I have had a massive amount of changes this year so have been a bit quiet on this blog- the biggest being relocating from Australia to The Netherlands. This was no easy task, especially with 2 young children. You can read about my adventures over on my Dutch Australian blog.
Family Work Balance
As a topic I write frequently about (and the Professional Parents tagline), I also feel I’ve experienced almost every aspect of the family work balance spectrum this year.
Earlier this year, I felt I had finally achieved a pretty good balance – though did lean slightly more towards more work. I was working part time at the Women’s Health & Mother Baby Hub, organising Professional Parents Events and running my social media and marketing business, Zestee. I loved my work, I enjoyed the time I spent with my girls, they were thriving at daycare and we spent most weekends together as a family.
Since July, it’s has pretty much all been about family. When we moved to The Netherlands, I became a stay at home mum for the first time since the children were babies. My eldest started school for the first time and my youngest was home with me most of the time. I became a school run mum…on my bike as I don’t even have a drivers licence or car yet here (a process which is taking much longer than expected). We even cycled in the snow last week!
As much as I love the chance to spend extra time with my girls, I do feel that for all of us, we don’t have the right balance – I’ve been really missing the chance to work. Being back to one income has also been hard as I’m sure many of you can identify with. The girls have really needed me though and I haven’t really had any other option with part time jobs very hard to find here, but I’ve been taking steps I need to get a better balance.
In 2013, I’m more consciously moving back towards finding a better family work balance. Along the way I’d like to also try and help you find your best balance by sharing my experiences and those of others on this website. For me, I’d love to be working 2-3 days a week as well as spend quality time with my girls and husband on weekends and evenings.
Professional Parents in 2013
It’s also been difficult deciding on how to continue with Professional Parents when I could no longer put the focus on the face to face events. I’m very happy that Ngaire & Kelly continued meeting with a group in Brisbane and Marina and Bec on the Sunshine Coast. It was wonderful to visit both of these when I was back in Australia for my brother’s wedding in October.
I’ll be relaunching the Professional Parents website in January 2013. I’ve realised I’m just as passionate as ever about being an advocate for family work balance and doing my best to bring together those in similar situations to learn from and support each other. There will simply be a more online and international focus and I’m sharing more personal experiences as well in my blog.
There are a lot of ideas I’m working on developing at the moment and your feedback is most welcome. I will continue to post interviews and resources on the website relevant to those seeking family work balance from all around the world, so if you would like to be involved, I’d love to hear from you.
I’ll also be relaunching Zestee.com to continue to share my passion for and knowledge of social media. And I’ll still be doing school pick ups and drop offs on my bike!