Submitted by Sherene Abrahams - "I've let go of the idea that I need to be just like everyone else."
Before my children were born, I assumed that I wouldn't work outside the home after they came along. I figured that a part-time work schedule wouldn't be an option, and I didn't want to work full-time.
But things don't always go according to plan. When my eldest was 9-months-old, I was given the opportunity to return to work on a part-time basis. I was told that I could work from the office two days/week and from home one day/week. I accepted the offer, held the job for five years, and even had another baby during that time.
When my eldest started school, I was ready to make my career a higher priority. By that time I could do my job with my eyes closed. It was easy and convenient for me as a working parent. But it was no longer challenging.
I found a new job that sounded perfect; there were shorter hours, it was closer to home, and it was a step up on the career ladder. Unfortunately, it didn't go as well as I hoped it would because it just wasn't a great fit for my skills. But luckily, after nine months on the job, I found and landed my dream role. It was closer to home, super flexible, and involved work that I love.
While it took some adjusting to find the right fit, I'm happy to report that I've found it and am balancing my roles at home and at work. Here's how I do it.
In an attempt to help other working parents, I created The Working Parents Hubshub. This site, which currently serves parents in Australia and New Zealand, helps working parents find services they can use to achieve better balance between their families and their careers. It is also a place to share tips and experiences with other working parents. We share lots of great info on our Facebook page also, and we even have a small Facebook group dedicated to discussing these things in more detail.