I was 24, and just about to finish Honours. The girls were 5, almost 4, and 15 months old.
The very idea of being in one place for 10 years was beyond foreign.
Today we celebrated! Three of us started on the same day 10 years ago. We had morning tea and, because it is also International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we dressed like Pirates. (As a side note, I am going to a Pirate Bar tonight and I am so super excited).
Disclaimer: The rest of the post is fairly boring and documents my career pathway in fairly vague terms. Just so it is on the official life record now I am blogging. I do not blame any of you for stopping reading now, but for those of you who say "I don't know how you do it", well this answers part of that!
|Apparently when you are as "old" as me your desk is full of cobwebs! |
(The one day I arrive at the office "late").
Ten years ago Tink was quite chirpy about me going to work, but she was very confused about a place where they were never going to go. She knew that Guides was sometimes just for Mummy, and sometimes they went. Sometimes it was "fun" Guides. Sometimes it was "adult" Guides where they had to sit and colour in while Mummy was at a meeting. She knew that sometimes they went to uni, and sometimes they didn't. It is hard to believe that they are now at the point where they can catch the train to see me and wonder in!
I was smugly pointing out to all the doubters that I had not only found a job, it related to my area of study (well one of them, but I had never really expected to find something that used my History studies specifically), and it was part-time.
I am in my fourth role since I originally started. 10 years ago I started three days a week in a part-time job share admin role. Within 2 months the (then) big boss was talking about me going back to study. Meanwhile in the exhaustion of post Honours and beginning work I laughed at her.
Within 4 months I had changed my hours slightly so that I could take the girls to school three out of five days, so I could do puzzles with Tink three mornings. I made sure I could do this until the Pixie finished Pre-Primary.
Within 8 months I had increased my hours to suit work, but I balanced the around the girls.
Within 2 years I was bored. I decided to go back to uni because I loved my colleagues and I enjoyed my work but needed a bit more of a challenge once the girls were all sleeping through the night. Plus, to be honest, it never really occurred to me I would get into Law so I thought it would take me a bit longer to find something to do. (Yes, this time the big boss laughed at me.)
3ish years and a position change, followed by another one at 5ish years which evolved into my current role.
Once the Pixie was in year 1, I made sure I worked all mornings (unless it was a uni day) so I could be home 4 afternoons a week after school with the girls. Yep, it was still part-time. But I did 0.8FTE over five days so I could do it (Yay for night classes). I still think this was a great decision. Mornings are not quality time in our house, but I treasured those afternoons with the girls and the opportunity to know that I was getting the best of both worlds (also the worst if you want to look at the amount of time available to do housework, luckily being domestic is really not my thing).
Work let me change my official work hours every semester around uni and the girls for the next six years. I went full time when it got to the point my role needed me to increase my hours. At this point the girls' only concerns was that they wouldn't have to miss any dancing/soccer/Guides.
For about three years I purchased leave so I could spend the majority of the school holidays at home with the girls.
Why I have I been here for 10 years? I think the above describes it pretty well. Plus I have awesome colleagues, who tolerate my insane life and my even crazier children. Also, it would take me way to long to clean my desk. And I have colleagues who will dress up as pirates, and celebrate any occasion going. Did I mention awesome colleagues?
There is an old saying "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life" (Confucius), and I would like to say that it is true! If I can teach the girls this, I will feel I have accomplished something as a parent. I don't care what they do: doctor, firefighter, stay-at-home mum, gardener, rock star, but I will be very grumpy if they turn into one of those people who sit around and complain about their life without doing anything about it.
Meanwhile, while I am celebrating how much I love my job and that I am not studying .... I really need to do something about the domestic side of my life. I don't hate it enough yet to go back to study to have an excuse.
Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day Everyone! xx