Briefly describe your life and what you think makes it unique.I have an Antipodean outlook on the world, being born and bred in New Zealand. I have lived and worked in London for almost 15 years and am married with 2 beautiful daughters (3 and 8) and 2 big stepsons. I went back to full-time work within 6 months of both girls being born and have forgotten what it is like to do a job like this without having a family to juggle so it feels like breathing to me now. For a city lawyer I am a very passionate soul - I work hard and love hard – if you scratch the corporate surface and I am essentially a bit of a hippy. It's in finding a way to be true to myself in terms of my family while also serving the needs of my firm and my clients that the interesting discoveries seem to happen.
What are some of your favorite tips and strategies for coping with the chaos?Flexibility is my stability, I am not the sort of person who needs order and lists and extreme organisation to function. I like to be able to go with the flow and change things as the need arises – the temptation can be to over-plan things without trying them out in reality to see what works and what doesn’t. The thought of running our family life by schedule and too much future planning would bring me out in a rash – but, saying that, of course I do have to be organised especially as my husband works away a lot. Finding the balance between order and chaos is what I am about.
I think, for a lot of female lawyers, particularly those having children later on, they are used to it being “all or nothing” and are quite hard on themselves and perfectionist and it then becomes very tricky to keep working at this level once they have a family as something has to give - it's hard for them to compromise when they have such high standards for everything.
Please share a moment where it all broke down, and how you got through it.
Do you have any balance role models? Anything you try to avoid because it wouldn't work for you?
In terms of what I don’t like to do, I know a lot of people who get back late from work most nights so that they don’t have to bring work home – I don’t judge that but I know that my family functions better when I am home by 6-6.30pm to cook, talk, eat together and put them to bed whenever I can. But we all do what we have to do, right? It might be that I have to change at some point.
Think back to your 18th birthday. How is your life different from how you expected it to be then?