….Juggling work, study, and family
By Rebeka Adamson
Rebeka is the Personal Assistant to the Operations Director at Enable New Zealand, and is passionate about administration as a career path. She is a member of the Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand Inc (AAPNZ), and currently serves on the Manawatu Group Management Team. Having won the prestigious 2015 AAPNZ Administrative Professional Award, Rebeka is now taking on the role of being New Zealand’s ambassador for the profession.
I really enjoy studying, which is quite remarkable I think considering I was raised in a family where education was not a priority. I had to leave school at the age of 16 in order to assist financially and so I didn’t get the opportunity to achieve a School Certificate or study at a university. So, I was understandably super excited when I won my first scholarship in 2008.
I began my studies a month before I married my husband. We both worked full time and I spent most evenings studying, so in hindsight our first two years of marriage was probably lacklustre; however I did manage to find some creative ways to spend time with my family. One example which springs to mind is when I joined my husband and mother-in-law on numerous occasions at the beach, drafting my assignments in the back of the car while they fished for whitebait at dawn.
It took me two years to achieve my Diploma and it was exhausting. Little did I know that it would be nothing in comparison to raising a family whilst working and studying.
The itch to study returned in 2015 when I succeeded in obtaining another scholarship; however this time around I discovered that finding time to study was not so easy. I had an energetic toddler to raise, a loving husband to appreciate, and a career that needed attention.
In order to achieve everything, my husband and I developed a routine where one of us would cook dinner and go through the bed-time routine with our son on alternating nights so that we each had a night to rest or work on any projects we had in place. This meant I didn’t miss out on spending time with my family and was still able to dedicate time towards my study.
I thought I had the balance right until I received my first C-grade on an assignment – this was a difficult result to accept as I am a proud over-achiever. I thought I had prepared myself mentally to appreciate any passing result, but it became clear that I expected much more from myself. This meant I had to find more time during the remaining weeks to make improvements, so I had to decide what I was ready to sacrifice; my grades, family time, or sleep.
It was tough; there were a few early mornings and many more late nights, however a final grade of a B was worth it. The lack of sleep was temporary, but I have already starting applying what I have learnt towards my career so it has all been worth it.
Juggling work, study, and family can be brutal and is not for the faint hearted. It’s probably not for perfectionists either as the results may disappoint you (even when you pass!). But, if you have a good support network at home and at work, and know what you’re willing to compromise, you are on a stable path towards an acrobatic lifestyle. Enjoy the circus!
Does your life involve a lot of juggling? How do you cope? Let us know in the comments section below