I am really pleased to share this Meet a Mum story with you. First, let me rewind a moment to explain to you how I met Nicole.
When I was playing around with starting up this website, I had a clear vision of what I wanted it to be about and what I wanted it to achieve but in terms of anything technical I am the first to admit, I am seriously lacking in any sort of expertise and competency. So, I started looking at different websites about websites.
There are HUNDREDS of companies offering web-design services and other services that I am sure are needed and useful, but I don’t even know what they are about let alone know if I needed them (are you getting the idea about how hopeless I am with this sort of thing?)
I put that idea on hold and concentrated more on content and started picking out parts of my research that I wanted to share…I was just muddling along until one day I mentioned to my sister-in-law that I wanted to start a website. “Oh”, she replied, “you should talk to Nicole.”
Well, if that wasn’t one of my best moves of the year I don’t know what was! Nicole was brilliant at helping me set all of this up and patiently answered a million emails from me asking the most basic of things. I will admit that I even asked her about Twitter because I had no idea, despite having once given a radio interview about pets who have Twitter accounts. Let that be a lesson to you all about supposed experts on the radio…
It was during this process that I found out Nicole has also been a ‘Mum who Studied’ – how brilliant is the law of attraction? She was totally understanding of what I wanted this website to achieve and really helped me to make it a reality.
So, what did I do next?
I started nagging her to share her story.
Nicole’s story is particularly special because she has finished her studies and is living proof that studying can make dreams come true. She wanted to have a job/business that she could fit around her children and is now in the position where her business is successful and her family is benefiting from that success. Her story is the story of the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
I am sure you will enjoy reading it and, like me, will be inspired and reminded again of the power of education in making dreams come true.
Tell me about yourself and your family
I’m 28, happily married, a mummy of three little people under 5 years and two pussycats! Around my children, I have established my own web design and marketing business called Jump Online which allows me to do exactly what I love every single day – I truly do believe I have the very best job in the world. I love the beach, exercising and spending time with loved ones in my “spare” time.
What did you study and was there any particular reason why you chose this course?
Straight after graduating high school, I completed a Bachelor of Communications with a major in Interactive Multimedia. I finished that in 2006 and then started working as a Digital Account Manager for a large multi-faceted advertising agency in Perth.
Throughout my two years there, I learnt a lot of what not to do, and became armed with the tools to really make a go of my own business. I realised I had a passion for helping smaller businesses, because of the personal aspect – I love helping people. So, I went on maternity leave, welcomed my first child into the world in 2009 and then never went back!
Last year, whilst pregnant with my third child, I completed a Diploma of Marketing via an online college. I absolutely loved the content of the course, although I was certainly prone to nodding off during some of the heftier readings! I chose this course because it was the perfect complement to my BA Comms, and it really helped to expand my skill-set and, in turn, the services I could offer my clients.
I actually chose this Diploma first to see how I went with juggling everything before I committed myself to doing a Masters in Communication Design, which would take six years part time. As such, the Masters is certainly on hold for a while!
What are some the things that have motivated you to keep studying?
My family and my clients. I could study around them (obviously very challenging), and balance my work around my study, all for the greater good of growing my business and our family’s future. I will admit though, I’m glad I only committed to a one year Diploma because it was beyond hard – so when I read about other people doing their Masters, or any course longer than mine was, I’m in complete awe!
I was able to use the things I was learning for my clients as I was learning them, so that was great in confirming for me that I was doing what I was meant to be doing.
What were the most challenging aspects?
A study load of 20 hours per week, a work load of 40+ hours per week, a very uncomfortable and unwell third pregnancy, a nearly two year old and a nearly four year old! Weekends were hard. My husband would keep the kids out of my hair while I studied, which often meant trips to the park/shops/friends’ places without me. I just had to keep reminding myself that it was for the greater good, and nearly 12 months down the track I can say it definitely was worth it.
Shortly after this photo (above) was taken, Nicole’s third baby was born. I wonder how many other women can smile through labour?
What would you say to other mums considering studying?
Do it! It will be hard, but regretting not studying is also hard – so choose your ‘hard’. Think of the bigger picture. It’s not forever, and once you’re out the other side you’ll (hopefully) forget the really hard bits and rejoice in the many opportunities studying presents for you and your family.
Who or what supported your study?
As I mentioned before, weekends were pretty much hubby playing Mr. Mum while I locked myself away and studied. My kids were in daycare every Wednesday, and other than that I was pretty lucky to have a lot of support from my mum and mother-in-law, who are all close by. Coffee and chocolate also helped!
A baby bump is a good resting place for your study notes!
In what way did your study impact your kids good/bad?
A year on, they don’t even really remember me studying. They are used to mummy having to work which means having to leave me alone at times. I think it’s impacted us positively as a family, as I am now able to stay home full time with my kids, because my business is successful enough to supplement my husband’s full time salary. I get to do parent helper at kindy, volunteer for excursions, take the kids to swimming lessons and kindy gym – really just be present. I couldn’t imagine life any other way… well I could, but I don’t want to!
Do you have any tips or hints for other mums?
Don’t think short term. Think of the end goal, the consequences of what you’re doing – and how it will enrich your family’s life. Short term pain for long term gain! And when all else fails, I borrow Dory’s mantra from Finding Nemo… “just keep swimming, just keep swimming!” It WILL be over one day, and it WILL be worth it every day!