by KIRSTY RICE
I was 31 when I had my first child. We’d been living in Jakarta for 5 months when she was born. I was a long way from family but I had an amazing support network of friends and fellow new mothers to talk to.
When I think about how we got together for coffee while talking about nappy rash, boobs and bottles – I also remember a lot of conversations about careers, future study, travel and the current rate of the rupiah against the dollar.
The group was like any group of women, amongst them was a chef, a nurse, a lawyer, a teacher and a few of the woman had already began studying either for a career change or just to improve their chances when returning to work.
I just assumed I’d take a year off and then return to the world of HR and recruitment – I loved the industry and I’d watched other woman take time off for children and return to work. No big deal, right?
Except it didn’t quite work that way. To say my career faced some obstacles would be an understatement. We moved, I became pregnant again, I was told “we don’t do part-time” by the office in KL (the same company I had worked for in Australia) and then we moved again, and again, and again. In each location I would find the same thing, a network of displaced women. Women who’d all assumed and hoped that finding work in their new country would just fall in to place.
Eventually though, it did all work out. We moved to Canada and after getting the house set up and the children in school, I investigated hiring someone who I could trust to look after the Little Travelers (Hello Rona – we miss you so much!) and I went and got myself a job back in the industry I loved.