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I'm a mum of three. And this year, I've accepted a job 1000km from home.

If you had told me 12 months ago, even six months ago that in February 2022 I would be packing five 32kg suitcases and boarding a plane to Sydney to live, I would have told you you’d had one too many French martinis and laughed and laughed and laughed.

But that’s exactly what happened.

A phone call in December would change my life in every way you can imagine (and the lives of my family, but I’ll get to that bit in a second).

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For the past five years I have been working as a Breakfast Radio Host. I was not just the host but also working in production, socials, PR, and marketing. It’s kinda how it works, a bit of everything.

I was based in the regional city of Warrnambool on the Great Ocean Road. It was a dream job. A job I had worked my arse off for… but like many career opportunities the; 'is this it?' question would pop up. 

Is this as good as it’s going to get?

So, the phone rang and it was ‘would you like to join Jonesy and Amanda on WSFM Sydney as their Senior Producer?’.

My inner voice said yes within a heartbeat. In reality, it started a month long internal battle with my head and my heart.

As I lay in the bed with my husband, we talked about everything. Every day. Every aspect. What was clear was that he didn’t want to move to Sydney, and I was devastated about that. How could I do this without him? I cried a lot. Mostly because as each day passed, I knew I had to find a way to make this work.

I spoke with the kids. We talked about three options. 

Option 1: We all go to Sydney. 

Option 2: I go to Sydney and travel home every weekend or every second weekend. 

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Option3: I don’t go. I stay doing what I’m doing.

My family. Image: Supplied.

The outcome of those conversations was that the family didn’t want to make the move. But they would support me if I wanted to go.

It was HARD. In my heart. I didn’t want to die wondering if I was good enough to work on one of the biggest radio stations in the country. I’m not built that way and I’m not raising my kids to not try. What’s the worst that can happen? I figure... I learn. What if I fail I would wonder? Knowing that I wouldn’t.

But at the same time, I’ve never been away from Chris and the kids for more than 10 days for either holidays or work. This. Was. Big.

I felt all the emotions.

Image: Supplied.

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To give a little context. I turn 40 this year. I had my eldest when I was 21 and my husband is 15 years my senior. I spent my twenties at home running my own business and studying. I have always wanted a career in media. It’s always felt like I was living in reverse. 

As I watched girlfriends complete university degrees and begin their career, I was flat out at home. Then at 34, my opportunity to begin in media started, and I have grabbed it with both hands and sprinted as fast as I could. I’ve been able to do this because my kids are older. The timing is right. And I am ready. In fact. I’ve never been more ready and at times it’s nice to have some life experience under my belt. It’s go time.

So I am the FIFO Mum. I don’t hear of many, but I know they exist. When I first started telling friends and family about what myself and my family were about to embark on, I explained it as no different to the father who works in the mines. He does it to support his family, and that’s what I’ll be doing too.

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Most weekends, I fly home from Sydney to Melbourne, where I meet my husband and sometimes one of the kids at the airport and we drive the 3.5 hour car trip home to Warrnambool. I stay home for the weekend, go to the footy, have a roast, do some washing, have a cuddle and travel back to Sydney after lunch on Sunday.

I am living with my brother Pete and one of his great mates, Garfield. And that, may I let you know, is a whole other experience. I’ve never had flatmates... Let’s just say it’s been interesting and I’m grateful for a safe place to live.

I reset on a Sunday night for another in what can only be described as the best job in radio right now. Producing two of the best in the Australian Radio Industry.

Am I tired? Hell YES! But do I struggle to get out of bed. Hell No! In this moment in time I am right where I need to be. I am so happy.

Image: Supplied.

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Is it perfect? No. Honestly I wish my family would move up to Sydney for a Sydney adventure. That would really be the icing on the cake. But sometimes we can’t have everything, so we make the best of what we do have.

I also know there is some judgement. Statements like ‘I don’t know how you are doing it? Don’t you miss your kids, or have you and Chris broken up?’

Sometimes a little remark might catch me, a little sting. But really. I don’t have time for it.

As a family we made this call together. I’m living an opportunity of a lifetime, something that I know is just the beginning. And at the end of the day, when I FaceTime home, we are still a happy family. We may not look like the traditional set up but what’s that, anyway?

So in 2022. Here’s to saying yes to adventures, yes to opportunities and yes to a life well lived. If the last two years have taught me anything it’s... why wait to be happy? Go have a go.

Oh, and I forgot to mention. I’ve never lived in a city. This country girl gets lost in the city every single day. 

Making dreams come true for as long as I can, for as long as it works for my family. I know it’s not for everyone but for us. We are giving it our best shot.

Kate Meade is the Senior Producer for Jonesy & Amanda on WSFM Sydney and the Host of the Women of Influence Podcast.

 Feature Image: Supplied.