Let me set the scene, I’m currently sitting on a flight to Singapore, four hours into the trip, eyes red and puffy after having to say good bye to my little man at the airport and then backing it up with two tear jerking inflight films. Talk about making great movie choices. I was already feeling incredibly emotional after leaving my sick son behind for a week, and then I picked the two biggest chick flicks to watch. Hi5 you idiot!
To put it in context, I’m not normally a very emotional person. I liken myself to the ice queen. I’m a harden the f**k up kinda person. If someone is having a cry for no good reason (boohoo, you broke your nail. Harden up!), I’m the first person to roll my eyes and walk away. I lack the ability to make someone having a sook feel better. No matter how hard I try, I tend to come across as being inconsiderate and insincere. Lets just say I’m not the person you want around when you’re having a cry for the sake of having a cry.
Based on this, it’s very rare that this girl busts out a real good cry and let me tell you, I feel like I’ve just made up for a years worth of crying in the past few hours. I have a splitting headache, which I’m assuming is a side effect of the crying. My makeup has run half way down my face (note to self, invest in some good waterproof mascara) and on two separate occasions the lovely cabin staff have come over with a concerned look on their faces to see if I was ok. No doubt, they walked behind the blinds and told the other staff that there is a crazy woman in business crying like a child, but despite how embarrassed I was, I couldn’t stop. Continue reading →
The very nature of my job is one that requires me to regularly travel both within Australia and internationally. To be honest, this was initially what really drew me to the role. I love love love travelling (well really, who doesn’t?) and I’ve been incredibly fortunate to travel all over the world. To say I have the travel bug is definitely an understatement, so the idea of being able to see more of the world and have someone else pay for it, is my kinda awesome.
Generally speaking, I’m required to travel to Asia (mostly to Singapore) a couple of times a year and interstate (to either Adelaide, Canberra or Brisbane) every second month. It was great in the beginning, but after a while travelling to the same old places all the time starts to wear a bit thin (and really I don’t have to travel that much). To make matter worse, I was getting called to Singapore at the drop of a hat for fly in fly out meetings. I would literally spend more time in transit than I did on the floor.
As annoying and exhausting as it was, for the most part I accepted it as just being part of my job, and really there are other people that would kill for the opportunity to travel, so who am I to complain? That was until I had a child. Before children, it was relatively easy to reorganise my schedule (although I didn’t think it was easy at the time), so if I had to travel at short notice, I’d be annoyed, but I’d change a few things around and a couple of days later I was off. It’s just not that easy anymore. I can’t just up an leave, I have a fully dependant little person to think about.
It’s been a while since I’ve done anything career orientated, so I thought that I’d get my act together and give all those career women out there something they can use.
As the saying goes, it’s not about what you know, it’s all about who you know. So the question is, how do you meet those people that will help you get to where you want to be? We meet people via our work and schooling networks, and you can add to them via online platforms like LinkedIn, but personally, I’m a big believer in the benefit of networking events.
I try to attend a few different events a year. Some of a social nature and others come in the form of technical training. Given technical training is very specific to your line of work (I’m an accountant by trade, and let me tell you, no one wants to go to tax or accounting standards update unless they absolutely have to), so i’m going to focus on social and motivational events that anyone can attend.
For the last year I’ve dragged my young son all over town to lunch and brunch at some of the best cafes Melbourne has to offer. For the most part he’s been a great partner in crime. He goes where I want to go and eats what I want to eat, it’s my idea of the perfect partnership, but today was his chance to get even, today he was ‘that’ kid.
You know the kid I’m talking about, the one that cries, screams, carries on in the perfect way to drive everyone within a 500m radius insane. Yep, this week it was my kid. I looked at him in his psycho child state and desperately wanted him to stop. I did everything – toys, food and any other means of distraction, but the kid wouldn’t stop. I literally just wanted the ground to open and swallow me up.
I don’t know where the time has gone, but I’ve already been back at work for a month. Yep, how the hell did that happen? Before I went back I shared my thoughts about returning to work (read about it here), so now I’m looking at it from the other side, from the perspective of a working mum.
I’m new to this working mum business, but never did I think it would be this hard to juggle everything. I’m not by any means sooking, because that wouldn’t be fair to all of the women that do this every day and just get on with it, but it’s definitely a huge adjustment. The hardest thing is finding that balance between being a loving present mum and being fulfilled in my career. So many people have told me that I can’t have both, but I don’t want to listen to the naysayers, I desperately want to make it work for both of us.
Initially, I only planned to go back to work three days a week, but that didn’t go down all that well with my boss, so after some negotiation, we agreed that I’d go back to work four days a week, three in the office and one from home. My job has always been really demanding, so it was pretty normal for me to put in massive days in the office to stay on top of things, but I was ignorantly hoping that things would be different when I went back. What an idiot! One day back in the office and I was right back into my old routine pulling 10-12 hour days. I was so flat out that I didn’t even have time to check in, let alone even think about my little man. When I realised it was already 6pm and I hadn’t stopped to see how he was going, I felt so guilty. To make me feel even worse, by the time I got home, he was ready to go to bed, so I didn’t get to spend any time with him at all.