At my old church, there were initiatives and events in place to get more women to connect with each other. To mainly get the older and younger women interacting with each other.
To broaden my friendship group from the girls I already hung out with at church, I decided to go to these organized dinners with women who I had never met with before.
Back then I was the worst person to judge someone on their appearance or how they came across.
She looks like a teacher, she looks organized and her earrings match her skirt.
She’s definitely a mum, she looks very tired and her hair is in desperate need of being done.
She’s a business woman – possibly a lawyer, very straightforward and I wouldn’t want to mess with her.
Now before you judge me and think how bitchy I was (church girl and all!), I believe we all have a tendency to think like this whenever we meet someone. It’s taken me years to train my mind to stop the commentary and just meet and love people however they present themselves.
Anyway, while we were at this dinner, there were only a couple of women I recognized. From memory we were at a Thai restaurant and we were sitting at tables that allowed for easy conversation to take place.
As we were getting to know each other by finding out where we worked or what we did or how many children we had – before I could even say I was a third year apprentice plumber and had no children (yet), one of the ladies that knew me piped up that I was a career girl and children were the furthest thing from my mind.
Quite the contrary.
Kids had been on my mind ALL through my apprenticeship.
I mulled over how I could pull off running a business with kids.
I needn’t have worried because life’s circumstances and the desires of my heart took precedence.
After the career girl announcement, I felt a weight in my stomach.
Did I come across as being career driven? That was not what I wanted to be known for.
I wanted to look feminine and stronge. A true Proverbs 31 woman who enriched my husband’s life and was respected by those who worked with me and by my future children.
But I obviously didn’t come across that way to others.
Of course I smiled and explained kids were on the horizon, but not for the moment and I certainly wasn’t a career girl. I was learning to be a plumber.
I was recently reminded of this event in my life as I was thinking about how much easier it was to work towards your dream/s before you had children.
Anything seemed possible.
And then you have kids and it can seem impossible to achieve anything.
Parenthood is demanding and often the best dreams and plans are laid when you’re raising your kids, because rather than thinking about what is best for me and what do I want to achieve, these questions will always take the family in consideration. It’s crucial as parents to follow our dreams to inspire our kids with what is possible with hard work and determination.
Since Phoebe turned 2, I’ve been thinking about what is expected from a licensed female plumber. I’m out of the baby years now and it’s time to get back to work.
Except the work at home has got busier because I am now in Toddler-dom.
At the Plumbing and Gas Awards, a conversation with a well-known, successful plumber told me not to miss these early years with my children if I can afford it.
There was no expectation to be back on the tools. It was an imaginary expectation (although there has been an inner desire too) I put on myself which has caused me to doubt what I’ve chosen to do.
My days can be mundane and monotonous, but I love that I am home with my kids during the day, and can work early in the morning and late into the night. There will be a shift when I can work during the day when the kids are in school/kindy, but for now, the lifestyle is what it is so I can have the best of both worlds.
If you feel incredibly slow at building that dream business or studying that new career, take heart. A slower pace means you can enjoy all the things God has blessed you with in your life.
I’ve had to remind myself of this recently and even though I sometimes get frustrated, I also know that there is beauty in the monotony and slower pace of creating and building in my life. I know those desires of my heart will come to full effect at the right time. As they will for you too.
Do you create imaginary expectations on yourself now that you’re a parent? Do you ever get frustrated with how slow it can be to build your business/study/ work towards a new career now that you are a parent? I’d love to hear your thoughts.