I’ve been sitting on this, and sitting on this, and sitting on this.
This thought, that it would be valuable to speak up about my experience in New Zealand, of navigating the transition from librarianship to motherhood. Of professional registration while on maternity leave. Of Librarian to Unemployed. Of the transition between professionalism in one arena, to trying my best in another.
The aspiring librarian’s career trajectory in New Zealand
What prompted me in writing this post, is reading about Christine Busby contending to be the next President-Elect for LIANZA. I have met Christine a number of times, mainly at social occasions back when she was with SLIS and living in Wellington. Christine’s career progression (and many others in my pre-kids Rolodex) reminds me of all the things I mean to get around to. Librarian position (tick), managing staff, speaking at a conference, LIANZA committee chair, Councilor, then naturally on to President-Elect.
I used to rub shoulders with Laurinda, now I rub shoulders with this one.
Watching how these women progress in their careers, I see the chasm between their career progression and mine. The movement in theirs, and the movement of mine along another trajectory. These are some harsh words to read.
I know that I’ve never learned so much and so quickly, in all my life, as I have in the past four years. I am learning so much from that inspiring little girl there. And her sister. And her brother.
I’ve learned so much about the human spirit, about empathy, emotion, love, compassion, the meaning of whānau. And of acceptance. I never ever would have learned this, without doing it. Without putting myself into the thick of it. Three children under four years old.
Women in the library profession, at some point – if all things are aligned how they want them to be – consider the question of when. When is the right time to start a family?
When is the right time to start a family?
The answer is different for everyone.
If I can help you with finding your own answer to this question, by sharing my experience of librarianship to parenthood, then I’ll feel even better for being here. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be right now.