Welcome back to another week of the “Share Your Story” series. Last week we had such a heartbreaking story from Katy, the author behind Something Different. Katy shared her story about losing her mother. This week we have Gemma from Mummy’s Waisted who is writing about leaving her job. Is the Grass really Greener? Here she is now….
Gemma is a mum to two children and has recently changed career from accountancy to internet marketing. She runs Waist Trainer UK and writes a blog as Mummy’s Waisted, which centres around her attempts to fit healthy living and fitness around family life.
The grass may not be green, maybe it’s purple?
For more than 13 years I worked at the same local company. Working my way up from accounts assistant through to senior manager in the finance department. I lived through scandals, multi million pound fines, multiple director changes and company restructures. I worked full-time during both of my pregnancies, often putting in extra hours in the evenings and weekends.
But was I happy? Did I feel fulfilled? Most importantly, were my kids happy?
The answer is NO to all of these questions. Yes, we had the big house, a brand new BMW and family holidays. My time with my children was not ‘quality’ though. I was tired and irritable and I admit that I was too short-tempered and impatient with them, and my husband.
My moment of clarity came on the day that we found out which primary school my son had been allocated to.
Obviously we knew that this day was coming. That he would start school eventually, but it was always a day that seemed far in the future. The realisation dawned on me that if I carried on as I was, I wouldn’t be there for the school runs or helping with homework. I didn’t want my children to go to a childminder every day as I had done. I wanted them to be able to look back and remember Mummy picking them up. Perhaps doing exciting after school craft activities (alright, even I knew that was probably a step too far!)
It took me two months to pluck up the courage to leave. I did it! What really helped is that everyone around me was really supportive, and mostly jealous that I was making the big leap!
Now I’m not saying that the grass was greener.
I had to make some big decisions about what I was going to do with my life. I got sucked into checking recruitment websites and updating my Linkedin profile, but I knew deep down that getting a job was not the magic cure. I would still be feeling the same Mum guilt, just in a different place, with the added pressure of starting somewhere new.
So I registered as self-employed and began to look into potential new avenues. That took a long time, mainly because I felt scared of trying anything new. I’d been an accountant for a long time, and I felt like I didn’t know how to do something else.
As a distraction I volunteered at my son’s school, working in their forest school with different classes and age groups. It’s been hugely enlightening, and also humbling to see the range of personalities and abilities of the children and an insight into the next few years of my son’s life. Yes my two drive me mad some days, and I could definitely do with more sleep, but I feel incredibly lucky that I don’t have to deal with some of the challenges facing other parents.
I’ve never been one for the ‘there’s always someone worse off than you’ comparisons. The last year has really changed that though. I’ve come out of my sheltered bubble and experienced more of the real world around me.
Yes it’s scary.
Our household income has dropped considerably, but my confidence is building daily. I ‘work’ three days a week in internet marketing now, plus fitting writing my blog in to as many gaps as possible. I’m there for every school drop off and pick up and whilst I’m not quite at a Pinterest level, we have made quite a few cakes!
Thank you Gemma for sharing your story. This must have been a massive step for you to take and so scary but so rewarding!!
If you would like to follow Gemma you can find her on her social sites