There are lots of big life decisions; marriage, buying a house, deciding to have children. It’s the latter that’s led me to my own very recent big life changing decision – to take a career break.
I never really knew what I wanted to do when I ‘grew up’. I didn’t particularly enjoy school so after my A levels I decided working was the way forward for me. I joined a PR company and soon learnt that lots of my peers had either just graduated or were working there on one year placements from University. Suddenly University appealed to me; access to more education but with subjects that interested me and a years placement which could ultimately mean good job prospects. I was sold.
I loved my degree in Business and Marketing and realised I’d found my niche. For the first time ever I wasn’t middle of the class, I graduated with top marks in International Marketing and Small Business Management, I also had an amazing placement at a car manufacturer in Digital Marketing. I was hooked and suddenly I had drive and determination to do something with my career.
My first role as a digital media planner at a media agency opened my eyes to an amazing new digital world. This was in 2007 so nowhere near where we are now but marketing budgets were being spent in digital and the traditional landscape was changing.
After three years there I decided to branch out and become a Communications Planner and found a brilliant company which I worked at for seven years. I worked with so many amazing clients from telecoms, to cereals to toothpaste and learnt SO much. I worked hard, often into the early hours and put myself forward for new initiatives / new business pitches.
And then it changed
It was after the birth of Amelie and returning to work that things changed. It was harder to work late, I had a gorgeous girl to get home to. When she was poorly I found it agonising having to leave work and people in the lurch – but I knew she was the most important thing and needed to be there for her. The commute was hard, if the trains were delayed how would I get her? We have no Grandparents nearby so I was kind of stuck.
I felt guilty all the time. Guilt to my job and my team and guilt at home.
It has been on this maternity leave that I have felt like I needed to make some changes.
Being a Mama to two has been hard work and I spent a lot of Evie’s early days wondering how I would juggle everything if I went back to work. It felt like an impossible task, so I started to think about what I could do instead; re-train to be a teacher – it’s something I have always wanted to do, set up my own business – but what? Find a marketing role in Surrey – but I didn’t want to work five days a week.
You can see the circles I was going in.
I went round these choices until something happened and that was this blog and my Instagram page. My sister encouraged me to start my Instagram back in late December 2016 and I thought ‘I might as well’, my blog followed soon after and then my YouTube channel. Suddenly something clicked – this is what I LOVE doing and it actually felt like that THING I have always searched for but never found.
I wanted and want Surrey Mama to be a friend to other Mum’s going through the journey I am going on. If I can help one person with a blog post then I have achieved something – I know for one I love finding a post that helps me on my parenting journey so I aim to do that with everything I post.
I’m not sure this will pay my bills and it certainly isn’t paying me anything at the moment so my blogging career as a SAHM might be short lived but for now this is what I am going to do because I love it.
When I wrote about my decision to leave my job on Instagram I was overwhelmed by the comments I received, both of well wishes but also from Mama’s in a similar situation; some about to leave jobs and some who had taken the plunge and decided to make a change for them and their families.
I was really inspired by some of the stories and in my current situation wanted to hear more so I have decided to start a weekly series on my blog called ‘Mama you can’ so I can share these stories with you all.
This series will share stories from Mama’s who have been in a similar situation to me – after little ones came along realised that their jobs just weren’t going to work with their new circumstances, so they either re-trained, started a business or went freelance.
Now, I am not saying that everyone should quit their jobs, that might get me into trouble! However I want to show that there isn’t only one route in life once you have children and most importantly it’s about having the confidence to make a change, the confidence in yourself to believe that you can do something else / ask for flexible hours / run a business from home.
My biggest challenge throughout life has been confidence and it’s something I continually have to work on, so reading these stories has given me a little boost and I hope that this series is inspiring to others as well.
For the first in the Mama you can series click here.
Here’s to lots of life changing decisions, big steps and changes in direction! It’s certainly been an interesting few months, I’m excited to see what the next few months hold.