Catherine Brooks

Children: 2

Industry: Fundraising

How would you best describe yourself?

Optimistically happy

How has becoming a parent changed your perception of work and career and what surprised you the most?

I never thought my work would be the easy part of my day! My children are my greatest joy and my biggest challenge, they constantly teach me about the world and how I want to live in it. For that, I’m incredibly grateful, but often exhausted!

What advice would you give your younger self about starting a family?

You’ve chosen the right partner, but there’s nothing like a newborn to make you hate your husband! It’s going to be a rough learning curve and have impacts on your relationship like you can’t predict. Try and be kind to each other and give each other support even when you feel grumpy.

What has been your biggest challenge in motherhood to date? How have you overcome this?

Juggling the demands my children place on me along with the requirements of a good happy marriage. My husband has come second a lot this last 5 years and I now look forward to putting him and our marriage first as things start getting a little easier! We have started booking in date nights and trips away so that’s really exciting for us.

What are your strategies to manage the juggle of career and family?

Choose a job and employer that enables you to truly work flexibly. You won’t necessarily know until shit hits the fan but once you are supported in your dual roles as parent and worker you’ll know how it makes all the difference.

What do you do for self-care?

My work is so fulfilling - Monday morning is my favourite time of the week. I sit at my home desk, hot cup of coffee in hand, knowing my children are happy after a weekend of fun, now at daycare / kinder, and I can focus on my job. That time alone on Monday morning is heavenly, it’s my version of self-care.