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.
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