Why I’ve chosen to go back to office work full time

January 14, 2015

Dear Max

Hair appointments during the day. Functions any time. Afternoon school lifts. Anytime travel.

These have been my choices for the last three or so years, ever since I left Living and Loving magazine as the editor to freelance. As anyone will tell you, working for oneself has its glow and low points. There’s the flexibility and control, but then there’s the chasing of work, and wonky work and payment months if you don’t have regular contract work, and in a sense, having to work harder in different ways.

I loved it – the challenges, the sushi dates with you after school, the new work, and the fact that no day was ever the same. But sometime in the middle of last year, I realised that working in coffee shops with free wifi was filling me with nothing more than caffeine, and that I craved company, and challenging my brain again.

If I think back to my working life, I need change, growth and challenges, and if I get bored, my confidence wanes, and if I’m not busy, I don’t feel all that useful, which stubs out my self-esteem too. Staring into my coffee cup at Motherland, I realised that I didn’t want to be in the same place in a year’s time, and that I needed a change – for my brain, for my heart, for my wellbeing, and for an ever-growing panic about the  months where clients didn’t pay and I didn’t say yes to enough work.

So I started looking around for something more permanent, and found a dream job three days a week, working on content for a company and a brand that make my heart glow, and my mind spark.

After a few weeks, a fulltime and more senior position became available, and it took me about 1 second to decide I wanted it. I said yes to an unbelievable growth and happiness opportunity, and one that finally has me excited and motivated.

There are downsides, and of course, and I’m not referring to missing out on hair appointments during the day. I am going to miss you so much during the day, and I’m going to long for seeing your excited face when I fetch you from school or extramurals. I will miss working on my bed in the afternoons with you by my side, and I’m going to miss being more “there” for you during the day.

I am not going to use this platform or post as an argument about stay-at-home moms, working-from-home moms, or working-from-work moms. They each come with the good and the bad, and I’m not sure there is one option for any of us that doesn’t have a drawback.

By now, I have realised that I carry guilt wherever I am. I remember the nights I had to finish up deadlines at home, and all you wanted to do was play with me. I remember shouting at you when you wanted a toy but it was the end of the month and not one client had paid me yet. And there was a time when I felt so unmotivated and bored, that I couldn’t really give you the little attention you wanted.

Perhaps through writing this, I hope that you’ll one day understand my reasons and my choices, and I hope that you’ll “forgive” me in a sense for making choices that don’t include me fetching you from school every day. I’m missing you, but I’m finding myself again. I hope that will make a difference to both our lives.



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  • Pat Clarke

    Rest assured, Dear Tanya, You will be a good Mum, whatever you do!
    You will succeed to be a happy, fulfilled person in your job.
    God Bless and give you a wonderful 2015! Hugs X

    January 14, 2015 at 10:26 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thank you Pat for always being so supportive, and for the awesome words. Thank you

      January 14, 2015 at 8:12 pm Reply
  • candice

    Both have pros and cons but either way have on regrets

    January 14, 2015 at 12:13 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thank you 😉

      January 14, 2015 at 8:12 pm Reply
  • Kathryn (Becoming you)

    This is a great post Tanya. Wishing you all the best with the changes in your life this year. I’m sure it will all work out amazingly. Don’t take on too much guilt…. you’ve already given Max so much of your time and I’m sure your time together moving forward will become even more precious!

    January 14, 2015 at 12:17 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks Kathryn, thanks for the encouragement and good words. I so appreciate it.

      January 14, 2015 at 8:13 pm Reply
  • Ali

    Hi Tanya,

    What a lovely article! And heartfelt. I’ve always maintained that parenting is different degrees of guilt: did we do too much, too little, too quickly, too slowly. The agonies.

    Have done both freelance and full-time and both have their merits and drawbacks. But I think the no. 1 cruncher is that to have happy children, YOU need to be happy. And you seem way on top of that.

    Best of luck, A

    January 14, 2015 at 12:18 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thank you for the stunning comment – really appreciate it Ali

      January 14, 2015 at 8:13 pm Reply
  • SheBee

    Oh man, this post wrecked me. Congrats for finding you. For making such a tough decision. For making the responsible choice for your family. Its a dilemma I am currently wrestling with myself. One thing I will say is that I don’t think either choice makes you a bad or good mom. You’re the best mom you can be, and Max loves you for it.

    January 14, 2015 at 12:44 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks so much for the great words. I think it’s something that you might always wrestle with, and I think it’s best to make decisions that are right for now, or now’ish. I can’t wait to see how your amazing journey unfolds x

      January 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm Reply
  • cat@jugglingact

    Ai Tanya, these decisions are never easy and straight forward. But I do believe you did what is the very best for you both. Good luck and all the best

    January 14, 2015 at 4:07 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thank you so much! Have a great year xx

      January 14, 2015 at 8:16 pm Reply
  • Shan Vijendranath

    Loved reading this! Good luck with your new position… You’re a great mom!

    January 14, 2015 at 4:43 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Aaaw, thank you!

      January 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm Reply
  • MeeA

    Sounds like just the thing for you right now – hope the new job is everything it promises to be and more!

    January 14, 2015 at 8:06 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks hun, appreciate it. I’m missing you on social media. Hope to still see you here and around

      January 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm Reply
  • Sharon

    Congratulations Tanya!
    How exciting….
    All the best on your new adventure.

    January 15, 2015 at 12:52 pm Reply
  • Amy

    Wow what an amazing post. I can so relate. No matter which option you chose, I feel that you’ll always have guilt.
    So thrilled for you though, being able to say “dream job” is not a reality for many. HAVE FUN!

    All the best.

    January 16, 2015 at 10:11 am Reply
  • Heather

    “I’m missing you, but I’m finding myself again. I hope that will make a difference to both our lives.”
    Such a heartfelt post and it made me tear up in the end. I can see you really want to do the best for your kid but you need to fill your own cup up as well so that you have something to give. Congrats on the new job and all the best for the new year.

    January 16, 2015 at 9:31 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks Heather – I really appreciate it!

      January 17, 2015 at 2:24 pm Reply
  • Mrs FF

    Hugs Tanya. I can tell from this post that it is a hard decision albeit a necessary one. Max will understand mommy loves him and is doing the best she can. Being a parent is a lot of hardwork

    January 21, 2015 at 2:11 am Reply
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  • January Best Posts and Linky | South African Mom Blogs

    […] Tanya writes a heartfelt post about Why I’ve Chosen to Go Back to Office Work Full Time. […]

    January 31, 2015 at 6:57 pm Reply
  • Jozi

    Stunning post. Totally agree – we guilt ourselves out no matter what decision we make. Best of luck in your new venture!

    February 1, 2015 at 8:31 am Reply
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