Breakfast with Ita

Perth puts on a beautiful morning for breakfast with Ita.

It might sound silly but I love the energy that I feel walking through a busy city early on a weekday morning. Being amongst a crowd of strangers, most striding along purposefully, generates a buzz of energy that I feel is so unique to cities. Many of you know that I have worked as a teacher in a range of early learning settings, what you might not know is that I spent three years in the early noughties working in a number of HR Training and Development roles based in Perth city. I think  my favourite part of the day was walking through the city each morning to my office, stopping only to grab coffee and a breakfast muffin at my favourite cafe.

Fast forward ten years and I now work from home. No striding through the city for me, no colleagues to joke around with or bounce ideas off (at least face-to-face, I am extremely fortunate to have a number of wonderful online ‘colleagues’), no cafe barista greeting me like a familiar friend, and the only breakfast muffins are the ones I keep promising to make myself! It can be really isolating, especially now that Immy is at school five days a fortnight and is content to mostly hang at home on her days off. Apart from quick snippets of conversation with other parents at drop off and pick up times, my week days are often severely lacking in adult conversation and interaction. And over time, as someone who re-energises through their interactions with others, this has a definite impact on my energy and level of motivation.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that my work as a blogger and writer has allowed me to delay returning to work outside the home. It does however mean that when it comes to my work, I have to keep myself motivated, on task and ahead of the game. And some days that can be hard to accomplish.

So when I recently heard that Ita Buttrose was coming to town to speak at a Business Chicks function, I decided that breakfast with Ita was just the extrinsic motivation this sleep deprived mama needed. Even if it meant getting up before 6am to get myself and AJ ready, even if it meant being super organised so that Immy could be up and ready to go into work with Dad 101, even if it meant driving in peak hour traffic (how on earth do people do that every day?), even if it meant changing plans and jumping on a train half way there because that damn traffic was so bad!

I had a feeling it would be worth all the hassle and I wasn’t mistaken. I was confident that I would be inspired to keep fighting the good modern day woman’s fight, aka the eternal juggle of competing responsibilities. What I did not expect so much was to also be inspired as a parent, especially as an older parent of two young girls. Here are some  of the thoughts I took away from the morning (bolded are Ita’s words, at least as best that I could capture them with a squirming baby on my lap, and italics are my own reflections);

Personal comments about women are not okay – in media, in business or in our homes. We must stop being judged by our appearance. We need to raise our own voices more when it happens.
This was a really good reminder for me. How easily we judge others by how they are dressed or where they live or what their home looks like. As Ita said in response to media criticism of our Prime Minister’s fruit bowl,  “Why would she have fruit in a bowl, she is never home?”

Media jobs bring power and responsibility.
To an extent, could the same be said of bloggers?

Work was not 24 x 7, life was fun.
Are we having fun yet? If not, why not? And how are we going to change that?

In reference to her book, Motherguilt (co-authored with Dr Penny Adams, 2005): We need to get over it. Being a good mother is enough, it’s okay to be a good mother and not a perfect mother.
Need I say more?

Tough times don’t last, tough people do.
As someone with a fragile shell and marshmellow centre, this is one I personally need to work on.

It makes good financial sense to include women in senior management – attracting more women employees, increasing communication and decreasing conflict. Why then do women only present 15% of Directors on the boards of our top 200 companies?
I would hope that by the time my daughters are choosing careers that this % has significantly increased. I want them to know they can be and achieve whatever they want to achieve. And if this includes sitting on the board of a large company, may they be free to smash through any glass ceiling that dares to stand before them. How to make this change, both as a society and in terms of preparing my own children are both things that I am pondering.

Fitness is important. For health, to combat disease, for managing stress.
This is a real challenge for me and one that is foremost on my mind due to an approaching BIG birthday and the fact that I am medically defined as a ‘geriatric mother.’ My goal is to be here to be a grandmother to the children I hope my children have one day – an actively involved, healthy grandmother.

Life’s rewards appear at the end and not the beginning of the journey… you often won’t know how close they are (the rewards) unless turn the corner. Persevere until you succeed. Taking one step at a time.
And isn’t the journey exciting!

Do you work from home? How do keep yourself motivated and on task?


  1. I want to know how you found a parking spot when you decided to switch to the train! Every time I have to go into town in the morning I’m glad I now work from home.

    But yes – not always easy to stay motivated and I’m sure the day care girls known when I’ve had a client-free day stuck in front of my computer because I just won’t stop talking at pick-up time. I have highly motivated days with a huge to-do list and not so good ones … but I always try to remember how lucky I am to have really flexible and fascinating work and (most importantly) that once Mr 2 is home there’ll be no more dedicated working time for me for another couple of days. Big motivator!

  2. When i did work from home motivation was a big issue. I ran a Family Day Care for a few years and at the beginning trying to get all the paper work done was something that i did not really want to do, but getting the 4 or 5 kids into a routine during the day and getting most of them to sleep at the sometime, was the best thing i did for i was able to get some of it done at rest time. Then i also got a cleaner to come in once a week then that freed up some of my time for my own children when we had no day care children around.

    Now i am back in the work place and doing uni from home i have a time table the whole house has to stick to so i can get my “uni” time.

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