I was 41 when I had my daughter Winter, who’s now five. I was living in Brixton, south London and working as Deputy Director of Policing for the Home Office. I’d been there 20 years. I had my two kids very close together (Atticus is three) with a year of maternity leave for both.

When I returned to work it was a new government and the civil service was in serious shrinking mode. All the policies were different and focused on cost-cutting. People were scared and mean – petty office politics were writ large, and the atmosphere was toxic.

Most of my friends had taken early retirement, redundancy or just left.  None of this was incompatible with motherhood but having babies made me appreciate that life’s too short to waste a whole load of your energies on petty office nonsense. I just wanted more satisfaction from what I did and having kids so late on meant I knew I was still willing to take on new challenges.

Changing career at an already high-pressured point in my life has been both rejuvenating and stressful. All my friends and family were gobsmacked – but delighted that I was “following my dream”. Quite a few of them have said it’s given them hope that they can change things dramatically, too; get out of a rut.

I went to an old colleague’s birthday party recently and lots of my old work mates were there – every one of them congratulated me on “breaking away”

It’s been quite a roller coaster and at times I’ve not been sure how I’ll pay my bills, but it’s brought out my inner risk take, which was buried beneath 20 years of institutionalised bureaucratic process.

Am I still happy that I made this decision? YES YES YES. I went to an old colleague’s birthday party recently and lots of my old work mates were there – every one of them congratulated me on “breaking away”. They messaged me when they saw my events recommended in British Airways inflight magazine and saw Big Fish Little Fish’s name on the Camp Bestival tube poster.

I work from home or at the events so can pick my daughter up from school and have a play day with my youngest from time to time. I am very fortunate that my partner gave up his job soon after I started my business so he is the primary caregiver now – he also helps with the business development and finance side, as well as being a roadie!

I hope my business continues to build and be successful. World domination of the family rave scene!  And I hope to inspire lots more middle-aged parents (like myself) both to have a bloody good time at one of my family raves and know that even in our 40s we can still make sweeping positive changes to our lives.


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