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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Spotlight on Mum: Finding myself as a former accounting director turned full-time mum 

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Former accounting director turned full-time mum, Michelle Tayler says her transition from the professional world to her home has helped her discover other life purposes.

Michelle Tayler exudes sincerity in everything that she does. Originally from Colorado, USA, she moved to Ireland with her family in order to take on the role of Director of International Accounting. Now in the thriving city of Doha, Michelle has switched roles to full-time mum to look after her two amazing children. 

In Ireland, Michelle’s husband was a stay-at-home dad while she fulfilled a busy career. But soon after moving to Doha, Michelle changed roles from working 50+ hours a week to taking on all the house and family duties. The changes, in an entirely new country, new climate, and new family role, were quite an adjustment, Michelle tells Doha News. But once her teenage kids began school, her husband went back to work and the family got used to a new routine, she was able to find time for herself.

Read also: Dear Mum: Relax, your ‘best’ is enough this pandemic

“I’ve found that I’ve become a lot closer to both of them since I’m now the one at home, and I really love that. I love the conversations we have, especially with my son who is now 17. He heads off for University next year so this time feels even more precious to me than I ever realised,” Michelle tells Doha News.

Motherhood is constantly worrying about your kids and wanting to make sure they are okay, she says, especially considering the family’s two major moves to different countries. This has forced her to feel an innate sense of awareness when it comes to her children. Understandably, the former director-turned-full-time-mum is aware of the challenges that come with the role – chief of which is the ability to let go and knowing exactly when to be in charge.

But Michelle sees motherhood as a powerful way to connect and communicate with her kids as individuals and as a result of her heightened awareness, she now realises just how quickly they tend to grow.

“It’s crazy how they each have a little bit of my husband and myself between looks and the quirky personality and I love that,” says Michelle.  

Realigning with routine

Post COVID-19 lockdown, Michelle says she’s now making an effort to realign herself with a routine now that her husband and kids are out of the house again.

On the days her kids go to school, she is the ‘carpool mum’ and finds herself volunteering in between the school runs. She also exercises and is dedicated to other commitments, such as being a board member for the American Women’s Association of Qatar. 

But despite her busy schedule, bonding time remains a top priority. 

“Spending time as a family at dinner is by far the highlight of my day,” she tells Doha News, noting she usually cooks for her family five to six nights a week so they can eat together.

While being at home has undoubtedly bridged the gap between her and the children, it has also brought on other positives for Michelle, who is now an active member of Doha Stitches –  a ladies only sewing and crafting non-profit charity group based in Doha. 

“I love that I am part of a bigger group”

After introducing herself to one of the founding members of the group just months after moving to Qatar, she began attending their bi-weekly meetings and has found herself fully indulged in the activities ever since – becoming a committee member in January.

Doha Stitches is where Michelle found her “tribe” among a sincere group of kind-hearted women dedicated to offering comfort to those that need it most. The group uses its sewing and crafting skills to give back to hospitals and schools across the country.

Heart shaped pillows and knitted knockers for breast cancer patients, crochet octopus for preemie babies, educational surgical dolls to assist with communication and comfort for young patients, are just a few of the creative yet sentimental items produced by the group.

Looking back at her journey from the professional world, Michelle recognises the not so smooth transition was worth it. Previously, her career left her with time for family but not much else. 

Since moving to Qatar, her ability to manage her time as a full-time mum has presented her with more time to participate in activities of her choice.

Read also: Spotlight on Mum: Surviving a pandemic as a full-time teacher, PhD student and mother of four

“I love that I am part of a bigger group that collectively makes so many amazing items for the women and children at the local hospitals.  The dedication and selflessness that these ladies have is truly inspiring. I am so grateful I discovered this group early on when we moved here,” she says, noting it has given her a renewed sense of purpose.

This is definitely something other mums should consider, Michelle advises. While locating the right group is no easy feat, Michelle says the effort is made worthwhile once you connect with like minded individuals and discover new opportunities – whether it is craft, exercise, or networking.

For those unsure where to start, groups such as Qatar Expat Women’s Group are helpful resources that can offer mums insight on what is available, she notes.

To follow Doha Stitches, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DohaStitches/

Chereen Shurafa is a Doha based community counsellor, writer, and certified change coach. She is the founder of “Dear Chereen”, an online platform dedicated to mindfulness, mental health, and inspiration.


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