Women: Following their dreams. A new series on BE&S and a bit about….me!

women series intro

I’ve got some changes to announce but before that can we just take a moment ….Boiled Eggs & Soldiers has just turned one!  Hip, hip hooray it’s our anniversary today (well, it was last week but life was wet and busy and that doesn’t rhyme!) so let’s just make it today.

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All the eggs came to the party. (I will post the recipe for this cake later on in the week but my fussy Miss said it was her favourite by far)!!! 

An anniversary is a good time to reflect on the year that was don’t you think? I have spent the last year trying out something entirely new to me (being BE&S). Being a blogger especially a “foodie” blogger was never a childhood dream that I had, given that the internet didn’t even exist when I was little that’s not surprising (how old is she, you ask? 43 and no, I don’t know how that happened either, I still feel, 29 ok, ok 35 (although some mornings closer to 85! but I am happy with the comfort in yourself that comes with age) I digress) it wasn’t even an adult dream that I had either. I have no background in food, writing, IT or putting myself out there on public display (makes me cringe, still)!  I realise that I do hide behind recipes on this blog and have been thinking that it might be time to branch out a bit and introduce some more “lifestyle” type posts and maybe even share a little more of me (cringing again, with thoughts of who would be interested, really?).  Anyway, here goes and if you do manage to read this the whole way through there is a point to it at the end, I promise!

In my former career in Human Resources I was very much interested in diversity especially gender diversity and working in a particularly male oriented business it was front of mind on a daily basis, eg. increasing the numbers of women in the business, flexible work practices, equal pay (which I have to say did happen) and the like. Also having a background in interviewing rather than retire those skills along with the corporate career I thought that I could put them to good use on the blog and on a monthly basis profile women who are giving their dreams a red hot go.  Are you interested in that?

To kick off the series I thought perhaps I should share a little bit more about me than what’s on my About Me page as to how I ended up blogging and what my future dreams might be too.

I found leaving full time employment to be a stay at home Mum just over 3 years ago quite a confronting time in which I had to redefine how I saw myself and where I fitted in the world.  I had worked in the corporate world  for nearly 20 years, travelled the world with it, people used to listen to me and actually do what I asked, amazing (!) or we would at least have a good healthy debate and come to a solution!  I took maternity leave for just about a year each time after having the girls, I loved my time with my babies and being away from the office, I didn’t miss it for a minute but I still saw myself defined by my career (and maybe by the shoes and handbags) and went back into it when my mat leave was up.

suit lady

 source Ok, this is not really me, I’m not blonde for starters but I did enjoy dressing up to go into the office and I really, really like shoes and handbags!

It’s a familiar story for many, I know, with both parents working long hours trying to juggle it all so I’m just speaking from my own experience.  The stress levels in our family were sky high, GT was travelling most weeks and Miss E was about to start school. I didn’t know how much longer the juggle could continue and my perspective on what was important in life had changed dramatically after having kids.  I worked in a particularly hard nosed business and while I pulled on my big girl pants every day I just didn’t want to do what I was doing anymore, it was soulless. I really wanted to be around more when E was at school, I had an inkling that she might need some more help than perhaps others.  I had idyllic (and totally misguided, ha!) visions of coffee mornings with other mums, getting fit, a perfectly run tidy home and lots of time to play ladies or do whatever and be involved at the school and I thought I would love that.  I was in the fortunate enough position that me stopping paid employment was an option for us for a while, so I did.

For the first few months when I’d meet people for the first time and they asked what I did I’d get all flustered and then go to great pains to explain what I used to do, I didn’t feel comfortable saying yet, a stay at home Mum (SAHM, I didn’t even know that acronym existed either). I’d never judged other women by what they did or the choices they made it was just about how I saw myself.  Who was I without the suit, the job description and the financial independence too? Dunno!  Turns out that coffee mornings are few and far between because quite frankly, who has the time? Being fit has to be scheduled in like a meeting or it doesn’t happen, a perfectly run tidy home, dreaming! And spare time, ha!  And then there’s the after school activities and feeding the troops etc, etc, etc…. So my days were full and I was busy, but who was I now?

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Source

Did I need a place in an org chart to know who I was? ( yes, for a time it mattered to me but not now). Did I come on too strong with the other school mums in meetings? (probably) Did my expectations of how quickly things should move need adjusting? (while I’d like to say no the reality was yes).  Was being totally financially dependant on my husband ok? (took some time (and a secret slush fund, now empty) to be ok with it). Why did I spend hours worrying about something somebody said or if what I said had upset someone when had it happened at work I would have brushed it off and moved on in an instant? (still don’t have the answer to that one). Why does something always come up (without fail) that hijacks the days plans and makes me feel like I’m always on the backfoot? (just someone out there trying to teach me to let it gooo! but it still happens) How come hundreds of people used to listen to me and take direction when the 2 smallest people in my life paid no notice to what I would ask them until it had been said at least 20 times and finally at full volume?????  Are you nodding to any of this?

It took about a year for the noise in my head to quieten down to stop treating what was now my life like a job and to start being ok with me in this shape and form; a wife and a mum, a daughter, a sister, a friend and enjoy it.  So now if asked what I do I say a SAHM, with pride.

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 So this really is me this time,  Hello! Doing my first ever “selfie”

Once I’d lost the shackles of my previous career and got comfortable with what I do for others I gave myself the opportunity to think about what I would like to do for me.  I’d had the idea for BE&S when I was working and trying to work out what to feed the family for dinner each night.  I’d always enjoyed cooking but took a real interest in it when I started cooking for the girls when they were babies.  Good nutrition started playing on my mind so I studied Nutrition for a year.  It was mainly for my own personal knowledge and to be able to feed the family well but I also thought that it could help me with the blog if I ever got the guts up to get it up an running. If’ I’m spending that my time thinking about and making food why not write about it too was what I was thinking.

Well a year ago I did get the blog up and running and it has been one massive learning curve with so much more to go. This year is the first time I’ve actually felt old, not physically, but the whole IT thing that goes on in the background with blogging quite literally stumps me all the time and yet I can ask a 20 year old how something works and they can tell me in an instant and my 8 year knows her way around the iPad better than I do!  I have a new appreciation of how people my parents age may have felt when computers first came out!

There are so many bloggers out there many of whom have amazing blogs, putting yourself out there takes some courage, some creativity and a lot of time.  It’s mainly a lovely community of really kind and helpful people as well but, as happens when you are trying something new, I’ve had a lot of self doubt this year too. I’ve tried to hold on to why I’m doing this and keep on plugging on.

flower quote

A good reminder to hold onto your dreams and don’t compare yourself to others. Thanks to Love Wednesday for sharing the thought with me in a FB chat group.

So that’s just a gloss over of what my transition was like from corporate to SAHM to working from home Mum trying to make a go of a new venture but one that fulfil a previous untapped dream to cook, create and connect.  I’d also one day love to have a shop, run cooking classes, be an interior decorator and maybe have a tea plantation!  Well 43 isn’t really that old so there’s time and it’s good to have dreams right!

Given that there are so many amazing things that people, and for this series, women, are doing in in their lives I thought that once a month I’d interview a women who was following her vision and dreams, ask her what, how and why and you never know what that could inspire in you too!

The first interview for Women: Following their Dreams, will be posted next Tuesday, so please come and check it out then.

Tomorrow in my Quick, What’s for dinner Tonight? Link Up there will be another announcement of an exciting change.  Now we are 1 the training wheels are off!

Finally, I’d like to say a big, heartfelt thank you to every one who comes and visits Boiled Eggs & Soldiers, your support and encouragement, comments, likes, feedback and seeing the readership grow has been overwhelmingly amazing.  I personally get so much out of doing this blog and I hope that you get a lot from reading it too, (if nothing more than what’s for dinner!).

PS. The photo at the very top was from a girls trip a couple of years ago which was also a dream come true!

Are you following your dreams?  What are they?  Spill… Anyone else feel a bit at sea for a time when their lives changed?

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41 comments on “Women: Following their dreams. A new series on BE&S and a bit about….me!

  1. Erin
    April 28, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Hi Victoria,
    Great blog! Love it! All the best for your new venture! I can’t wait to see how it goes!
    Erin
    http://www.findmyniche.com.au

    • Vicki
      April 28, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Hi Erin, thanks so much for stopping by.

  2. Nancy | Plus Ate Six
    April 28, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Love, love this post Victoria. I can totally relate to struggling with a new identity after giving up a corporate career – in fact I still do struggle six years later. One day I had my own house, brilliant career, was financially independent and the literally the next I was sitting in a house in Tokyo with no friends, no job and no income and asking for housekeeping money!!! It took us a good six months to get used to the new dynamics in our relationship. I still struggle when people ask me “what do you do here?” but now I can say I have a blog and I write.
    I’m going to print out the flower quote – so true! xx

    • Vicki
      April 28, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks so much Nancy. I don’t think you can plan for that kind of change as it’s something that happens and you have to evolve with it don’t you? Can I say that you write so well and I love your blog so stand up proud when you say you have a blog and you write because you are bloody good at it. x

  3. Jo @ You had us at hello
    April 28, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Happy Blogaversary Vicki!!! I can totally relate to the weird feeling of turning into a SAHM. The loss of financial independence was so weird. You can really feel a shift in your personality too. Wouldn’t have it any other way though and the joy of blogging keeps us sane – haha! Kind of?!! Over the moon we “met online” and look forward to champers filled arvo with all the gang one day xx

    • Vicki
      April 28, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Thanks so much Jo and thank you for being a lovely bloggy friend full of encouragement. It’s been the best part of blogging meeting such great people online. I think the perspective shift is the biggest thing isn’t it – does all the work carry on really matter to my child and the answer is always no! Here’s to the champers arvo some time soon!

  4. Sonia Life Love Hiccups
    April 28, 2015 at 9:33 am

    First of all – HAPPY BLOGGY BIRTHDAY!!! As for chasing your dreams – I literally fist pump the air every time I read something like this, like YOU quitting your job and changing your whole life. I too did that nearly two years ago, left the corporate world on a whim and have since created businesses that allow me to live the life I want and the life I dreamed off. I love reading stories about women who have have changed their lives for the better so I for one cannot wait to follow along my friend. Congratulations you gorgeous chick you xx

    • Vicki
      April 28, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you so much and for all your support and encouragement through your comments it really makes such a difference. I know how busy you are and you still make time. You are also an inspiration for following your dreams and I’m so keen to hear about all your new business ventures too.

  5. Karin @ Calm to Conniption
    April 28, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Happy 1st Birthday BE&S!! Congratultions V! I can completely relate to your story of going on maternity leave for the first time. It was such a strange thing to do. Everything is new with the parenting gig so maybe it is also the comfort of needing to do things you are used to doing. Well that was it for me and I also missed the travel. I travelled a lot with my work and loved it. Can’t wait to follow along on BE&S life as a 1year old. 🙂

    • Vicki
      April 28, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Thank you Karin. I think you’ve nailed it having a newborn is such a crazy time especially with your first that perhaps that is what it is, having something familiar to hold on to (that you are in control of as well, unlike a baby!). I think you are doing so well juggling a new born, a toddler and a blog plus being a FIFO wife, hats off to you too. x

  6. Lauren @ The Thud
    April 28, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Yay for more Vicki!! Of course we want to hear more about you. Lots more!!! And a big well done on making a big scary change and embracing it. You’re doing so bloody well!! xxxx

    • Vicki
      April 28, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Thank you so much Lauren, it’s having people like you in blogging groups that makes it such fun and pushes me out of my comfort zone too. There are of course some things that you really don’t want to know about me though that’s for sure!

  7. Kim @ Land of Zonkt
    April 28, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Oh my, we have SO much in common my dear.
    I too took that big plunge from corporate world after one day collapsing in a heap on my bathroom floor in tears because it had been 3 days and I had seen my son for all of total of 20mins… this was not what I wanted for my children or our family and although I never saw myself as a SAHM I couldn’t bear it any longer. Like you said the dynamics had shifted and my drive to be successful in a corporate way had totally changed.
    I wanted to start my business on the side and in turn wanted to share all my creative ideas, DIY projects and cooking with whoever cared to listen.
    I nervously wrote my 1st post on 30th April 2014… we share a blogaversary week! and haven’t looked back.
    I love it, I put a lot of pressure on myself to pump out min 4 posts a week, but schedule, planning (my previous work skills coming in handy) keeps me focused.
    I LOVE the people I have met through this journey, I would never have met them without doing this.
    It’s only been a year… imaging what you will be reflecting on next year.

    Happy Blogaversary beautiful lady!
    I look forward to the blogging adventures to come. xx

    • Vicki
      April 28, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Wow! We do have so much in common! That’s one of the biggest things I love about blogging it getting to meet so many lovely people in such unexpected ways. Will be on your gorgeous site on the 30th wishing you happy blogiversary too. Here’s to blogging adventures! xx

  8. Pinky Poinker
    April 28, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    That is a very cute selfie! I think I know what your next post is about 🙂 I suppose I worked in the corporate world before having my kids but I couldn’t wait to get out of it. I was never content to be a SAHM though and started teaching drama from home which fitted in with the kids. If blogging had been around back then I would have done that instead for sure. This is great, in-depth post and I look forward to others in the series 🙂

    • Vicki
      April 28, 2015 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks so much. Blogging certain does open up avenues that previously didn’t exist!

  9. Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages
    April 28, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Blogging is all about courage, even when you do hide behind your posts. I have come to terms with opening up a bit more and showing more of me. It is a little scary some days but most of the time it is worth it and not scary at all. Just hit publish and relax, more often then not your readers will relate to you completely and be nodding along the whole time. Great to get to know a little more about you.

    • Vicki
      April 28, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks so much Malinda. x

  10. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    April 28, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Yay! Happy Blogaversary – may it be the first of many more! I loved reading your story and how BES came to be, and I’m totes excited for your news tomorrow. The corporate world’s loss is the blogging community’s gain!

    • Vicki
      April 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Thanks Sammie, a big week all round then! Corporate world had me for long enough and nothing like challenging yourself right!

  11. Ellen
    April 28, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Yay Vicki. I loved reading this. First – happy blogoversary. Mine Is just after
    ProBlogger on the GC. That’s worth an early champagne or two!

    I did the corporate thing too although for not as long as I opted out to become a self employed consultant 13 years ago this month. I can’t really believe when I think back now that until seven years ago when my first little man was born I was flying around the country every week, eating out, working incredibly long hours but it didn’t matter because I only had myself to look after. Life changes a lot, doesn’t it?
    I’d love to hear more about women achieving their dreams and living their lives on their terms, it’s the stuff dreams are made of! x

    • Vicki
      April 29, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks so much Ellen. Wish I was going to Problogger but timing didn’t work well this year. Life is always changing isn’t it and I guess it’s about learning to roll with it as best we can. x

  12. Alexandra
    April 28, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Vicki,
    I have been following your blog since it started twelve months ago, and as an on -again/off-again SAHM, I could not have survived without the brilliant healthy meal planner on BE&S, the baking recipes, lunch box tips….the works really! I particularly like the Flower in bloom image above…am going to print it off and pin it up in my home office. Keep going, BE& S is great!!

    • Vicki
      April 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Why thank you very much lovely lady! x

  13. Clare
    April 28, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    I loved hearing about your journey (well part of it), Vicki. It is truly a daunting time and I think that we, women have a great ability to evolve and change with the circumstances. And with that change and learning curve, ultimately satisfaction and pleasure at the smallest successes. Well done on your first year, love the blog, I’m feeling inspired!

    Clare x

    • Vicki
      April 29, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks so much Clare. I’ve really learnt to enjoy the moment a lot more and to become ok with chaos too! Getting ready for the next evolution now! x

  14. peregrinationgourmande
    April 29, 2015 at 6:30 am

    I’m so happy to read this! It’s so true for me, I hide behind my recipes! And camera! It’s been a few weeks that i want to share more personal stuff but i couldn’t finf the courage! Thanks my dear! I’m so glad to be part of your blog community! We have fun and that’s just the point for me. I’m taking a year off satrting next spetember! (except from my own office that I can’t leave but that’s ok I’ll be half part time SAHM! )
    xx ps very nice selfie and you re so right about bags and shoes, i’m addicted to snickers!

    • Vicki
      April 29, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Do it Cathy, I’d love to know more about you and so glad that we have met. A year off I can’t wait to hear about what you are going to do. One of the best parts of blogging has been meeting online so many amazing people and it is fun isn’t it. x

  15. Kajsa
    April 29, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Congratulations Vicki and well done! Great article! I think so many people recognise themselves in what you write. To juggle a corporate career with a family is hard but then to let it go and take on a new role isn’t easy either. It takes a bit if readjusting. I love your idea of interviewing other women who are following their dreams. It’s such a great challenge and so rewarding to take that leap of faith and follow your dreams to do something you really want to do, as scary as it is. Xx

    • Vicki
      April 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks Kajsa – well done to you for launching your own website and business too. Onwards and upwards. x

  16. Kelly
    April 29, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Great blog Victoria. I too am a SAHM but loves to blog. I do touch on my trade (graphic design) occasionally from home, but I really enjoy being a Mum and seeing my son lots. I don’t miss work at all.

    I know some parents just do not have the choice to be a stay-at-home-parent, and some choose that they would rather be at work. I couldn’t think of a better job than what I do. Love it!

    • Vicki
      April 29, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      Hi there, thank you. I think blogging is a great way of being at home but still being connected to a community of people. x

  17. Robyna | The Mummy & The Minx
    April 30, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Was lovely to read this and get to know you a little bit better. Kids are definitely a sea change, even if you don’t expect them to be! I love that so many intelligent women are blogging – and that it allows for a community of like minded souls – it is certainly comforting to talk about shared experiences.

  18. EssentiallyJess
    May 1, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    So lovely to hear a bit more about you. I think putting yourself into a blog – even a food one- is essential. That’s what a blog is really.
    Looking forward to the new series. xx

    • Vicki
      May 1, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks so much Jess and for hosting IBOT. See you on Tuesday, have a great weekend! x

  19. Kate Mac // Glamour Mama
    May 1, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Victoria, Happy Bloggy Birthday! The transition to SAHM is a tricky adjustment that’s for sure (maybe that’s why many of us start blogs?!), thanks for articulating it so well. Learning to let it goooo and re-dream a new reality sure takes work! Look forward to reading more of your blog and other inspiring women’s stories. xx K

    • Vicki
      May 1, 2015 at 11:43 pm

      Hi, thanks so much. Yes it does take work doesn’t it and thank you for stopping by, off to check you out now. x

  20. Jen
    May 2, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    This is going to be an awesome series! Good for you for putting it together, and it was lovely to get to know more of your story. I’m not where I want to be right this moment, but I think I’m getting much, much closer. Soon, I think. 😉

    • Vicki
      May 3, 2015 at 12:18 am

      Thanks so much Jen,it was a bit a of a ramble from me but the interviews are shaping up to be really interesting and very varied. Put it out there and see what happens Jen, soon I’m sure. x

  21. Hugzilla
    May 3, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    It’s weird. I guess in part I am following my dreams but I’m also at home with the kids too, so I feel a bit like my life is split in two, with the kids getting the lion’s share. They are only young though, so I can see things getting easier as they get older.

    • Vicki
      May 3, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      It is weird. I only really started thinking about what next once my baby started school (and still don’t have the answers!). Thanks for stopping by. x

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