Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Challenge

 I resigned from my job last week.  8 years ago this would not have been a big deal – I had spent 3 years in the UK flitting from job to job – earning enough money to travel somewhere new, or staying until I got bored and fancied something different.  And then I joined the Bank…  I originally joined as a temporary PA on a 12 month assignment.  Nearly 8 years later I finished in a role in Talent Development, working with the best of the best in the Bank.  I loved my job, thrived on the challenge and feasted on the great minds around me.  Sure, I also banged my head against my laptop in frustration of (more than) one too many conversations over the same issue with no real action and the general inefficiencies that blight large organisations. But overall I loved it and I know I was lucky in that.  So I guess the question of why I resigned comes to mind.  After 11 years on the move, I am taking my English husband and two young daughters (one nearly 3, the other 3 months) ‘home’ to Australia – for wonderful things such as work/life balance, a house with a garden and that Australian sky which is honestly like nothing else in the world. 

There is a huge amount of excitement for this move – I will be back in my ‘home’ town where I grew up, surrounded by friends and family.  We will be (hopefully) in a house with a garden (rather than the apartments we’ve had in England and Singapore) and we will be able to discuss our plans and futures in longer terms where we are – as this move is intended to be our last for a while.  But, in resigning from my job I have found a little voice in my ear – asking where I’ll get my ‘brain fuel’ from, asking how I think I’ll find another job with such great prospects as I had in the bank, asking whether I’m really ready to ‘just’ be a mum… 

And I guess it’s the ‘just’ of that question that throws me the most.  Is there any such thing as being ‘just’ a mum?  This week, a friend linked to a photo on her facebook page – the one below…  Lucia Ronzulli (Italian MP) seemingly doing it all – super mum and talented career woman all rolled into one.  I must admit to looking at this picture longingly, thinking how great it would be to do this.  The post I first viewed this on gathered great debate from what a wonderful image it is to whether she could be doing both well and even the extremes of someone asking why she wasn't at home while her husband supported her (*%!??) ...  I was still considering my own reaction to this later in the day whilst feeding my eldest daughter (nearly 3) dinner.  As I simultaneously chatted to her, gave my baby a bottle and occasionally shoved a fork of lasagna in my 3 year old's mouth (when she was too distracted with chatter to remember to eat) I was thinking ‘I could do that’…  Then my eldest (currently undergoing a fairly prolonged and painful potty training experience) announced that she needed to wee but didn’t want to use the potty and so didn’t and the baby suddenly started screaming in protest of something.  I promptly forgot about my own thoughts and flew into mum action.  I should note here that it has taken me about 8 weeks to get my brain into gear enough to actually put pen to paper so to speak on this blog.

My challenge to myself is to find a way to balance these two Kates I seek to encompass and maximize the enormous opportunity that comes with starting life with a fresh canvas at this point in time. 

And so the journey begins…


  1. Hey congratulations on your new blog Kate! Such an important topic.

    I seriously considered quitting my job last year instead of going back when my mat leave ran out. Admittedly, that was partly for the sake of pursuing my writing, not "just" parenting, but it did bring up a bunch of stuff for me, like - was I prepared to give up my fantastic job security and was I really prepared to 'allow' my husband to support me? Anyway, I'll be very interested to follow along and hear your thoughts!

  2. Kirsten sent me! Hello!

    I'm looking forward to reading about your journey. My two girls are now 11 & 14 and I am keenly aware of the example I am setting for them as they try to figure out who and what they want to be. I'm reading Stephanie Dowrick's 'Choosing Happiness' and followed Gretchin Rubin's blog as she was working on her book. The older I get (I'm 40) the more I appreciate how important it is to be happy. If you're not happy everything is a struggle. If you're happy, you're far less easily bothered by the little things.
    Sorry... waffle.... Good Luck!