Monday, April 27, 2015

A new direction

Since I was 16 I've worked in retail in various capacities from a casual right through to being a store manager of multiple stores. I've only ever worked for 3 different retail companies because I pretty much fear change. Most of the change in my life has been unwanted and uncontrollable so I cling to the things I can control. I stayed working in retail because it was familiar. I was comfortable and I knew I was good at it. My job has always been one of the areas in my life I've felt most confident in and I let that confidence dictate my career path.

Before I had bub I was starting to get bored though. There were only two directions my job could take from where I already was, either going to work in the city {which meant a 2+hr commute each day} or waiting and hoping I'd one day be made state manager. Deep down I knew I didn't want to be state manager though because I didn't want to be driving all over town and essentially working out of my car. I knew there wasn't much left for me at my job, but I wasn't ready to leave yet.

quote - sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.

Getting pregnant with bub in 2012 really came at the perfect time in my life {even though I'd tried for years to get pregnant}. It gave my life an entirely new direction, one that I'd desperately wanted for years. I was absolutely petrified to essentially be unemployed while on maternity leave though. I've always earned my own income and paid my own way since I was 15 so even though I haven't been getting paid, I've clung to the security of still being technically employed for almost 2 years of extended maternity leave. Until today.

Today I finally wrote my letter of resignation. I've known for ages that I wasn't going to go back to work full time. With all her allergies there's no way I'm putting her in childcare yet, I just don't want her exposed to situations where she could eat food she's allergic to {although I'm sure they'd do everything to ensure it wouldn't happen, I've heard of it happening to others}. Without family available to babysit on a regular basis and with T doing shift work there wasn't really any option except for me to stay home. To be honest its what I've always wanted anyway and I'm thankful that we're in a position where I can do that.

Being mum isn't all I'm doing though. Over the last two years I've put a lot more effort into this space here {*cough* incase you hadn't noticed} and have subsequently landed freelance work with Mother's Joint Magazine, The Huffington Post UK, Brisbane Kids and have recently started doing articles for Her Collective. Only some of its paid and its only enough to support my sonny angel addiction at the moment, but its great to be able to do what I love. Writing has always been a passion of mine, but working full time meant it was always put on the back burner. I feel like maternity leave has finally allowed me to indulge my passion and reignited my love of writing. So that's what I want to focus on going forward, as well as raising a happy little girl and hopefully having some more babies.

Its a new direction, but its the right direction.

Toni x

Linking with Raychael, Alicia & Eva.

36 comments:

  1. Congrat's that is a big step. Leaves you free and open now to fill the space with writing. A new chapter.

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    1. Yep its exciting and scary at the same time.

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  2. It's amazing how much our lives can change following that maternity leave break. Before mine, I was a manager & progressing well in my psych career, assuring everyone I would be back after bub. I did go back but very reduced hours and my heart wasn't in it anymore. Now, like you suddenly blogging and freelancing had become my 'job' and I love it. Never expected it could happen but here we are, home with the ones that matter most. It's pretty awesome, right? :) good for you for taking the big brave step to make it official.

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    1. I know right we pretty much have the same life now {minus one baby}. I never would've thought before having her that I'd be able to write as a job.

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  3. Im heading in the opposite direction to you but my kids are now a lot older. Ive been a mum for 15 yrs (and 4 kids later) and only next week will I start full time work - been part time or casual for 15yrs.. argh very scary.

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    1. I can't even imagine going back to full time after that much time away from it. Even considering going back after 2 years was freaking me out. Good luck!

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  4. So glad you can afford to do what works for you and your family. Good on you for taking that brave step!

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    1. The only reason we can afford it is because we live in a town house not a "real" house so our mortgage isn't huge thankgod. We've decided to just deal with it and live here for a few more years so we're not completely stressing about money. Gives me a few more years to drool over houses on realestate.com haha.

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  5. Congrats on taking this step! It sounds like it is the perfect direction for you.

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    1. It is, but I still felt a bit sad when I got my confirmation of resignation email.

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  6. Congratulations on the new direction. Sounds perfect for your entire family and I'm sure your work here both on and off the blog will increase.

    My eldest is now 16 but I remember wondering what I would do, after she was born, when it came time to returning to work and commuting an hour. Luckily for me, the company changed hands and I was offered a redundancy package. We then went on to have three under three, with me working from home when I could and it's been like that ever since.

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    1. I so wish I had've had a redundancy option! A couple of my friends have and I definitely would've taken it if it was on the table. I'm secretly hoping I can keep up the working from home thing for as long as possible. Just gotta work on the baby part!

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  7. I can so relate to this Toni. After I had Punky in 2011 the last thing I wanted to think about was going back to work. But 8 months later my boss was keen to have me back, and the sweet package he offered me was too good to turn down while we still had credit card debt and Dave wasn't a fully qualified printer yet. After having Zee though I knew in my heart that I wouldn't be going back. I'd done everything I'd wanted to there. I'd been at my old job for over 7 years and not only reached but smashed all of the goals I'd set for myself over those years. It was the right time to leave.

    I went out to dinner the other night with a couple of girlfriends and one was struggling with the decision of going back to work after maternity leave. Both Kelly and I told her that there was no point going back if it wasn't something that she loved. It's hard leaving your baby to go to work or do anything, and if you don't have to then it's not worth going back to something you're not passionate about.

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    1. I'd been in my job for 7 years too. Its so true if you don't love it then its not worth it. I think I'd have a breakdown leaving her at day care each morning I probably wouldn't even be able to concentrate at work anyway.

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  8. Great work! I'm wanting to do more freelance but am yet to get the confidence to actually pitch something. A few things have come my way though, so I've been fortunate.

    Deb

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    1. At first I was honestly surprised that I could even get gigs writing, but now I'm confident in it its definitely easier. I just wish I had more hours in the day to be able to take on more work.

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  9. "Sometimes in the winds of change find our new direction."
    Great quote.
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

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    1. I love this quote :) So appropriate.

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  10. Good for you, Toni. It sounds like you've already made a lot of headway on your plans. I wish you the best of luck with it.
    And I sympathise with your concerns about your little girl's allergies. My kids don't have food allergies, but I am quite a protective and worrying parent, so I can understand how you feel about trusting others to protect her from exposure to that when she is so young.

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    1. I honestly don't think I'll be able to put her in day care until she's 2 1/2 or 3 when she can talk properly and understands her allergies enough to know not to eat stuff. I still think I'll have issues with trusting other people to look after her though, I don't think I'll ever be able to change that. Its so hard when you care about them so much :)

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  11. You are doing a great job at home and on the writing front ! Good on you! Parenthood certainly has meant that you take a step back and wonder whether a new direction is a better direction. I went back to work v4 days (which quickly became 5) after my first and now on mat leave I'm not really sure what is in store!

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    1. Your braver than me Caroline I don't think I could do it, I'd be a blubbering mess each day because I missed her too much.

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  12. Oh wow! Good for you, taking the leap :-) You are starting to get the recognition you deserve with your writing, I am sure this will continue. Good luck xo

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    1. Thanks Katrina, hopefully it does :)

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  13. Good on you, Toni. A tough decision, I'm sure, but it sounds like it's the right one for you and your baby girl. I'm glad you're happy and feeling good about things.

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    1. I've been feeling a bit up and down all day, but not because I think I made the wrong decision, more because I'm sad to be leaving that part of my life behind. But super happy I get to hang out with bub all day.

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  14. If you feel good about it and are happy to do it, then it is the right direction. Your former employment has served it's purpose, it' given you the experience to enrich your future x

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    1. I feel good about it although I felt a bit like oh god what did I do this morning {because she's been throwing tantrums ALL day} but cuddles at the end of the day make it worthwhile.

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  15. How exciting Toni. I've also been doing freelance writing work while I'm home with my girls. The great think about freelance is you never know where it will take you. I hope you are able to balance it all being a mum. That's been my biggest struggle - balancing the workload and being a good mum to my girls. xx

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    1. Yea my biggest problem is having no help with her so I need to work it around her nap time and after she goes to sleep but I always end up doing some while she's awake. I always struggle with whether I'm being a good mum when I'm doing writing while she's playing. but I figure me being in the room with her is still better than her being at day care without me {for now anyway}.

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  16. Here's to following your dream Toni. Kids are only young for such a small amount of time and jobs will always be around....

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    1. Yea and its not like retail will be hard to get back into if I wanted to.

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  17. It was when I was a SAHM to two small kidlets that I discovered that not only could I write, but I could make money doing it! It's a great time to find a new direction and start learning and practising - because it's now my full time job!

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    1. I'm hoping it can become my full time job by the time she goes to school too because I'll have way more time to do it then :)

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  18. Brave step - but I know it will bring you closer to your dreams. Still, it can feel a little like a safety net has been removed can't it? Well, that's how I felt when I finally realised I wasn't going back to my place of work.

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    1. Yes totally, I was dreading doing it for months because I loved having the safety net. In the end it wasn't as scary as I thought it'd be though.

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