My husband and I have our own separate career paths but since getting married have also combined our skills and created a family business together. All three of these career strands have one rather major plus in common, to the most part, they can all be continued round our baby.
At two months old she has spent many hours in theatres, studios and on sets either being looked after by one of us whilst the other one works, or being incorporated into the days activities. Last week, we together ran a stage combat course and Scarlett was good as gold, got plenty of cuddles from participants and very rarely had to be walked outside because she was making a fuss.
Some asked us if we were going to get ‘normal jobs’ after finding out we were going to have a baby. Hell no!! We wouldn’t be the parents we aim to be if we gave up and took ‘regular’ jobs, and in the year since we found out we were expecting, she has only been a source of motivation and inspiration, and both of us have seen our careers flourish as a result. It hasn’t been easy, it would have been much easier to get office jobs with the security that regular hours bring and the financial safety that sort of employment provides. But fighting through together several months of really scrimping and pulling together means a stronger foundation and more confident long term success.
It’s a lifestyle that Scarlett may grow up to hate, she may get to a certain age and crave the routine of a 9-5pm job. And that’s fine. Even to us, it’s important to us to have a ‘base’. Somewhere we can all call home regardless of how often we travel about, it’s important that in four years time, she goes to the same school and is able to develop relationships etc. etc.. But alongside that, we hope her life will be enriched by the opportunities our life choices give her, both of us frequently get the opportunity to travel and if we’re not working at the same time, we can travel together. We both get the opportunity to work with some amazing people and in amazing places, and our lives are constantly creative and full of different experiences.
Later this week, we start a week we’re dubbing ‘Jordvengers on Tour!’ Despite being horrendously cheesey wordplay and sort of geeky, it’s a perfect example of how we want our life to be. My husband is working three jobs, one of which we have accommodation sorted for, the other two of which are near enough that we can visit some family and friends, and I have one job but both husband and baby are able to accompany me on set. So we have seven days away, five days working, two days visiting people and/or places and as a bonus, our travel is covered within the bits of employment. We leave Thursday so admittedly, with a baby, it means half a day packing and preparing. My biggest worry though is the soundtrack, for our longer journeys I’ve been making cd’s for the car or ‘supercool mega mixes’ and the pressure to keep them of a suitably high standard is pretty intense!
Of course, it’s slightly harder than the above paragraph describes (the lifestyle now not the cd’s!) we have to allow extra time for journeys to account for any feeds, no journey is light on luggage and if we’re away for work and Scarlett has a bad night, that’s tough! Depending on which of us is working, the other can do the lions share of a difficult night, but otherwise, caffeine is our last defence!
It’s a lifestyle that’s definitely not for everybody, and it’s a lifestyle that will have to have adjustments to accommodate our family’s most important member, but it definitely suits us and will hopefully provide our daughter and any future ‘Jordvengers’ (I’m not even apologising for how ridiculous that sounds!) with a creative, fun and rewarding upbringing.
There are hundreds of ways to bring up your children, and you’ll never get everyone agreeing that your way is the right way. But the happiest path is the one you’re most enthusiastic about, the path that even if it seems to have trees blocking the way and roadworks all over it, is the one that in your heart you know is right for you. Your friends may think you’re crazy, your family might despair, but if it’s where you want to go in life, it’ll always be worth it in the end. We all want the best for our kids, and that includes them living their life to the full, but how can we expect them to choose what makes them happy if we don’t lead by example? It’s not necessarily the easiest choice to choose the life you really want, and sometimes it seems like it’s not worth the journey, but doing what you really love will always be worth getting past the trees in the way, always be worth fighting past the roadworks. Compromises won’t be as hard when you’re passionate about where you’re going and if you don’t feel like you can quite do it for yourself, do it for your kids. I won’t pretend it’s not hard work but I can promise it’s worth it. For now dear friends, I must go, I have a mixed cd to prepare, we’re soon to go off on another working week adventure so there’s just one thing left to do…