When you meet your child with special needs for the first time, you feel an unimaginable love, complete, consuming love.
Now please raise your hand if the next feeling was an over the top sense of “I dedicate my life to caring for you?” (my hands, both, are raised)
For me there were no questions, no confusion or wonder. I had found my calling, I didn’t need to think about going back to work, no chance. I exist for one reason. My purpose. To care and help my son. That was most important.
Fast forward 7 years and everything look’s very different.
So there I am with 2 gorgeous children, Billy who has some complex special needs and Sienna. I am freshly separated from their dad, in a rental property costing almost 60% of my pension.
Times were tough, really really tough.
Most days I had no more than $7 to my name. Paid employment wasn’t an option as I had time restraints and working school hours was not enough to pay the bill’s but enough to cut my pension. My dinner consisted of cold bite-sized pieces of meat that came from the kids leftovers and there was a constant murmur from that little voice inside my head whispering “this is it for you, struggle for life.”
I was down and out, holding onto a broken promise of dedicating my time to my kids and a big ugly “I’ve been ripped off” chip on my shoulder.
One day as I was driving home from Billy’s school, I sat at a red light and watched a woman and her adult disabled daughter walk across the road. I looked at the woman’s face as she held bags of groceries on one arm and a firm grip on her daughter with the other. She look beaten, defeated, like she had given into the struggles that had been thrown her way.
Her eyes showed a deep sense of sadness. a woman whose heart was never mended. I suspect she had little support and a whole heap of stigma to deal with as her daughter was growing up.
I instantly felt driven. What the hell was I doing, seriously? I had a choice. I didn’t have to be that woman. I knew right then, how hard it was going to be, but oh so worth it.
Building a business, caring and just being a mum is not easy. Especially if you are learning and building.
I developed a business model and needed to invest in a website, but with no money and nowhere to go to get advice, I decided to take my model and present it to a business for corporate sponsorship. It wasn’t a lot of money but those days anything over the $7 dollar mark was a step in the right direction.
After much research and procrastinating, there was more research and procrastinating until my website went live and joined the many many other people who had the same idea minus the year long fear.
A big fat fail. Something was different though. My attitude had changed and there wasn’t a choice. I was not going to give up.
I developed a new business plan, borrowed some cash from family, you can also get an interest-free loan if you are low-income earner and I made my first investment into my business, me.
It had been some time since I had been in the workforce and my self-esteem but lacking big time. So I invested in a business coach and learnt the most amazing things. Online business was all new to me, and with so many different elements, The social media platforms, the branding, website, building trust, and the list goes on.
Working with a coach was the turning point.
I gained some great skills and knowledge from my coach. Lots of tips and tricks that completely changed my life. So much so, I now teach my clients the same things.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not where I want to be…….yet (one day), but I am happy, I have taught my children that no matter what your attitude will always determine your happiness and I am giving other carers the tools to build their dream life.
I would say all that is definitely a step in the right direction.
If you are working in paid employment and are thinking about flexible options check out our Flexible Working Planner to build a killer proposal your boss will find hard to refuse here.
p.s I know there are days when everything is crap and you just want to stay in bed. I had plenty of them. My advice to you is, do it. Go to bed. Get yourself together and take time out because everything will be clearer tomorrow. x