When I first heard the news that Kate Ellis was leaving her role in Federal Parliament, I was a little bit annoyed. We have lost someone I believe to be a brilliant politician and advocate for our children’s education and yet again it was shown how far we still have to go to create flexible workplaces where women can follow their careers and also where men can have a chance to step down from work and up to parenting.
However, there is a part of me after hearing more about her reasoning that gets it and I don’t know that a change in the workplace would have made too much of a difference in a role such as hers. I tell my pregnant friends that the little being inside their belly will change not just their life but their view on the world. The things that were once the most important, now not so much. The things we were willing to tolerate before, now a non negotiable. But you don’t actually ‘get it’ until they are here.
I have to admit after having my first the same determined Carly was still there. Altered of course and with a little person to raise, but I was determined to still do all I did before. Then my second arrived. I didn’t have time to think about how I was going to do it. I had a new business that I needed to keep afloat. And then this year my oldest started school. My business is more mature. And that’s where I finally had a chance to breathe.
And that’s when I realised I had changed. I am a different Carly to the one I was 5 years ago. Even different to just 2 years ago. I don’t want to stay up late at night working anymore. I don’t want to miss things at school because I’m rushing here and rushing there. I don’t want to take the same risks in business I took before. I don’t want to be out everynight of the week networking. I definitely don’t want to hustle. And my heart feels a slight tug when I’m not with them. Still the same determined Carly, but insert a slightly slower pace.
And that is what I have done. I have outsourced many parts of my business (which has actually led to more growth as I can now focus on my strengths). I have reassessed my direction. I have taken time to figure out what fills my cup fully and organised life so I can do more of it. I will always work, it is what makes me happy. I will always be driven, it’s what makes me excited about life. Working gives me time to be Carly. Which for me, also means I’m a better mum to my children. But the way I view work has changed. I am a different version of ‘working Carly’ than I once was.
Does it mean I am any less passionate about women having the opportunity to do it all? Or going against what I have worked for? Definitely not!! Gosh there is still a long way to go on the equality front. But for me and my life and my family. It means that I have done what MY my soul needs right now. And for the most important little people in my life, that is the best decision I can ever make.
So I high five Kate Ellis in what I know would not have been an easy decision. High fives for doing what feels right to you right now. And I send you a hug, because I truly get it. Motherhood does change you, sometimes when you least expect it. Xx