I’ve had jobs I’ve enjoyed, I’ve had jobs that I’ve been good at and I’ve had jobs where I’ve met some wonderful people but I’ve never really considered myself as having a career. The jobs that I’ve done have all played an important part in my journey but they have felt like a means to an end, until now. For the first time, I feel like I’ve found my career, it’s just come in the unexpected package of motherhood. What’s slightly ironic for me in this realisation is that, before now, I’d never really considered motherhood as being a career. I don’t know whether that’s because I associate careers with something that you ‘go out’ and do or whether motherhood doesn’t follow the trajectory of other careers but all I can say is I’ve finally found something that fits, something that challenges me every day and something that provides fulfilment and meaning.
I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honourable profession in the world and one that demanded the best I could bring to it ~ Rose Kennedy
Now while this new career comes with some significantly different and relentless working conditions and there’s no such thing as sick leave, weekends or promotional opportunities there’s some undeniably appealing rewards that no other job has been able to provide.
Every day I get the opportunity to watch a human being develop and grow. Whether it’s watching the fascination of my son learning the feel of new textures, the furrowed brow that appears when that board book didn’t taste quite as good as he thought it would or the wide-eyed amazement that appears whenever a new sound is heard, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about watching someone experience the world for the very first time. And while the responsibility of holding someone’s well-being in the palm of your hand is incredibly overwhelming, the ability to spend my day nurturing and caring for another person is both enriching and fulfilling. Plus, I get to do something that I love every day.
On the lighthearted side of things, I never get that Sunday Sinking Feeling – you know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach come Sunday evening when there’s no hiding from the fact that in a few short hours the weekend will be over and the Monday morning alarm is going to sound. Now while I attribute that to the fact that I don’t dread my current working situation in any way, shape or form it could also be that this role is 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Admittedly not all of those days are poised with the same level of patience, good humour or grace as others but the job satisfaction far outweighs the demanding hours. Plus, the wardrobe requirements are definitely more comfortable and economical, although I do miss the pretty shoes….
Don’t get me wrong, not every day is full of sunshine and roses. We have our down days too but without fail at the end of each day the slate is wiped clean and every morning my team, or is it boss (I’m not so sure some days), gives me a big, beautiful smile that lets me know that the work that I do is valued.
I don’t know where this quote comes from but it makes me smile and reminds me that motherhood, just like anything else in life, is best accompanied by a sense of humour:
It’s so hard to get anything done when you have a baby hanging off your boob at least 8 hours a day. Breastfeeding is a full-time job where you are on call 24 hours a day, you have to come in even when you’re tired or sick, you never get a day off, you don’t get paid, and the boss constantly gives you shit ~ Unknown
As I start out on this exciting and challenging new career I can’t help but wonder what will be waiting for me down the track and I can’t wait to find out.