I sat in a meeting today where I listened to a certain demographic being described…I was quite inspired by this group of people being bought to life and could certainly see myself in it – ambitious, check, creative, check, optimistic, check, active, ahem, check, yes, yes, yes, that’s me! I’m who you want, I’m inspired, sell me stuff quick! I’ll take it, whatever you’ve got I’ll buy it!
Yes, I managed to shove myself rather smugly into that desired target group, god they looked cool, free, youthful, I’m sure that’s me I thought, I know it, I feel it! Apart from one thing. As soon my next birthday is over in a few weeks time, I’ll be too old to be part of this group. Bugger. When I turn 30, I’ll no longer naturally slot into anything that sits alongside the word ‘youth’. Double bugger. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m not dreading my 30th (much) and I really don’t think it’s old at all, in fact 30’s sound quite exciting, but it’s, um, well it doesn’t start with a ’20’ does it? My 20s have been pretty epic, the latter ones somewhat insane, marriage, a baby, a business, no wonder I’d describe them as my ‘knackered but awesome days’.
And whilst I wanted so badly to be considered someone who sat in that cool youthful target market, it also reminded me of something I despise – ‘boxes’. I don’t want to be in a box. Get me out of a freaking box (I’m allowed to contradict myself by the way; ‘get me in the box, out the box’…I’m a woman after all, and that box has its benefits)
When I was pregnant I’d say in my broader industry of marketing I was pretty young to have a baby. I felt like some people looked at me like a was a teenager mother, throwing away my career on a silly whim. I was 28! And as I’ve already learned today, it ain’t a million miles away from the ‘non-youth’ box. Partly this was probably paranoia that goes hand in hand with a general level of mental-ness incurred by pregnancy, but other times, it was fo’ real. I think the problem was people didn’t know what box to put me in, I was trucking along nicely in the ‘over achieving young hungry smart’ type (hungry could be applied to food or career) and then I threw in a baby and that confused things.
Well I bloomin enjoyed the box-lessness and have tried to ensure I keep out of it ever since…
Lots of women talk about having a surge of creativity after having a baby and I fully felt the force of that. Rather than my life being over as some hinted it might be, I felt the opposite. Why should having children be a barrier to fulfilling your goals and dreams? Children are not obstacles. They are inspiring and loving and provide you with so many skills as a parent that it’s impossible to write them all down. These can be combined and entwined with skills you had before parenthood (they’re still there, look really hard!) and even newer ones you want to build (it really is possible!) I wanted to continue with where I was at in my career but I wanted an even bigger challenge. As opposed to putting me off, motherhood spurred me on, I felt confident and in a way ‘untouchable’. I felt like there could be nothing in the world harder than raising a child and anything in comparison would be well, a bit of a doddle surely? I wanted to channel all this creativity in a way that would enrich all our lives, not just financially but in a way that I could inspire Phoenix and Ben in the way they inspired me.
Being a working mum has daily challenges. But I still think it’s probably easier than being a full time mum! And I’m not done yet, The Pineapple Lounge is 18 months and we’re really only just getting started; recently shortlisted for an industry award, it’s been an amazing journey. And I still have so many ideas both for Pineapple Lounge and for other businesses that I hope to pursue. Who knows if I’ll get to tick them all off, but one things for sure I’ll be doing them OUT the BOX!
Go forth and dream people x