After taking 12 months off work to spend some quality time with my gorgeous little boy Jackson, I hit the "what is best for my career and what is best for my child" dilemma.
Prior to Jackson entering the world in April 2007, I was working in a demanding Asia Pacific marketing role for an IT company, which involved long hours and lots of travel - both OS and locally. When it came time for my maternity leave to finish this year, I was faced with a big dilemma. Do I go back to my job? Do I work at all? Do I work part-time? Can I travel with a child? Do I put Jackson into daycare? What is best for Jackson? What is best for my career? What is most important to me?
While I have worked very hard to get where I am in my career over the past 11 years, spending quality time with Jackson is now the most important thing to me. I have always wanted to be a mum and being there for him means the world to me!
After much soul searching, my decision was made easier by the fact that since I went on maternity leave, India had come into the mix in a big way - not only lots more travel, but also much longer hours with India 5.5 hours behind Australia. Working longer hours and traveling wasn't an option for me .................... and I certainly do admire anyone who can do it successfully with little ones!!
So I did something that I always said I would never do ........... I started my own business providing marketing communications services - and much to my surprise, the work just flowed on in!!
My dad has run his own business for about 30 years and I have always seen the challenges that go along with it, particularly people not paying on time.....or at all. And it is something I too have faced in the two short months since I started my business.
But at the moment, it is perfect for me - it gives me the best of all worlds: having the flexibility to work from home and contribute money into the family; keeping my career open; and also having the quality time with my beautiful son. I guess I am fortunate enough that I can do this with my career, where many people's jobs won't allow them this luxury.
I do sometimes miss the comraderie of working in an office with my colleagues, but having the quality time with my son is something I would never give up. I do feel lucky!