The other week I made a big decision – I was asked if I’d like to renew my current TV contract but for the first time in my life, I turned it down. I realised that this job isn’t really right for me, or our family. It’s been five months now since I returned to work and as I think back, it was a bit of a crossroads that I wasn’t fully prepared for. I was excited to do something new, to try and get back to where I was career-wise. But I’ve realised that now I’m a parent, work is more than just a job and it’s time to do something about it.
When it isn’t about the Flex
I’ve been incredibly lucky that I work with a lovely team of people, who are supportive and understanding of the fact that I am a mother. They make it really easy; last week when Emma was poorly, my boss was the first to say that I should stay at home to be with Emma. Sometimes I look around me at work and realise how rare this situation is – almost a dream come true. I know so many people that do not have this and a huge part of me feels like a fool for closing the door on that.
It will always come down to what I want. Before I had kids, I was so driven in my current job – I loved the fast-paced nature of TV work, the ever-changing schedules and demands of the production. I was entirely committed to the job, no matter what it took and however crazy that sounds. But after months of returning to the same job I’ve always loved, I am realising that it’s not what I enjoy anymore. For weeks I thought it was my baby brain, or working in a digital, online arena making me feel this way. But it’s now clear, I have changed.
So I said no and when anyone askes me what I’m going to do after my contract ends, I get incredibly nervous. Because the truth is I don’t know, and that scares me. I’ve always been someone who needs to have a plan – the very nature of my job – but for once I don’t have one and that feels quite good. Thanks to my blog, I have a sense of which things I enjoy and am learning about the different paths I could take…and I’m just hoping it will all work out somehow.
Situations like this always remind me of the finale episode of Friends when Rachel moves to Paris. She calls it ‘good scared’ and that’s exactly how I feel – bricking it but in a way that makes me pumped and excited for what could be. It’s how I felt when I was pregnant, stepping into a new phase; a complete unknown at how I’ll crack it and find my way. Slow baby steps forward, but doing something I’m really passionate about.
I’m embracing the new ‘me’ – maybe I have completely changed and didn’t realise. I’m in a new phase of my life and the first thing I always try to do is be honest with myself. Because now every decision I make isn’t just about me; it’s also about our family too and admitting to myself that I just find the logistics of commuting to London so stressful. I have to remind myself that it’s not a failing to admit it’s not working. The next step is ‘onwards’ and there’s a lot to smile about because a blank canvas, a new start is just what I need right now.