So I feel I am back to work now after a long almost three year sabbatical which included living in China, working as an accountant in China (this was a break from the sabbatical haha), having a baby, moving back to my hometown after 12 years, living apart from husband with a new baby for 9 months out of 12 months, designing a jewellery collection and now embarking in a new journey turning my jewellery collection into a business.
Life as basically turned upside down over the past few years. All the upheavel has certainly left some scars but all in all I see that I achieved more in the past three years than I sometimes give myself credit for. I am like most if not all women, we are so hard on ourselves! My husband always asks me ‘why are you so hard on yourself?” I have realised over the past few months, since the dust has settled on our return home that in order to move on with our new lives in Wexford, I need to accept that I am not the carefree, slightly native, newly married giddy girl anymore. Lets face it, motherhood changes us and, motherhood thrown in with all the other stuff in the past few years has profoundly changed me. I have been hard on myself about not achieving more, I guess I saw some new mum celebrities, launching their own labels, appearing looking amazing in magazines and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t muster up the energy to have a shower! In hindsight, I was just a super tired, a feeding machine, running a house properly for the first time, my husband was in another country but I was really enjoying my new baby, spending time with my sisters, mum and family. Now, I see that I was lucky, very lucky.
So now the dust has settled, what to do now? Go back to my accounting career? All that experience I have racked up, all those exams I studied hard for, put it into use again perhaps? Yes I have thought about it and even been for interviews and received job offers. Which I admit, was a nice affirmation that just because I choose China and a baby, means I didn’t completely railroaded my career.
However, in the forefront of my mind, was my jewellery collection. The inspiration and solace that I had found in those dark Beijing moments was the dreaming up of Liwu. I had to try and see if anyone wants to buy this pretty delicate, full of meaning, with a good story behind it jewellery collection. So how does one do that, I thought I could do this looking after my little baby….mmm who has turned into very active attention seeking toddler, who is so in love with me, its unreal. She is as much in love with me as I am with her. Anyways, I realised whether it was an accounting role or the jewellery, Mammy had to go back to work. I need to be fulfilled outside the home and I know that doesn’t make me a bad person or mother, The choice was do I take the opportunity to do what I always wanted and have my own business or do I become a slave to a boss, to a profession I only half love anyway or do I do the harder thing and do what I do if I wasn’t afraid. I asked myself ‘what would you do if I you weren’t afraid??
Turns out, there is no easy choice. I still have to leave my daughter and deal with the guilt. When I see full-time stay at home mums, I feel guilty for not staying at home all time. (even though I only work 3 days). When I see full-time office working mums, I feel guilty for not taking on a respected senior accounting role. All women are hard on themselves, but I think mothers just take it to another level
A wise older woman (my mother, mostly the voice of profound reason) said to me and whenever, I feel guilty, down or I am hard on myself for not achieving x,y or z, I remember this piece of advice. ‘Every family is different, everyone has a different situation, do what works and suits your family best, not what your neighbour does, or what other people expect you to do, do what is best for your family’.
What is best for my family is flexibility in the work I choose to do, and for mammy (as in me) to feel like she is achieving, creating, working. This I guess is the perfect balance, which may or may not be achieved but all one can do is try and get to some sort of balance that only their family can live with.
Check out all my new pieces on http://www.liwujewellery.com and get a piece of jewellery with meaning!!