Cutting through the ‘it’s all relative’ bullshit I wanted to talk about success. Defining it, feeling proud of it and even saying ‘yep I am a success, now give me some cake’. This blog post comes from a person who had a very dark time after having Harbor. I don’t think we can label it as depression. It was more about the shock that left me unrecognisable both physically and emotionally.
I felt like I was a successful career woman. I had been promoted almost annually since the age of 21. I had run large retail stores in central London. Stood on my own two feet, trained people, implemented ideas and got head hunted numerous times. Lets just say I was pretty fly. Then I had a baby.
My career focus turned off like a switch. From over the top working all hours to never wanting to have to work again. Which slowly turned into having no confidence to work. Looking back this must have been a massive shock to Si. Seeing the person you love change almost overnight. (I do think work ethic is a massive part of who we are.)
I have spoken before about how I fumbled around in early motherhood. There are no appraisals. No one promotes you to senior mother. No one even really evaluates your practices and procedures. You just try to keep the baby happy and healthy so that you don’t end up in prison. (Potentially there is slightly more to it than that, but I am just outlining the basics you understand.)
Dress Arket // Leather Jacket Allsaints // Boots Jessica Buurman
It took me a few years working in a job that I really didn’t enjoy*, working hours that weren’t really befitting with my lifestyle. (I worked night shifts and then remained awake the following day due to no childcare. Meaning I would often go 36+ hours without any sleep.) It was almost like I was punishing myself for losing my confidence.
You already know that the last 12 months I have been self employed. All of my income comes from creating social media content. When I made that decision last January I don’t think I was ready. And I believe that really is the key. Are we ever ready? I just kept pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Which lead me to where I am today.
Dress Arket // Shoes Kurt Geiger // Bag Lisa Valentine
I have earned more than double what I did in my previous job. Whether you see social media as a real job or not, it definitely isn’t as easy as it looks from the outside. I feel like I work close to full time now. However it is so flexible that most of that work can be done when the boys are in bed. I don’t set myself many goals as I am still working on my confidence and I don’t want to scare myself off but I wrote a little list of dream brands that I wanted to work with this year. It is April and I have ticked them all off my list bar one. I feel really proud of that.
I am also proud of the work that I didn’t do too. There have been many jobs that I have turned down because they weren’t right regardless of the fee. I even turned down a £1000 coffee machine. That still pains me a little bit but really who owns a £1000 coffee machine! Not me obviously.
I feel like this year has been a success for me. I am getting more confident by the day. Even though it has taken me 7 years to get to a point where I feel I have a career again, I am glad I have finally reached that point. Who knows what the next 12 months have in store.
So there you have it. I feel successful and it feels kinda nice to be able to say that.
Hat and Jacket both H&M
*When I say I didn’t enjoy my job it was more about the hours I worked and the long drive to get there. I actually really enjoyed working with the elderly. Being a care assistant is massively rewarding and I wish it got the recognition it deserves.
I really needed to read this today. I was successful in my career and I loved it. As soon as I had my daughter that completely changed. I didn’t want to travel and be away from her and that was a big part of what I did. The last 2 years I’ve been a stay at home Mum and my ‘work’ confidence has all but disappeared. I keep talking about starting a business and yet find all the excuses I can not to get on with it. Im really missing that part of me and never thought I’d find the shift so difficult. It’s comforting to see that you felt a similar way and came out the other side.
But it also took me 7 years and I think that’s ok too. Sometimes I think there’s a reason behind all that happens. 🤷🏼♀️
It takes us a while to get our va va voim back, I was a police officer pre baby but after baby I lost all my confidence, eventually leaving a job I loved and I thought I was good at! Even now I’m not the same person I was before Nell and never really found a job that fitted me again. It’s great to hear a positive story, so many times I’ve looked at posts that have made me feel inferior glam mums who seem to know what they are doing and make it all seem a breeze. That’s why I love your blog, your honest and say it how it really is. Good for you for being a success and here’s to more success and empowering women!!
Thanks lovely! Took me a long time to feel this way! Maybe it won’t last be it’s good that I have it a shot!
Great post. Really honest. So nice to see you openly acknowledging your success- well done you deserve it 🌸
This is a really really inspiring blog post … thank you .., I have suffered with my confidence & still do .. but I am now in a job that I love (& feel I’m good at) & my confidence is growing slowly by the day .. I am also receiving some very (very) occasional contact through my instagram about collaborations .. which again is making me feel more confident .. I’m starting to feel I’m becoming me again .. (my three are teens) .. I hope I’m showing them you can do anything you set your mind to .. that success can come at any age .. whatever success maybe to you .. hope this makes sense !
Loved this post Cara! We always feel ashamed of shouting about our achievements … for fear of looking like we are boasting ! it’s ridiculous ! Celebrate them!! Totally inspired by this piece and off to write my ‘ dream collaboration list ‘ love that idea!! Something to aim towards xx
Really enjoyed reading this and congrats finding a new kind of work confidence and the success you have achieved. I too had a very successful career but after baby number two felt it just didn’t work for me anymore. Now I’m two years post leaving that career behind and exploring what’s next, it’s hard to work out the right path to take and sometimes I can feel a bit lost and that things I try are a bit pointless and maybe I should go back, but something in me knows that would be the wrong decision, so I will keep trying and keep exploring. Was great to read your story x
Thanks for this inspiring and honest post. As someone who is not yet a mother but has been preparing for it over the past few years – reading other people’s stories, changing career to something that might give me a better work-life balance, and educating my husband about the social stigmas, issues, and general ups and downs that come with such a miracle – I have come to understand what a huge emotional and physical challenge motherhood brings. Of course it’s a blessing, a miracle, the best thing to ever happen, but it’s important to talk about both sides of the story, the good and the bad. I really enjoy reading posts like these and when my day comes, I’ll know I’m not alone and that it’s all perfectly normal. (Something that my grandma, our grandmas, didn’t have growing up).