The Why

A few years ago my second baby was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-limiting illness affecting every organ in the body, in particular the lungs and digestive system. I can’t explain how unexpected and devasting this news was. It’s impossible to put the heaviness of your heart or your fear of the future into words when something so unfathomable happens.

The juggle between managing my daughter’s unpredictable health, the general wellbeing of the rest of my family, my ever-growing workload and my own mental health became immense. I was pulling it off in theory but I was also pulling my hair out in private. I was miserable, overwhelmed and broken. Something had to give.

In truth, a lot of the issues with work/life balance existed long before the complications of Cystic Fibrosis entered my life. But I wanted to succeed in my career so I put up with them. I was a rare species – a mother in a Creative Director role – and I felt extra pressure to prove myself, extra pressure to appear bulletproof.

Sometimes it takes something dramatic for you to stop pretending and call it. I decided that I never wanted to look back and regret the time I didn’t spend with my girl. I decided that to be her health advocate, I needed to be my own mental health advocate. I decided that juggling so many things that you eventually collapse is not the example I want to set for my children.

Yet I wanted and needed to work. So I decided to do it on my own terms and The Salty Pen was born. I get to write. I get to work with brands. I get to help people. I get to keep that part of me. But without sacrificing my family.

When I was a kid, I always said I’d start my own business. But I never had the balls to do it until my baby gave them to me. I am forever indebted to her for teaching me new life lessons every single day of the week.