Before my little bundle of awesomeness came along I lived and breathed my career. I worked crazy hours, was glued to my phone, responded to emails right away and I selfishly expected the same from my collegues.
But now? Eeek. I want to work the same way, I really do, but it’s HARD. Like, impossible kind of hard. I work three mornings a week from an office/studio (I produce the 3PM Pick up on KIIS with Meshel Laurie and Monty) and the rest of the time I work from home. I find it hard to switch off from work, even when I’m with my little girl and this obviously riddles me with guilt.. If I receive an email I feel the need to respond right away. When there is an issue I want to solve it asap. I find it so hard to know I have an email sitting in my inbox that needs my attention that I can’t get to because my daughter needs my attention too. And I can’t put her on hold – nor do I want to (well sometimes it would be nice).
The logical part of my brain knows that the world won’t end if I don’t reply to the person other end of the email right away, but the other part of me doesn’t want to let anyone down. I don’t want anyone to think now that I have a baby I have dropped the ball. But internally, my balls are all over the place.
The thing is, Edie is now one and I have only just come to the realisation that I can’t work in the same way I used to.
I have a little person who is completely dependent on me for EVERYTHING. I have to accept things simply can’t work the same way they used to, I am not yet completely okay with this but I am working on it. I am getting there. Baby steps.
We recently interviewed the incredible and very wise Lisa Wilkinson and she had some very sound words of wisdom for me. And these little pearls couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I told her I was still trying to work the same way I did before I had my daughter and I was struggling big time. Off-camera Lisa told me that while you have small kids it is just not possible to work in the same way you did pre-kids and the sooner I come to that realisation and accept it the better it will be for me – and my family. Then we talked about it again on camera and this is what she had to say;
“You have to give yourself permission to be half okay at everything, you’ve got to actually get rid of your expectations that you had before you had kids because being a mum is actually a full time job and there is very few of us that have the luxury of being able to completely give up, being able to afford to completely give up work so you have to give yourself permission to be half okay for a while. Because when they’re young it’s mentally and emotionally exhausting.”
You can watch the video of Lisa talking about this here:
Hearing this from someone as successful as Lisa really stopped me in my tracks. Lisa went through this stage and gave herself permission to be just half okay at things for a while (and I’m sure her ‘half-okay’ was anyone else’s ‘smashing it’). It’s refreshing and comforting to know it hasn’t affected her career one little teeny tiny bit.
In fact, maybe giving ourselves that permission it the thing that actually saves our career in many ways because trying to be all things to everyone and working in the same way you did pre-kids can and will lead to you, well, losing your shit. And that IS something that will be remembered.
How did you adjust to returning to work after having a baby?