A frugal and eco birthday party
Introducing Emu, Flappy, and Duffa Dilly Bong

Is it possible to live a simple and sustainable life while working full time?

I hope so, because I’m now working full-time.

I recently started a new job. My career till now has focussed largely on threatened species conservation, mostly in rural, rural-residential, and bushland environments. But I’ve become increasingly passionate about urban nature. I believe that a love of nature is what drives us to care about our environment (and alternatively, that a disconnection with nature is what causes people to not care about their impact on the environment). The only way people are going to love and connect with nature is if they encounter her often. Given that most of us live in cities these days, for that connection to happen, we need urban nature.

My new job is in urban conservation. I’ll be facilitating the restoration of an urban creek by helping landholders protect and restore the important creek that runs through their backyards. How cool is that! Helping people protect and restore nature in their very own backyards.

Urban_concrete_creek1 {This isn’t the creek I’ll be working on (this is our local creek), but parts of the creek I’ll be working on sadly look just like this}.

I‘ve always had a bit of a thing for creeks and am extremely excited about the project.
But to be honest, the decision to accept this job was almost heartbreaking. I’m not yet ready to let go of my existing job (particularly given that the new one is only a six month contract) so am currently balancing both jobs, and between the two have no choice but to work full time.

Urban concrete creek 2

I know hope we’ll cope. It’s only for 6 months. Thankfully Little Eco loves her preschool and childcare centre and begs to be the last one to be picked up. Daddy Eco is also more than happy to take on more tasks around the home. But I’m still terrified that the balance, connection, calm, love and creativity that we try to nurture in our home will disappear now that life’s a little busier.

For days after accepting the new job I woke in the early hours of the morning in tears, worrying that I’d made the wrong decision for our family. I’d fret over the time with Little Eco that I’ll miss. I’d admire the day-to-day life of mums like Fiona, Amanda and Ginny, living with seemingly endless time to spend with their children, and with fields and forests for their children to run in, and wonder if this urban-living working-mum gig is truly what I want.

It is. For now.

IMG_4142 {To make-up for lost family time in the afternoons, we’ve been waking at 6am each day. Some days we go for a walk together. Some days we just cuddle in bed for a while. This morning, I found myself sewing a heat bag for Little Eco and then helped her sew a soft doll kit that she got for her birthday}

After one week in the new job I know we made the right decision. We’ve managed to (mostly) maintain the balance, connection, calm, love and creativity that we treasure so much. I’m excited about the work. And so far I’m thinking that yes, it's going to be possible to live a simple and sustainable life while working full-time. I know it’s not going to be easy. I know that sacrifices will have to be made. And I know that this HUGE dose of Mummy guilt is not going to go away any time soon.

How about you? Any of you working full-time or almost full-time? Got any time saving eco tips for me? Or any advice on bonding as a family despite the hours spent apart?