Mother talent...

posted on: Wednesday, 23 May 2012

I stumbled into motherhood young. I was just 26 and my career was not that established. Growing up there was always a need to define and go after 'a career'...as if obtaining a career was the single most important thing. As a post-grad I started working for a publishing house, for me: English Literature degree = books = publishing.

Nicole Kidman in Harpers Bazaar
Of course, three years in publishing taught me that a love of books did not a career make. So, I was seduced by the corporate dollar and here I am fifteen years later, an employment law expert with a multi-national company, and a beauty product entrepreneur in the making. From career to motherhood I stumbled, with the arrival of babies came the demise of the career-hungry, ladder-climbing powerhouse that I was. There was compromise. And I am fine with that; I was lucky enough to work for a company who knew all about converting powerhouses in to part time powerhouses and so I became another version of myself; part time. Partly there.

There will be many parallels to my own career story. I always suspected that the school grounds, which I frequent every day, were full of women who similarly pursued a career and then adjusted it and moulded it to the parameters of motherhood. I was right...

With the launch of L'Apothecary, all of a sudden every mother I speak to and tell about it has some amazing, relevant career experience that they can share with me. It's so heartening to speak to women who have achieved so much and who have made important decisions along the way. Like decisions to step away from the corporate climb, or to move out of the city, or to give up one thing or another for some greater good of their family.

Maybe it's something about career and motherhood that gives a fullness of opinion and thought to women?

What I have learnt is that you can never judge from a mother at the school gates what her past consisted of. I admit I have been guilty in the past of making assumptions about people and now...well now, I renege on all of that. My little world, it turns out, is full of talented, vibrant women who have much to teach me. So whatever disadvantage I think I may have suffered by opting out of my precious career, I see was no disadvantage at all. That is what life perspective is all about...

Nicole Kidman is Harper's Bazaar