Children: 1 and 1 on the way
How would you best describe yourself?
I'm a primary school teacher, married to a secondary school teacher, and mum to our 3-year-old girl. I love camping, getting outdoors, and enjoy spending weekends out exploring with my family.
How has becoming a parent changed your perception of work and career and what surprised you the most?
I wasn't actually sure how I would feel about returning to work after taking maternity leave. One thing that surprised me was how much I enjoyed being back at work, how quickly my workday went and the joy of having my daughter excitedly run into my arms at pick-up time.
What advice would you give your younger self about starting a family?
Don't stress the small things, trust that everything will fall into place at the right time. Do what works for you as a family and don't worry about the lack of sleep, you will surprisingly survive on less sleep than what you think you need and it won't be like that forever.
What has been your biggest challenge in motherhood to date? How have you overcome this?
My daughter started suffering asthma attacks just before she turned 2 so we had numerous visits to the emergency department leading to overnight hospital stays. I found this emotionally exhausting and ran on very little sleep and adrenaline until we safely returned home. We seem to have her asthma under control now but I often felt like I was letting others down and felt guilty for taking time off work. I quickly learned that my work would always be there and won't always cost me future opportunities as a working mother.
What are your strategies to manage the juggle of career and family?
I use Sunday to plan out our meals, we have our fresh fruit and vegetables delivered to save time and I pack our bags the night before. The family calendar is on display with all our appointments and work schedules so we know when and where everyone needs to be. I also find by doing a little bit around the house once we get home from work gives us more time to enjoy the weekend. Lastly, just being kind to myself, if it's a busy day and I don't feel like cooking I don't feel guilty about getting takeaway.
What do you do for self-care?
Getting outdoors for a walk when I can, listening to a podcast. I also love to sit with a cup of tea and a good book.