Goodwood Revival - On Site

Well, it’s been a very long time since I last posted anything. A very long time indeed.

All I can say is it has been a whirlwind of 1/2 year – one minute maternity leave was coming to an end and I was heading back to my job as an Executive Assistant. The next minute I’d handed my notice in, and yes, this was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done – the risk, the unknown, this thing called ‘work/life balance’, my little man, my ‘family’ now actually mattered to me. As heartbreaking as it was for me (8 years at one company IS a long time) and I do NOT like letting people down, it was a decision I made and went with – my gut, my head and my heart all helped!

I was sent an email the other day, a lovely PA I’ve known from many moons ago. She was introducing me to someone I should speak to, this was the introduction used:

Firstly, you are both top ladies who totally rock and I know you’ll get on. You both juggle insanely busy work lives with family whilst managing to make it look easy.

Sarah – is the founder of Bucks PA Network, a group to celebrate the fabulousness of PAs and get them together to hangout at amazing events in great local venues. The last event I went to was Stoke Park. I met Sarah when she was the EA to a client my company worked with a million years ago. She set up the network whilst on mat leave and “a bit bored” (I’m sure I’d just sit about looking horrified and eating custard creams for 11 months!). She has now got a new job and has moved in an eye blink from EA to Event Manager.

I know. You are thinking what a LOVELY introduction, right? Yes. Believe me, it made my year.

It’s after I read and re-read it through a zillion times I realised what I’ve actually achieved this year.

A shiny new and amazing long-awaited IVF baby, maternity leave successfully nailed, Bucks PA Network set up ‘because I wanted to network’ whilst being off work and to top it off I’ve got a fab new job in a new industry which I am absolutely LOVING! I am made for events, I just love it!

Wow.

So… thank you to this lovely person for pointing this out to me. You have literally made me smile and feel very proud of myself. I am not one for giving myself a high five at all. However today, as I sit looking at all the presents I need to wrap, all the cards I need to write and all the housework that is waiting to be done… I am ACTUALLY going to give myself a high five! It wouldn’t be worth giving without a large glass of Marlborough, we all know that…

Here’s to working mum’s and dad’s, here’s to balancing and juggling, here’s to being what you want to be! Going with your gut, heart and head pays off.

The image I’ve chosen for this post is me smiling at Goodwood this year, the final day, the Sunday. I think I’d had about 4 hours sleep the night before, 5th day out of 7 on site. The day before it had torrentially rained whilst I had a group at Goodwood ALL DAY, after plying them with champagne to ensure they were smiling, I got back to London and escorted another group to watch Phantom of the Opera that evening followed by time in bar for a G&T nightcap (of course!)… then did it all again the next day. I LOVED IT.

Happy, blessed, humbled, thankful and grateful. That is well and truly me.

 

We’ve had a few really great days out recently. Now I’ve hit the ‘less than 3 months’ left of maternity leave and Spring seems to have sprung I am making sure I squeeze in as many fun things as I can with Ed. Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the best; a nice walk along the river, a visit to our local kids farm, feeding the ducks and going to the park are our favourites. A bit of fresh air does everyone the world of good. Spending fun time together is really important to me at the minute as is having tonnes of snuggles in the morning. The countdown is on. I’ll no doubt have mixed emotions about it all, at the moment I’m at the I’m really looking forward to returning to work stage. I am convinced Ed will love nursery (or am I convincing myself!). I’m keeping positive and remembering how lucky I am to even be able to have a whole year off with my son. I’ve had the best year of my life. Here’s to two months of total FUN!

The photos below are of Edward at ages 8 and 9 months old. He is such a little character now. Crawling mastered. Standing up against stationary things mastered.  Bottom two teeth out relatively stress free. Top ones on their way but no sign yet. He hates lumps in his food… after three projectile vomiting episodes I’ve decided to just go with it. I never realised projectile vomiting actually exists and have to admit I always thought it was just an over reaction to a bit of puke. Nope. It isn’t. He’ll master lumps in his own time, I am no way adding lumpy foods to his dinner – my clothes will stay cleaner for longer!

 

I am the type of person that needs a project on the go. I think it is in a PA’s blood. After going public and venturing onto Twitter with Me.Wife.PA.Mum (very brave!) I soon found myself looking at posts from other PA’s, checking out networking events advertised and going through hashtags. Back in the days before Edward – when I was working – I used to get invited to so many amazing PA networking events in London. It was always difficult to get into town in time for the event so I always had to decline. The events were usually held at swanky venues, had an amazing speaker, fab goodie bags, presented a great learning opportunity but more importantly, a chance to network and meet other like-minded professionals. I absolutely LOVE my job and other PA’s will know that the majority of the time it is not what you know but it is who you know! The power of networking and knowing someone you trust who you can turn to and ask for help in our profession is invaluable. Building relationships is so important.

There ‘hatched’ BUCKS PA NETWORK… I’d like to thank Lindsay Taylor at Your Excellency for getting in touch with me and sending me her fab article To Tweet or not to Tweet….that is the question. I’d also like to thank a few other lovely Twitter contacts for advice including Matthew Want from Executive Secretary Magazine. I now really understand the power of social networking!

I’ve set up all the social media accounts I need and I’m working on a website. I’m slowly but surely making fantastic progress. A launch event is in the making – I already have several companies interested in being involved. I’ll hopefully have a launch date and venue secured in the next week or two. I am working with a fab event company who are on the case with me – (Mabrouka Events http://www.mevents.net).

Am I excited? YES.

Does this fulfil my need for a project? YES.

Am I loving the list writing and more importantly the ticking off? YES and 100% YES.

I can’t wait to meet other professionals and get this off the ground. Watch this space – part 2 to follow after a successful launch!

Over and out – a PA on maternity leave with a purpose! Sarah x

If anyone is interested in being part of the Bucks PA Network team, whether it be to help spread the word, assist at an event or become a member – please do get in touch. The current email address is BucksPANetwork@gmail.com. The same applies for local Buckinghamshire businesses who would be keen to sponsor the Network, do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Buckinghamshire PA Network

Website: http://www.buckspanetwork.co.uk

Twitter: @BucksPANetwork

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BucksPANetwork

LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/BucksPANetwork

Instagram: BucksPANetwork

I have to admit that I’ve never been SO BUSY! I’ve had doctors appointments, health visitor visits, post-natal group sessions, ‘Bubbles’ play sessions, ‘Baby Massage’ lessons, lunch dates out, lunch dates in, picnic dates, copious coffee dates, injection dates, baby weigh in sessions, baby register appointments, visits from friends and family. The list goes on. and on. and on.

My CEO was demanding but he has nothing on my son! I absolutely love my job as a PA (I say ‘love’ rather than using the past tense ‘loved’ as I WILL BE GOING BACK!). It’s the perfect role for me; no day is the same, you are thrown curve balls often, you have to think on your feet, take control, be assertive, generally do a million things at once. Thankfully I am quite good at it. Motherhood seems to be drawing on the same skill set only instead of booking flights, scheduling meetings and organising events I am dealing with sterilising, bottle making, changing nappies full of types of poo I never knew existed, juggling all of the appointments listed above and trying to be a wife also.

I never understood how busy a mum could be… until now.

Thankfully I am absolutely LOVING it all. I love being busy. Apart from learning early on not to cram too much into a day and making sure I leave time to be ‘at home’ to snuggle my little man, I am having the best time and am treasuring every minute.

Signing off – Edward’s Personal Assistant.

My new BOSS.
My new BOSS.

Me. 30 something (ok 35), I live in Buckinghamshire, UK (30 miles from London) with my husband and little boy. I live for my family and friends and like to have fun! I’m blessed and lucky. Life is good and certainly what you make of it.

Wife. Married 9 years to my lovely husband. We love eating out, going to new places, travelling, socialising and enjoying life! You never know what is round the corner so we live for the NOW.

PA. I kind of ‘fell’ into being a PA/EA after I finished university. Turns out it is my dream job – I am an organiser, I am a perfectionist, I have very high standards, I like things done the right way, I like making people look good. I work for a great CEO and CFO and am currently on maternity leave.

Mum. My amazing little IVF miracle baby came into the world on June 3rd 2015 – Edward Michael John… I love him with all my heart and have never experienced anything like this. I am enjoying being a mummy more than I imagined, it’s certainly got it’s challenges as I am learning but I look forward to watching my little munchkin grow up. Not too quickly though; I will be treasuring my time with him (1 year maternity leave) and smothering him with my love and kisses.

WHY BLOG? I have always wanted to. I have ideas, things I’ve experienced that I’d like to share, I’ll be embarking on a motherhood journey which is already turning out to be interesting/funny. It’s a personal goal of mine to blog, an ongoing accomplishment even, but more than anything if I can inspire or help anyone along the way then great.

Me for you to see sipping a large gin and tonic! Bliss.
Introducing ME – sipping a large gin and tonic! Bliss.