A Win for the "Poo" vs. A Parenting Fail
This week I celebrated the end of my official launch campaign with a win for Daddy and the World’s Longest Poo. Little Gnome, the ‘biggest little bookshop’ in Brisbane, agreed to stock copies of my picture book, alongside a fabulous range of traditionally published titles and ‘indie’ author releases. I’m extremely proud and it was a great honour to meet 'the' Little Gnome himself, the bookshop’s increasingly famous mascot.
And so, it was a week of great ups and a week of great downs. Does this ring a bell with any working parents out there, or any parents at all, regardless of their work status?
To become a parent means to lose that independent part of yourself that can determine great career strides, financial achievements and social success. After you have a child, every facet of your life is affected by the need to consider the interests of not only yourself but the precious life you have brought into this world, whether you love them or hate them, on given day.
This week, I made it my mission to create room for an opportunity for my writing business, during a whirlwind interstate visit with my four-year-old son. In my career, I try to be as in control as possible, while one short hour on a plane with my child can remind me of just how out of control my life has become. It nearly killed me having to manage his various whims to kick the chair in front of him, to put the tray table up and down, to sing at the top of his lungs and to talk incessantly, all with a broken iPad and no other in-flight entertainment options. Then I had to get off the plane and put my professional work hat on and visit the owner of the bookshop with my books, while off-loading my son to his very patient grandma.
The 'me' that visited the bookshop was the 'work me', the 'independent me', the writer and business owner. The 'unencumbered me' I wish I could be a lot more often and who knows, maybe this would afford me the opportunity to escalate my career?
But that me is not the 'real me' anymore. I am a composite of 'work me', who has dreams for her own success and 'mother me', who would do anything for her child’s happiness and success, despite the fact he drives me up the wall and limits my former freedoms. He is also the reason that I am where I am today - questioning the corporate career that stressed me beyond belief and rediscovering a creativity I was not sure I would ever find. My son inspired me to start writing again and he is the reason Daddy and the World’s Longest Poo has come to be. Without him, I would still take myself far too seriously and may not have found the ability to laugh at the quirks of my own domestic life.
So, I guess when I really think of it, I am where I am at in my career because of my son, not in spite of becoming a parent. I can’t devote every waking minute to my writing but finding more of a balance in my life is helping me to plan more effectively and enjoy those hours of solitude and writing even more, when they come my way. I wonder how many parents reading this might identify? You may not be a writer but have you found that juggling parenthood and work, has somehow changed, or reinvigorated your career path, despite it seeming a setback at first?
(And for more on my visit to Little Gnome bookshop, see my WeekendNotes review)