Tia | Milford

“Wow, to be a woman today is a big challenge. I feel like we’ve been taking a lot of roles. We have the role of being a mother, and most of us, especially in Auckland, also have a role of being a breadwinner.

We have to bring home some money to help out with all the expenses and everything. It also means the challenge of trying to juggle work commitments, family commitments, and finding time for yourself. You’ve got to look a certain way, you’ve got to behave a certain way, you’ve got to be a friend, you’ve got to be a mother. So yeah it’s a lot.

Well I’m quite lucky; the last time I played with a child was probably just this morning. I’m lucky enough that I get to be at home with my children. Most of my friends don’t have that luxury, so I’m quite lucky. I’ve decided to give up my job for awhile, just to raise my children for the time being. I think that play is very important. I am very self conscious of trying to utilise as much time as I can, and that puts pressure on me as well, again as a woman and as a mother, to make sure you do the best you can for your children.

Because I do not have a fulltime job I feel like my job is raising my children. So I try to do my very best and give them attention. Obviously, sometimes it’s impossible. You can’t do everything at the same time. They will have some TV time and some screen time, but we’re out there as much as we can, Right now, we’re in front of the library in Takapuna. This is some time that I’ll have with my daughter having her away from screens and doing something that can be learning, educational for her, and will create memories for us.

That transition from having a career and becoming a fulltime mum; I’ve been going through it now for six years, and I still haven’t learned how to do it. I still feel I haven’t done enough, and did I do the right thing, and how hard is it to go back into work now? Am I pulling my weight enough financially in the family? Am I putting pressure on my husband, and all those things, like on a daily basis. I’m home with the children but I’m still looking for jobs and weighing up the options. Should I go back there and do something, or is what I’m doing enough? Because you don’t get paid to be a mum, immediately you feel like you’re not worth it. So it’s complicated. Well, it’s sometimes hard to tell people you’re a fulltime mum, it’s almost embarrassing.

But when you talk to older mums, or grandma’s, and people who are at work and they go, oh you’re so lucky. Obviously they know better, and I do know I’m lucky but part of me feels a bit jealous that others have got a job. I do have a huge job, the most important job, but because I don’t get paid to do it, sometimes you do get judged I’d say.

When was the last time I felt different or out of place? Well, actually I think I’m pretty lucky; I feel Auckland is an amazing place to live. New Zealand in general is so embracing of cultures and I do not feel I’m not part of a group. I feel like I can easily fit in. Mind you, I feel like I do my part as well. I try and fit in. I try to reach out. I try to do as Romans do. I think it’s the minimum you can do if you’re living in a different country and adapting to a culture.

I think people are lovely, yeah. When did I last resolve a problem with someone in a positive way? I feel like I do that every day at home. Communication is always complicated, and I think you have to just talk through things, and sometimes you don’t win and that’s frustrating. Every day is just solving conflict, isn’t it?

So what brought me to New Zealand was I was overseas; I was doing my university degree in cross-cultural communications in Japan and that’s where I met my husband. He was playing rugby professionally over there and I was lucky enough that he dragged me to this terrible country that is New Zealand. So I’m very lucky, yeah. So that’s a bit about me. Then obviously I started in my area, did a lot of work with international marketing until the time came when it was time to have my babies.”

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