“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”
― Lady Gaga
Ever since I started to work in corporate media (18 years ago, cough cough) I had an inkling that I didn’t quite belong there. Media was never a passion of mine or a want, it’s just something that I fell into when I was really young. At that time it was a really fun place to be especially before the recession hit but then it changed quite dramatically. It quickly became a daily struggle of sitting in an office, chained to a desk working alongside people who just weren’t like-minded to me. And this daily grind of working for other people that were unfairly climbing the corporate ladder was really demoralising and I knew that it was going to have to end at some point. But as the years went on that became even harder to step out of such a pigeon hole industry. And in a very male-dominated workspace, it’s quite clear that you won’t get that far ahead if you’re not part of the “boys” club unless you’re lucky enough to find somewhere few and far between that really promotes gender equality and skill sets. However, as much as I didn’t intend to stick at it for as long as I did, it did bring a few opportunities into my life that I am truly grateful for and I have met some amazing people along the way. But there was always something in me that just kept saying it wasn’t for me and at some point, I would need to jump ship.
I had started looking into the possibility of starting my own business a few years ago but fear definitely kiboshed that. And I think that’s true of so many people wanting to pursue their dreams, there’s such a panic of questions like, what if it doesn’t work out? What if people judge, laugh or want to see me fail? But there will always be all of that and you just have to wade through the waters of it and try and understand where that fear is actually coming from. For me, I had to look at the worst case scenarios, what if I did fail what was the absolute worst thing that would happen? I know that my husband is an amazing provider and my biggest supporter and he would never let us go homeless or hungry, so what the hell was really stopping me? I guess thinking about what I was going to do, I’ve always been really creative, I thrive around like-minded women. And I definitely love helping people. I did so much research into what I could potentially do and nothing felt like it was resonating with me. I was just stuck on the 9-5 wheel going around with no real sign of change. And that was really disheartening in itself as I felt I didn’t have much to offer the world. But I think what I failed to see at that time was as much as I wasn’t finding my passion I was still eliminating all these things that weren’t. It’s all groundwork still, even the smallest steps lead to the largest journies.
Fast forward a few years, I was finally in a great but very stressful role at work. I was newly married and newly up the duff, yay! I had in my mind that going on maternity leave I was going to start a blog about mental health and food, as they were my passions. It was going to be this really easy thing that was going to be successful and super fun. But then real life happened, I didn’t envisage how different reality was going to look to this version or fantasy that I had in my mind. I didn’t suffer from PND with my Son but I still suffered from extremely awful anxieties that were debilitating. Motherhood was such a daily struggle and my blog quickly turned towards maternal mental health. And just working with some amazing Mothers in this community from that change was almost medicine in itself for me. There feels like there is so much isolation when it comes to being a parent, especially if what you’re feeling isn’t all excitement and love for your child. There’s no handbook and there isn’t that much support unless you’ve experienced PND/PTSD or you really reach out and ask for it. That in itself struck so many chords with me over the first 6 months of Motherhood. It got me thinking about so many things but most of all how could I help? How could I help Mothers like me feel reconnected to ourselves? That was kind of the birth of my business, my second baby, as I call her. It became really clear to me what I wanted to do and how I could do it in a way that would serve and nurture other Mothers out there.
The last 6 months have been such a labour of love, setting up your business requires more capital then you realize you’ll need. More time, which with a baby and living far from family isn’t easy. And you need to be pretty online savvy these days to reach your audience you want to sell your product to. So many times, almost daily I’ve wanted to throw in the towel. I struggled with the decision about returning to work. I’ve questioned every motive that I have had along the way. There have been tears, tantrums, constant feelings of guilt for putting myself first. I definitely had the urge to self-destruct and destroy this project on multiple occasions. But I kept telling myself, one step at a time even if you do the tiniest thing one day, don’t give up. A journey is a process of steps and some days we take huge ones and others are so small we barely notice them, but the key is not to stop but to keep moving. It’s all such a new learning curve and it seems to take a huge mental shift to understand that it’s OK to pursue your dreams and do what you want for work. Noone needs to be in a cycle of misery to make ends meet. That is an old mindset that doesn’t serve anyone any good. When I talk to people about my product and see them genuinely interested, it makes my day. If I can reach Mothers and Fathers who will benefit from my product that is genuinely made with love and feel good vibes, then I AM doing it. I’m pursuing my passion and my dreams. I’m helping people in a way that makes them feel good. And that might look like working into the evenings and weekends whilst being a full-time Mum myself and putting other life goals on hold. But that’s OK because waking up and spending time with my Son whilst setting my own work schedule is something that sits better with me. This venture is literally like raising a baby, I have no clue what I’m doing, it makes me sad some days but the amount of love that I have for it is unreal. I believe in both of my babies and I want to be around them.
I genuinely can’t wait to launch this and start creating a community around Maternal mental health self-care. It’s a change that we all should be embracing because it’s vital that we put ourselves first in order to give our very best to those around us.