Happiness at work is a huge thing, whether you are a mother or not. We all work so hard throughout our lives to achieve something for ourselves; to find that dream job. Whether that job is being a brilliant full-time mum, or working as a journalist after years of training. Or juggling the two. Either way - it matters. If you have to spend most of your life doing it, happiness should be at the forefront of every decision you make. Even before money, because, while everyone thinks it makes the world go round, when you are spent-up, you've nothing left. But happiness, love, memories and achievement - they last a lifetime.
I enjoyed my old job - I was a business journalist acting as Group Editor over a family of publications and people. I liked my clients. I liked working hard and having a nice time there. But while I liked it, my heart was always with my son.
As it should be.
This made me realise that, should I have to spend time away from that little boy of mine, my job had to be something special. Something for me. I really enjoyed working where I used to be, but I had hit the glass ceiling quickly, out of opportunity and hard work, something that I am very grateful for, but I wondered - what next? I didn't think my life had any more doors for me to open.
Before William, I was an assertive, competitive, driven individual, who wanted what she wanted, when she wanted it. I wanted to be the best. I wanted to win. And I suppose, in my own, little world, I did.
But, upon returning to work after William was born, work wasn't the same for me. I struggled with so many demons that I've only vanquished very recently. I felt like a poor excuse of a mother. I felt like less of a person at work - not through any fault of my colleagues, but because of how I viewed myself. This was it for me, I thought. I would work hard and then go home every day and get to catch moments with my son. It was my life.
But then, as the end of a year often does, I felt inspired. 2013 would be different. If I were to be a working mother, I would embrace it. I would do my makeup properly, I would make an effort with myself. I would assess why I felt so glum. I would change it.
What I have come to understand is this - I have never failed at anything in my life. Perhaps aside from the six attempts it took before I passed my driving test, seventh time around... But, I had always managed. I wanted a degree in journalism - I got one. I wanted an Excellence Scholarship - I got one. I wanted to be the editor of a magazine - I became one. How arrogant I seem, looking back.
But then, becoming a mother was changed all of that. I wanted a natural birth - I got one. I wanted to breastfeed - I did, despite complications. I wanted to beat the baby blues - I had none. I wanted to be with my son - I couldn't be.
There was never any choice for me. It was made. "But couldn't you...?" "But what about...?" No, I would explain, it's just how it is.
I think, looking back, that I battled a depression of my own. Perhaps not post-natal. Perhaps not on the level of those who I in no way mean to detract from. But in my own, suppressed way. In my way of wanting to show that I could cope, I could do both, I would do everything that a stay-at-home mother could, and then I would be a fantastic career woman too. I didn't want to fail. I wanted to be the best for my son. I wanted him to be proud.
I realised this, upon reading out my keynote speech at BritMums Live. A blog post, filled with humour and anecdotes, which, when said aloud in my own voice, said aloud to a room full of my peers, sounded almost sad. I was making a joke of my struggles, because it was the only way I knew how to cope at the time.
Watching it back, after the lovely Kirsty and Clara of My Two Mums recorded it for me, I felt a lump in my throat.
I made a change to my life, and chose to join a new family. A working family of new beginnings. Fresh starts. Making a difference. I get to write, all day long. I work with charities. I get to help people. I get to make a difference here, when I can't always make a difference at home. This change in no way reflects against my old job, I just had to leave that time behind, and I had to find my place.
I'm really happy of what I have achieved. I'm really proud of who I am. I can finally say that.
I'm a working mum. And that is more than okay.