Appreciating Work…after kids

2006 BC, or before children, my career was something I could pave for myself, it was a road of unknowns and potential – and exciting overseas trips, I had the control. I could make decisions about which way to drive the big ole bus of dreams…Now, 10 years and 3 children later, it feels like all of my paths are paved by the needs of my children. I cannot work full time as we do not want our younger children in five full days of care, I cannot work too far from home as I need to get back to pick the children up after work. I cannot have exciting overseas trips at the drop of a hat, as great as it sounds, and leaving my little monkeys for more than four days becomes painful for all involved. We do however want some sort of balance between our careers and our family life.

But I could not stay home all of the time either, because, well, bills. And as great as parenthood is – the relentless, thankless tasks that go along with it, while the world turns outside, can cause one to absolutely blow their top.

So, how do we find this elusive work/life balance?

I tried working from home and found I had to clean the entire house before I could do any work at all. I had no-one to bounce ideas off, and little mental space for innovation, as by 2pm, I was thinking about what the kids would be having (or not eating) for dinner and what we needed to have organised for the next day. I also rarely left my house and the walls seemed to shrink in on me. I quickly realised that I needed to be part of a team, to leave the house and go to the city. This was exciting! I could have coffee and lunch that did not involve re-heated sausages, and buy things from shops without an extra little human-being relying on me to keep them alive and interested.

This year, I joined the team at Tradewind Australia as Candidate Attraction Manager. Tradewind recruits in the Education and Social Services industries across a variety of sectors. My role involves engaging and building firm relationships with our candidates through direct contact, implementing marketing strategies, advertising, copy and content writing & social media management. I have found that working over 3 days I am able to create an interesting and varied life for myself and my family. 2 days are spent at home with the little ones and we do the lovely school drop off and pick up together for our eldest. This time split creates a feeling of contributing at work and to my young family. Both sides get the best of me, I look forward to going in to do work I enjoy and experience some freedom and in turn I enjoy spending time with my children. Yes, I still need time out from both, taking this role has allowed me an excellent balance.

Tradewind is a great, inclusive and flexible company to work for. They support me and understand what workload I can handle coupled with parenting. They also have a very strong social conscience and support a number of charity’s, which sits well with me. The management team also know how important it is for their own staff to have a balanced lifestyle and often we will have a meditation session or mobile massage so our stress levels are managed well.

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