Jessica Rowe shares why it was time to put her family first and why it certainly is NOT an old-fashioned move.
“I didn’t like what I was turning into”, writes Jessica on The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Someone sleepwalking through the days, running on adrenalin, and propping myself up with rosé on a Friday night, too weary to snuggle with anything but Netflix.
“You’re probably thinking, what an ungrateful and whingey woman. And you’re right, because each day I was a becoming more and more of a “shouty mummy”. Sure, we all have our bad days, but it seemed like more of my days were going pear-shaped. It didn’t matter that my daughters raised their eyebrows and giggled, wondering what to make of my shouting.
“I thought the Christmas break would leave me re-energised and ready to take on another year of early starts on television. But I had to listen to my heart. Like any big decision we make, there are moments of fear.
“My patient husband and longsuffering friends had listened to me going back and forth over the decision for six months but the time for talking was over. It was now time to make that choice and to listen, really listen to those moments when the beat of your heart whispers louder than the rational part of your brain.
“The heartstrings that had tightly bound me to my babies were now a little looser but still being tugged by the emotional demands of their tween years and the emotionally fraught teenage years I know lie ahead.
“I want to be a present mum. For me being present means being emotionally present. And my workload had been leaving me with little energy to devote to what really matters. My daughters needed me and I needed them.
“When they were tiny, I loved the freedom of sneaking out to work as the sun was rising, happy that my little family was still sound asleep. Now my eldest daughter sets her alarm so she can wake up early with me and we can chat in the dark together.
“We snuggled together on the couch, the morning I was announcing I was leaving Channel Ten. I told her how nervous I was about telling everyone in a few hours’ time. Stroking her hair, marvelling at how lovely she is, I asked Allegra what she thought about my decision. “A billion times happier, Mummy,” she said.
“It is never simply a choice between career and family. Ask anyone, and family always comes first.
“This move isn’t old-fashioned. I’m a proud feminist and I know how lucky I am to have this choice. Besides I’m not disappearing – there are books to write, podcasts to do and other projects to keep me fulfilled.”
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