Jumping off the Corporate Ladder
It is a known fact that when you have your first baby every element of life as you know it changes. It doesn’t matter how many books or blogs or NCT classes you have attended, nothing truly prepares first time parents for the crazy adventures ahead. Goodbye wine o’clock, late nights and pedicures and hello lack of sleep, shhhing and endless nappy changes. And sometimes, there are also work changes that we have to add into the mix. But we will come back to that!
The first day we brought our baby daughter home from hospital I distinctly remember walking into the house with our little bundle in the car seat, and placing her on the kitchen bench terrified. My partner and I made eye contact. Our eyes said it all, “Oh shit, what do we do now?”.
Literally overnight I went from having a senior role in a huge corporation negotiating multi million pound contracts to negotiating how on earth I could get my baby to take to my boob and stay on it for more than 5 seconds. Sound familiar?
After 15 months of maternity leave (an unexpected extended break which I will explain more on in another post) I returned to corporate life. I knew I could do it. I knew that I could make a 9-5-job work. The books said I could do it. I also wanted to spend quality time with my baby girl around my work commitments. I just needed to keep my boundaries that I had set and I just had to own my hours.
What an overstatement that was. Within months I was back into the grind of working really long hours, answering my phone on my day off and firing my laptop up at 10pm every night to see I had missed from that afternoon, post nursery pick up. The hours were gruelling and my sanity hung like a delicate thread on a washing line that was holding all the plates I was currently juggling.
I was back on the big bucks and closing big deals but felt like I had become a contradiction. Here I was, a woman who had yearned to become a mum one-day and now, when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t do it the way I wanted. And the thing that hurt the most was I wasn’t ever truly present even when I had a couple of hours in the evening with my daughter because my head was still considering the latest commercial deal I was constructing in the office.
Quite simply, I felt like a failure to my little girl, my partner and my work colleagues. I didn’t feel like I was being great at wearing any of the hats I was wearing. And worse, the thought of being just okay at these roles, mediocre in actual fact, scared the hell out of me. I knew something was going to give as I felt like I was spiralling.
Not long after that, I distinctly remember a conversation I had with a work colleague who was a good friend. I remember the exact moment. I remember the words they said. We were sitting there sipping a coffee and mulling over family life when he commented, “Are you going to look back in two years and wish you had spent more time with your daughter or more time with your clients?”
And that was the moment.
I handed in my notice just like that.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever experienced the same, but what was to come was going to be life affirming and life changing.
I was about to embark on a new and crazy ride. I was going to become an entrepreneur and create my own business – Wandering Eve. I was going to create my freedom and own my hours, my new family life and the precious time I had available to spend with my little girl before she heads off to school.
Welcome to ‘Wandering Eve’, a bohemian inspired maternity range of clothing, exclusive to the UK. Here is to love, adventure and following your dreams, no matter how crazy they may sound…
Stay tuned for my next post on becoming a ‘mumpreneur’ and starting my own business.