At Mamamia, every day is International Women’s Day. But this year, we’re celebrating March 8 by sharing stories from some of Australia’s most influential women. You can find all our International Women’s Day stories on our hub page.
I came back from the holiday break at the beginning of this year feeling excited – but there was a time, 13 or 14 years ago, when I was sh*tting myself at the idea of going back to work.
I used to say that I started the Mamamia in my kitchen following the most god-awful job of my life.
But looking back, like every other woman who starts their own business, I think that the seeds for the idea were planted way before I actually took the leap. You see, for years leading up to this point, I’d been thinking about how magazines weren’t meeting the needs of women anymore and how the future for women’s media was going to be online.
So a few months prior to walking out of that big swinging door at the short-lived TV Exec phase of my career and away from many big swinging dicks at that god-awful job, I sat down at my kitchen bench, cut some letters out of a magazine to spell Mamamia and sent it to a friend of a friend who was a website designer.
I was 20 per cent exhilarated, 80 per cent terrified and 100 per cent full of self-doubt.
That’s a lot of percentages of feelings.
For a long time, I’d dreamed of being my own boss – having time freedom and location freedom over my work life. The dream, of course, was far, far away from my reality which involved the daily nightmare I came to think of as the Work Walk Of Shame.
It’s like the other Walk Of Shame (not that any woman should be ashamed about having sex with whomever she chooses but I digress), except it’s every day, you’re completely sober, and you’re walking past sneering co-workers and probably your boss, instead of sneering strangers and maybe a judgey Uber driver.
I’ve got two kids at home, one of whom is just six months old - and I’m breastfeeding. I also have a husband who is running his own business and works long hours. My job involves a commute of over an hour if the traffic is bad which it always is. I’m new to a company of mostly male execs and desperately trying to prove my commitment to the role while balancing a new baby, a tween, my shitty health (seven bouts of mastitis in six months) and shittier mental health (anxiety off the hook), my husband and then some.
Every day, I leave the office at 5.30pm to make child pickups, and snatch an hour or two with my kids before they go to sleep. If I’m feeling opportunistic, I try to go on the treadmill to help manage my anxiety or call my parents. Cooking? Lol.