Inspired by Nicola Bird of The Simplicity Project’s request for female entrepreneurs to write to their children about why they do what they do, I have written this letter to Supergirl.
I’m writing this letter to tell you how much I love you and why I do the things that I have chosen to do with my life.
When you put in an appearance five years ago you turned our world upside down.
You were a complete monkey of a baby and you had us at your beck and call but immediately we could see the glimmer of the funny, happy, clever little lady that you have become.
It became clear to me very quickly that life was never going to be the same again.
Not just because I was now a mum but because you changed my whole outlook on life.
Since I was a teenager I have always said that I wanted to ‘make a difference’.
When I worked in the corporate world I never felt like I was making a difference…….
When you came along the need to ‘make a difference’ became much stronger.
Not just so that I could inspire you and make the world a better place but also if I was going to spend time away from you, when you needed me most, then it had to be so that I could ‘make a difference’ and not to waste time clock watching in an office.
Your Dad and I decided that while you were little I wouldn’t go back to my old job and I would stay at home to look after you and also use the time to find a way that I could use my skills to ‘make a difference’.
When your brother came along that journey continued….. with a little less time for me to work out how to ‘make a difference’!
In your teenage years when you read this letter you may wrinkle your nose with horror at the thought that during that period I was predominantly ‘just a mum’. Not cool, eh? You might change your mind about that when you have kids of your own.
In the meantime I’m thick skinned enough to live with your derision!
Deciding to stay at home with both of you was the easiest decision ever…….
Living the reality has been much harder.
I don’t regret it for a second.
I genuinely believe that me being around has helped you and your brother to become the happy little people that you are.
The day to day of being at home with young children, it’s hard going, it’s really hard going……..reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar 10 times a day is boring…… trips to the same park 3 times a week are BORING……… particularly when you have hopes, dreams and ambitions.
But I know that given our situation…… no family with a 400 mile radius and Dad working silly hours…. The alternative would have meant LONG hours in childcare for both of you, I KNOW it was the right answer for us.
So many people said to me ‘why on earth are you giving up a great career and a great salary to stay at home and spend the day with a screaming baby/snotty toddler, your brain will shrivel up’.
Or words to that effect!
But over the past five years my brain did not shrivel up, in fact it has expanded beyond all measure!
I have completely transformed my career.
In the pockets of time that I could glean (early mornings, nap times, late nights) I have followed my entrepreneurial journey and am really proud of what I have achieved.
Would it have been easier to just ‘get a job’? Probably.
Would I have been happy? Probably not.
I made the choice to be around as much as possible for you in the early years.
I made the choice to build my business around school holidays and the school day.
I made the choice to build my business more slowly (and make less money in the early days!) than I would ideally like so that I could be there for you both.
These were MY choices. And my time is coming. It won’t be long until your brother is in school as well and at that point, look out world, I’m coming to get you…….
I want to show other mums that THEY can make the choices that are right for THEIR family.
I want to show them that they don’t have to conform to the ‘norm’…… put their child into childcare and go back to a job where they live for the weekend and count the seconds until they can use their precious 20 day holiday allowance.
I want to help them understand that there is ‘another way’, where they can live their life and build a business on their own terms.
I’m not saying this is an easy choice but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
I want other mums to know that they no longer have to say ‘I wish…….’ And instead say ‘I can……’
And as for you…….
I want you to know that you can do ANYTHING that you set your mind to.
Sweetheart girl, your life is going to be full of choices and you need to make the choices that are right for YOU.
I want you to know that you don’t have to follow the crowd. I want you to know that you can and you should stand up for what you believe in.
I know that you have huge ambitions at the moment.
You’re going to be exceptionally busy being a ballerina Monday – Friday, a doctor on a Saturday and having the five babies that you are planning.
May you continue to have huge ambitions for yourself.
May you realise those ambitions when the time comes.
May you continue to be happy.
And I hope that when you are old enough to ‘get it’ that you understand why I chose to do what I do.
With all of my love my crazy haired girl