Can women have it all?

Can women have it all?

I’ve always worked.

At times it has been difficult and there have been times when I have wondered why I do it.  But I know why, I really love what I do.

I went straight to uni after school to study nursing.  Ever since I was a young girl I remember saying often “I want to be a nurse”.  There were nurses in my family and I aspired to become what they were – strong caring women.  I didn’t really have a clear plan of where I wanted my career path to lead me, all I knew was, I wanted to do nursing.

My path went a little sideways at the end of my second year when I suddenly discovered I was pregnant.  What was I to do, how was I going to manage this, what would friends and family say, was this the end to my plan? I deferred for 12 months, got married, had my beautiful baby and learned to carry on. 

I had great family support, but most of my family lived in the country. So, I booked my daughter into full time child care and started back at uni.  I felt I really needed to go back and finish what I had started – it was hard, time was limited.  But, if I didn’t finish, I would not have the wonderful career I had always dreamed of.  I pushed myself and worked hard.  I wanted to be a good mother, but I also wanted to work.  I felt I could be a better mother by showing my daughter what could be achieved with dedication and resilience.

After graduating and working for 2 years and various hospital settings I didn’t find an area of nursing I was really passionate about, so I enrolled back in uni to study midwifery.  Up until that point in time, I had never considered midwifery as a career – this was the best decision I had made. 

I have not only become passionate about midwifery, but maternity care and giving women the chance to have a positive experience during pregnancy, birthing and the post-natal period. I strive to be the best I can be and want all women to feel positive about their journey. 

I gave birth to 2 more daughters after studying midwifery, and after periods of time at home with each baby, I returned to work.  My second daughter went into child care, which again was our only option at that time and after our third daughter we decided to employ a carer privately. I was working shift work, had one daughter in school, one in preschool and one at home, so I felt it would be easier to have someone at the house to help with all the running around with pick-ups and drop-offs – it worked well at the time and the girls were all happy. 

Every family situation is different.  Not all women want or feel they need to return to work after having a baby.  For me, it felt right and I felt important.  I wanted to work.  I felt I was making a positive difference to women’s lives by helping them through important life changing events – pregnancy, birthing and the post-natal period.

All three of my daughters have successfully graduated from university and have careers.  One daughter is working and enjoying a wonderful career in graphic design, another daughter is continuing her studies in Medicine and my third is a paramedic. 

What I have taught and shown them is perseverance, determination, resilience, strength and positiveness will help you achieve whatever you want to achieve – all you have to do is give it a go.  Things may not always go to plan and there may be challenging times, especially at various life stages, but how you manage those and how you feel about it will make a big difference between doing something you love and giving it all up.


Pen x

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