EILEEN SHINE

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - DOING IT FOR THE KIDS -

Mum to, from left, Ruby (eight), Jasper (one), Felic­ity (nearly five) and Matilda (six) I was an ac­count di­rec­tor in Wil­son Hart­nell PR. I will have left two years ago this month. I came to the de­ci­sion be­cause it just made more sense for us as a fam­ily.

The lo­gis­tics, once they got into school, were get­ting harder and harder each year. My hus­band and I sat down and looked at the re­al­i­ties of it, ver­sus what we were pay­ing out in child­care. I also was very happy to make that de­ci­sion. Not that I wasn’t very happy at work or what­ever, but I was happy with what I had achieved to date in my ca­reer.

I recog­nised that, for my fam­ily, it was go­ing to be of ben­e­fit to us all, to have me at home. Felic­ity was three when I left. I felt I had done my time; I feel that I can hold my own when it comes to talk­ing about my pre­vi­ous work­ing life. It was a de­ci­sion I made.

The jug­gle is end­less when you’re work­ing. My job was al­ways busy. I also was never very good at switch­ing off when I came home. In the world of PR, you’re al­ways on, and any­thing can hap­pen at any hour. And then there were trips to Lon­don; a lot of my clients were based in the UK.

At the same time, in my hus­band’s job . . . he was do­ing more and more travel. Up to three to four nights a week. It just wasn’t fea­si­ble for me to hold down a busy job and home, pretty much sin­gle­hand­edly, for three-quar­ters of the week. If I’m to be fully hon­est, my plan would have al­ways been, if I had a fam­ily, to be in a po­si­tion where I could be at home. Cer­tainly for th­ese years, any­way.

It’s re­ally hard once they get into school. Creche, al­though it’s a for­tune, is the eas­i­est

‘When you’re work­ing, you come home to the worst hour of the day. Whereas now, I can just ap­proach those things with a lit­tle more pa­tience’

op­tion in terms of child­care. We have af­ter­school ac­tiv­i­ties ev­ery day of the week, and I’m taxi­ing up and down the road. I used to have to say no to all those things when I was work­ing, be­cause I just phys­i­cally couldn’t get some­body col­lected or dropped home. You don’t want to be ask­ing other moth­ers all the time. Be­cause you al­ready feel like you’re a mother no­body sees at school. And you don’t want to be the mother who’s just ask­ing, and then you’re never there to re­pay the favour.

I’m re­ally happy to be at home. It’s busy, but not stress­ful. It’s not the same as jug­gling work and home. There are cer­tain days that are a bit Ground­hog Day, but you’re your own boss; you can change that. I sup­pose, when you’re work­ing, you kind of come home to the worst hour of the day. Whereas now, I can just ap­proach those things with a lit­tle more pa­tience and pace. Life isn’t as fran­tic.

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