Welcome to our very first “Meet your fellow Sista”. - I would love to introduce you to Fenella Davidson..
This is her story.
Born in Australia but raised in the UK, I moved back here in 2003. My main career has been in Marketing and PR for music and more recently the publishing industry.
However I did take 2 years off to be a Dive Instructor in Cairns when I first got back here. I met my honey in 2007 and we had our amazing son in 2010 after a couple of unsuccessful pregnancies. We live in Bondi with a big fishtank.
This is my heart on sleeve journey - when you have a baby life changes so much - such an amazing experience, but the toughest thing I have ever done.
A couple of months after my son was born I took redundancy from an amazing financially secure position to spend more time with him. Since he was 6 months old I worked freelance through necessity, and when he turned 14 months I went back to work full time.
It has always been tough financially and my partner worked his fingers to the bone 6 days a week whilst I stayed home. Although I loved being with my baby it was super tough.
I hid a lot of the time (especially to mums group) how skint we were - like I avoided going out for coffee and wasn’t able to buy stuff at baby shops. Nappies and mince were the only thing on our shopping list.
We are one of those families where I earn more than him which was never an issue until I realised we couldn’t afford to live and our credit card bills were getting out of control unless I went back to full time work.
The family dynamics changed immediately - our son started daycare and spent much more time with his dad and as a result always wants his daddy.
When I started working my partner cut back his days of work so there was a balance still of being at home and going to DC, which over time we built up, which also made me feel more distant to everyone but I wanted my partner to have more time with his son as he had worked so hard to look after us.
He totally deserved daddy home time.
It was soo challenging, not only was I dealing with going to work full time but also getting home to a baby that rejected me, after 14 months of total love.
So tough - trying to be the best for everyone, the nights of financial anxiety where I felt an elephant was sitting on my chest and wanting to be home to look after my son wasn’t easy.
It really sucked, broke my heart - I felt bad, terrible and good at the same time, but I knew if I couldn’t pay the next rent and load of bills we would be living in our car…
I have some very special friends - mums and freelance bosses who got me through. At the same time my mum got cancer for the 3rd time and it was incredibly scary thinking I was going to lose her, this sounds like a sympathy vote reading it back - but it is what happened, don’t rain but pour…
I just wanted to look after everyone and it was impossible. Anyway my Mum is living and amazing, I now have made adjustments to realise I am doing the best I can for my family.
I have a beautiful son and partner (that will always be a challenging but loving relationship) - I am a lucky girl.
I never get into those judgemental conversations of what is right or wrong because sometimes you just don’t have a choice.
So there you go..
My philosophy of life is don’t give up, it’s OK to be sad and feel everything is shit - in social media life today we are meant to be perfect and never moan.
But life is good and crap - and to realise the good you need to acknowledge the crap.
Thanks for listening.