Once upon a time, there was a busy, successful teacher. She was passionate about her work supporting children on the Autistic Spectrum in a mainstream school; she was excited about her work with the other pupils in the school as part of the Pastoral Team, focussing on developing their ability to learn and grow; she was a great manager to her team, she really cared about their development as people as well as their professional development.
She was also a keen and passionate climber – she was strong and determined, and was a member of the British Competition Climbing Team, travelling around Europe to compete in rounds of the World Cup throughout the competition season as well as travelling extensively to climb in all corners of the globe.
Then there was her desire to learn and grow – she also started studying towards her Masters Degree in Special and Inclusive Education and found it fascinating, interesting and infuriating all at once.
And as she liked to work hard, so she liked to play hard… so many parties and late nights, hanging out with friends….
That was me, 15 years ago. How did I find the time to fit it all in?! I’m exhausted just reading it back!
Well, I recognise now that I was using Superwoman to keep it all together. Superwoman kept me going for a long, long time. I had lots of fun through those years; I had some great experiences and met some great people. But I could be hard work too, and I wasn’t entirely comfortable in my own skin….
Things changed for me most dramatically as I got to the stage in my life where I wanted to bring children into the mix. I was still focussed, passionate, I had lots to give… but how to fit it all in and find the time to be the parent I wanted to be? And still get time for the fun stuff, the ‘me’ stuff? What about how society and the wider world view women as mothers?
I was utterly confused about who I was and what I could do with my life, what I wanted to do with my life. I had no support network, no idea of even how to ask for help, or who I could ask. I had always assumed that I had to ‘go it alone’. If I wanted something doing properly, I had to do it myself.
So I embarked on my journey of learning: about myself, and my place in the world; what skills I had to offer that most fulfilled me; how to build and grow my support network.
I embarked on my journey to find a balanced life…. (to be continued…)