I left school at 16 with good GCSE grades but no idea what I wanted to do as a career. I didn’t do A-Levels & I just kind of fell into a banking job, I don’t even know why I applied at the time, I guess it was because working for a bank sounded like a ‘good’ job. At 18 I very unexpectedly fell pregnant, however this was the absolute making of me. Once my gorgeous little bundle of joy arrived he really made me think about my future & what I wanted for my baby & I. (For the record his father was pretty useless, a gambler & drinker so I knew I had to do it alone)
With advice from my local college I started a two year AVCE Course in Business Studies based on my previous experience, then went on to successfully complete a four year Uni Course & obtained a First. Even though I’d met my future husband whilst at Uni I didn’t want to ‘waste’ six years of education to start a family straight away so focused on my career with a great job in marketing for a national company.
For the first couple of years it was great, I was still on the high from graduating & finding a successful role until I realised that this career path wasn’t what I wanted. I made a decision on my education at aged 19 that just wasn’t what I wanted at age 30. For years I had wanted another child but knew it wasn’t something we could even think about in my current role, I worked long hours & could be travelling to different parts of the country each week.
I was lucky though, redundancies were being announced the same week I found out I was pregnant with my second, the most perfect timing we could have asked for. So after a long & emotional talk with the hubby we decided that now was the time to jump ship & leave the career I’d worked so hard for but was no longer right for me.
After my Statutory Maternity Leave I used my redundancy money to set up my own business, a total career change. I’ve gone from being a busy Marketing Exec to working from home running a custom cake business, Handmade Queen of Cakes so I’m able to spend time with my kids. The guilt is there that I spent so much time away from my eldest forging a career & that there is such a big age gap between my boys (almost 12 years).
I wish that I had children closer in age so that they could have played together more, the teenager is amazing with the toddler don’t get me wrong but if I had if had them both when I was younger I could have then worked on my career. Perhaps then I might have had more of an idea of the direction I wanted to head in. I wouldn’t change my life or kids for the world but it does make you think the ‘standard’ order isn’t necessarily right for everyone.
What worked for you? Are you career before kids or kids before career?