Why I am an inspirational woman
Last year on International Women’s Day I posted on social media about all of the inspiring women, and there are many, who have shaped my life. At the risk of sounding smug, this year, I would like to take a step back and post about why I am an inspirational woman as I think that many of us women are quick to push ourselves down, and don’t want to say out loud that we are great. It was my birthday just this week, and there’s nothing like a birthday to make you evaluate your life and its meaning. These are a few aspects of my life that make me the fabulous person I am today!
The reason that I want to be an inspiration is mainly for my children. I would love my two daughters and my son to have a mother who inspires them to be themselves, however they are, and to embrace their already very evident personalities, and use them to be a force to be reckoned with. Along with my husband, I share full-time parental responsibility for my children. As a woman, it is a difficult choice to make to decide to give up a full time career and dedicate time to your children. Either way you feel compromised, but I decided to make the sacrifice and become a full-time mother. At first, that was exactly how I saw this move- a sacrifice, but in the past two years, I have really learned to enjoy this role, and now it is one that brings me endless joy, punctuated with a few frustrations along the way. Of course I get lots of help from my parents and my in-laws, and in turn my children have a wonderful relationship with their grandparents.
Grief and Pride
Our Sara was born with Muenke Syndrome, and the resulting Craniosynostosis, meaning that the bones in her skull fused prematurely in the womb and as a result her brain had no space to grow. Sara had to undergo a major surgery with metal bars inserted into her head for a number of weeks. Almost a year ago to the day, she got these bars removed, and we are now awaiting another similarly major surgery this year, and more further down the line. When Sara was born, although in massive shock, we as a family did not bury our heads in the sand or feel sorry for ourselves. We got straight on to figuring out how we could help her, learning all about the condition, and connecting with others who were in the same (very few) or similar (a few more) boats. If you would like to help children like Sara, I would encourage you to give blood, as it is a vital resource that costs nothing but helps to save lives of babies like Sara as well as lives of people like you or I. Having a daughter with a long-term illness has given me a new perspective on life, and yes, I sometimes grieve for the loss of an ordinary life for Sara, but the gratitude for our special girl whose determination has given our family a sense of pride and empathy beyond what I ever knew possible wins out.
Seeing our other children with Sara has shown me how acceptance is natural and judgement is a learned behaviour, and again when I see my two girls holding hands in the back of the car, or when I see my son kissing his sister I feel my cup ‘runneth over’.
Image sourced from Faye Hayden on Facebook (191K Shares)
Although, as previously mentioned, I gave up my full-time design agency career to dedicate time to my children, I realised that having a career, and working in design is vitally important to me. Luckily I share the responsibility of the children with my husband, who as a shift-worker has afforded me time to develop my own flexible career path. I love small business, and I have a grá for working with local start-ups to develop their brand identities, logos, websites and many other items that help them to navigate their way around the new and exciting world of business. I now run a freelance Graphic Design business that I work around my family’s schedule. Start-ups are a great fit for me as the clients I work with understand that life isn’t always 9-5. Generally it works both ways, and I am often available to answer queries at 10pm when other agencies would redirect you to an out-of-office. This flexiblity is something that I have been working to build over the last number of years, and just once in a while, it’s nice to acknowledge that I am doing a good job.
I spent many years in college to get my degree, having first dropped out of Architecture, only to return to college and study both Graphic Design and PR, graduating from both on the same day. On graduation, I threw a massive party for all of my friends and family to celebrate what seemed like a lifetime in college. Little did I know I’d caught the bug and I will probably never leave! I’m currently completing a Masters in Digital Marketing in CIT, which I love, although it’s tough to do the assignments when you have kids at home with a fever (and that was just today).
I love to give back to my community. In the past I have been involved with soup runs, charity shops and pro-bono desgin projects. I am currently an active member of my daughter’s school’s Parents Association, and it is a lovely way to meet other parents, get to know the school and what it stands for as well as the other children, and I love the roll up your sleeves and work ethos of a community organisation like this.
After relocating to a new neighbourhood and school when I was in my teens, I was quite unsettled and found it difficult to make friends. Since then, I have picked up quite a few from my varied courses, jobs and adventures. To me, being a friend is not always seeing someone on a regular basis, but always being there on the other end of the phone and always willing to listen. I will always do a favour for someone from a stranger to a neighbour, and dropping people to the airport is my speciality. Having moved to Douglas, I have started to build my community of neighbours into a community of friends.
I am the person who sets up the WhatsApp group, the person who arranges the playdate or has the massive kid’s party for 72 people in a tiny house (Yes they thought I was crazy) or the person who creates the video, books the holiday, orders the cake, organises the party, buys the present or whatever else needs to be done for an occasion, and the person who lets my hair down on the night and enjoys every minute, because life is too short and we should all spend it enjoying ourselves with the people we care about.
Of all the women I know, they are all inspirational in different ways. I hope they all know just how great they are, and to the men in mine and their lives, thanks for supporting us. Happy International Women’s Day!