how We’re Rock­ing the solo work­ing mum life

Four mums from our com­mu­nity share their ca­reers; where they’ve been, where they are now and how they’re plan­ning to get where they want to be, one solo mum step at a time.

Lift Magazine - - Contributors -

I man­age a team of four who co-or­di­nate work place­ments for stu­dents na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. The week my hus­band left me, I got pro­moted which was a bit daunt­ing. I had to weigh up if I could take on the ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­ity with my home life. My kids were 10 and 14 at the time so they still needed me a lot but the in­crease in in­come meant I had fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity and in­de­pen­dence. It turned out that the pro­mo­tion ac­tu­ally gave me more au­ton­omy and flex­i­bil­ity than I had be­fore.

What qual­i­fi­ca­tions do you have?

I ac­tu­ally haven’t fin­ished my de­gree yet! I’m study­ing a Bach­e­lor of So­cial Science with a HR Man­age­ment and So­ci­ol­ogy ma­jor and a mi­nor in pub­lic pol­icy. When I got pro­moted I had to take a leave of ab­sence from stud­ies. It was hard be­cause I had to ad­mit I couldn’t do ev­ery­thing. Keep­ing up with per­sonal de­vel­op­ment has been the hard­est thing for me be­ing a solo mum, es­pe­cially things like read­ing and fit­ness.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

It’s so flex­i­ble. I can make it what I want it to be. Stu­dents come to me with their prob­lems and I get to have that in­ter­ac­tion so it’s not so much an ad­min­is­tra­tion role. It’s dif­fer­ent ev­ery day.

What is your big­gest chal­lenge with work/life bal­ance?

Ini­tially it was be­ing emo­tion­ally avail­able to my chil­dren when they wanted to talk. Teenagers don’t do that so much, and they might come to you it 10pm with a drama and you have to be emo­tion­ally able to cope with that when you don’t have a part­ner to say ‘You do din­ner tonight while I deal with this’.

Where do you see your ca­reer in five years?

I’d love to move in so­cial work or do­mes­tic violence which is more in line with my orig­i­nal ca­reer dream of study­ing psy­chol­ogy.

How do you start your day?

I start at 6am. I’m so not a morn­ing per­son. I get an hour to my­self then wake up the kids. My daugh­ter drives now so she drives her brother to school. There are some perks to your kids grow­ing up!

How does your day end?

I head to bed around 10:30pm, it’s prob­a­bly later than I should stay up, but I need it, it’s my ‘me time’.

HAS TWO CHIL­DREN, SHAR­NAE, AGED 18 & COHEN, AGED 14

WHEN SHE’S NOT BE­ING A SOLO MUM, SHE’S THE CO-OR­DI­NA­TOR OF PRO­FES­SIONAL EX­PE­RI­ENCE AT THE UNIVER­SITY OF TAS­MA­NIA

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