When I first learned I was pregnant, it scared the life out of me. I’d been focused on progressing my career for a decade and felt like I was about to hit a wall.

I’ve always been someone who’s needed an intellectual focus.  My professional life and relationships are important to me.

My image of parenthood was one where I would feel trapped like I was giving up a lot of my freedom for the next 18 years.

I opened up to my mum about this and she surprised me with her view. She shared with me that, for her, motherhood had been full of opportunity. 

Opportunities to meet new people, explore new interests, and open her mind. 

“It’s what you make it, Anna!”, she said.

From then on, I chose to view my parenting journey in a new light. And this is what happened…

My maternity leave with my son, Owen, turned out to be a wonderful experience. I spent 6 months focussing on my newborn and enjoying the space from the job I had grown dissatisfied with. 

Then I started to consider what I wanted my future to look like as a parent and careerwoman. 

The biggest shift was that my time had suddenly become so much more valuable. I love my kids dearly but as every parent knows, they take over a large chunk of both your time and energy.

I’d also become interested in psychology so I got curious, and started a Bachelor’s degree. This ultimately led me to my new path in Career Counselling.

By the time Owen was in full-time school, I had switched courses and completed a Master of Career Development. I was working part-time at the University of Western Australia. 

By the time my second son, Ethan, started school I was building my own online Career Counselling business. 

I love what I’ve created as I love what I do, and I’m able to work with my clients and still be present to pick boys up from school every afternoon. 

Without the break that parenthood created for me, I would never have taken this path.

Parenthood can too often be seen as detrimental to your career. Something that will derail you. A gaping hole in your career history. 

But thankfully, my mum was right!

If you find yourself on the parenting journey, whether you’re just starting out or already doing the school run, remember, this ‘interruption’ can be a great gift. It’s an opportunity to re-evaluate. And can be a catalyst for exploring different options.

Most new parents have over 20 years left of their working life, so it’s worth thinking about how you really want to spend that time.

If you’re keen for a change, review your direction now and start working towards some new goals. It’s the perfect time to study, explore and change your path.