ‘just’ an anything and project an image you haven’t seen for a good 6 ish years. It is laying the foundations for the school or high school years when those bubbies will be out there being their own people, and driving themselves to their own activities. Can you imagine? I dare not.

My philosophy is you can only do what you can do. You cannot bow to pressure from our society, other ‘supermums’ or expectations of anyone else. Whether you be an awesome stay-at-home mum, an incredible worker mum, or a bit of both, we just gotta love those kids silly and enjoy our lives no matter what season we are in.

 

Motherhood has been compared to juggling. It’s really like you’re flying, rushing, the heart is pumping; a great workout. You’re listening to requests, processing them, organising events, cooking ‘delicious’ and varied food, you’re teaching, guiding, modelling, dancing, singing, listening, doing, shopping, creating and showing your four year old how to do cartwheels; if only you had your flexibility back.

Jumping on a trampoline has its challenges. The cracking of the neck and jarring of the back gives away your fading youth. You battle guilt and fear and self esteem issues. “Am I doing the right thing in this moment?” Your head is filled with ‘to do’ lists that feel endless. Your house is constantly messy, bordering on unhealthy and every time you clean one room, the next is being destroyed.

You are under-appreciated, over-worked and over it all. The rest of society sees a mother’s job as cruisy, easy and an pleasant excuse not to work. As mums we know the sacrifices we make to create a happy and healthy family. And it’s worth it. It’s all about seasons. We will have our day in the sun.

When our kids are little, our heads feel like they’re going to explode and our bodies don’t keep up. The dawn is coming and all the work we put into our little apprentices will pay off and one day they will be changing our nappies, wiping our mouths and telling us stories. And we’ll be pushed around in our chairs on wheels. Why is that such a depressing thought? Seize the day!!!!

Categories