For as long as I can remember there are 2 things I wanted from my life, the first was to be a mom, seriously even at the age of 5 I wanted to be a mother one day whether naturally or through adoption it was something I knew I wanted when I grew up.
The other was that I wanted to be a fashion designer and my mom will tell that from a very young age I would sit with heaps of fabrics, ribbons and beads making my Barbie cloths etc, this then developed as I got older into rough sketches and then through high school I would mould make files upon files of designs, this is what I dreamed of to study design and one day open a small boutique of my own showcasing unusual alternative fashion.
So naturally after school I applied to study fashion at CPUT, I attended the assessment amongst hundreds of other candidates and was over the moon when I got my acceptance letter, I was one of around 150 students who made it in and by the 2nd term this had dwindled down to 100.
I had found out I was pregnant in November before I was due to start studying in January, it was decided eventually after my refusal to have an abortion that I would continue to study as planned and for the most part due to a very easy pregnancy my first year went well despite being told that it was near impossible to have both a successful fashion career and a family by several lecturers.
Anyway in my 3rd year I fell pregnant with Gabriel, this time it was different I was balancing an evening and weekend job with college and a pregnancy through which I was extremely ill (I got swine flu, had my appendix removed, went into prem labour several times amongst other things) and depressed, eventually I ended up missing so many classes and being put into a positions by my doctor where I was told to stop studying and working and stay at home full time in bed.
I looked at her and told her that there was no possible way I could stop working as I had a family to support, my ex’s salary and mine were not getting us through as it is.
So she turned to me and said well you need to make a choice between the 2 then because if you carry on like this you will end up either losing this baby or having a micro preemie.
This decision hit me like a ton of bricks do I give up the dream career I have wanted since my childhood, or do I quit my job and not be able to feed the child I already had… obviously my choice was made right there and I chose to quit college with the hopes of maybe returning the following year
This never happened, my ex and I divorced it was incredibly messy and I could no longer afford to work only part time to support my kids.
Do I miss designing… with all my heart and soul, did I make the right decision, hell yes!!!!
It is a decision I will NEVER regret, I worked retail for many years and finally broke away to work as a receptionist for a real estate agency and now I am a receptionist for and Auditing firm, I cannot say I don’t like my job because it puts food on the table and I work some incredible people who have brought so much to my life.
I know there are many woman who face the same decision maybe not in the same way and I want to know you are not alone and that whatever decision you make, if you know in your heart that it was made with the best intention or hope for your family do not regret it and never let anyone make you feel bad for having to make it.
Some woman choose to give up a career completely and stay at home with their children, these woman are often made to feel lazy or that they are not as important because the do not work or would not be able to if they need to at some point and it is so incredibly wrong.
We as woman can only make the best decisions at heart for our family.
Personally I actually don’t see it as giving up my dream it’s more like I formulated a new one, a new journey and a new path, a path that is mine a path that I cherish.