Flexibility versus security

We all define and identify ourselves with a role or title in life. Social media sites invite us to define who we are in our ‘bio’. It can make quite entertaining reading in some cases. Mine’s fairly straightforward “Mum, HR Consultant, Amateur Foodie, Interior Design Fanatic, Wannabe Novelist”. Subconsciously, these are listed in the order of importance and priority I rank these associations in life. More recently I’ve had to think consciously about these rankings. Earlier this year I decided, whilst still a Mum, as my little person was that bit older I might just return to employed and corporate life. An opportunity presented itself and so I did. The attraction of camaraderie, security and a good financial package sealed the deal. What I failed to acknowledge was a price can’t be put on flexibility as a (single) Mum. Children grow up and naively I assumed their needs for mum to be around would diminish exponentially with age. I was wrong. And the challenge of corporate life, wanting to be a committed employee yet being pulled to be there for my son’s needs have defeated me again. But that’s ok as it’s simply made me re-evaluate (again) what’s really important in life. Yes my work is – I’ve spent years building a reputation as an astute, commercially focussed HR Consultant to SMEs. But there’s a little person, growing up by the day, whose needs are changing and still needs mum around (but no cuddles at the school gates please!) that will continue to take priority. I’m fortunate enough to have a loyal client base and be able to build my freelance HR consultancy in and around his needs, to keep the wolf from the door. And for a bit of restbite from it all, I’ll cook and bake and read around nutrition and whilst the supper’s in the oven I’ll flick through Ideal Home magazine, get lost in home furnishings or maybe write a bit of that novel that’s been rumbling on for years. I guess the purpose of this blog is threefold – (1) we are all defined in some capacity by our family, work and social roles but don’t let any of those definitions defeat who you really are (2) the grapple of wanting to be a good enough mum and a credible, revenue generating professional whilst still finding time for the things we personally enjoy is a constant challenge (but not one that needs sympathy , it’s just important to recognise)  and (3) I’m back on the professional market, primarily seeking HR freelance projects (or I could help you with your living room colour palette instead!)