Thursday, April 25, 2024

Motherhood is a balancing act for Julie


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A FAMILY THAT lives in God is what Julie Greene wishes for. The 33-year-old wife and mother of two toddlers is deeply entrenched in her Christian faith, as a member of Sanctuary Empowerment Centre.

Julie teaches Sunday school and is responsible for the dance ministry at the church and also assists husband Anthony who is an elder.

“We put God first and I instil that in the children. I tell them to put God first in everything that they do. Be obedient, polite, have respect. The moral at home is ‘Whatever we do, will God be happy about it?’ Not mummy or daddy, but God.”

Julie said she is happy to see it working as she has heard son Jon-David apologise to God first even before saying sorry to his parents.

Julie is a chartered accountant by profession but has worked at Prism Services as a finance manager for the past six years.

Her journey hasn’t been easy.

“When my mummy gave me snacks money for secondary school I used to save it and buy snacks and resell. So I always had a love for numbers,” said the past student of Coleridge and Parry Secondary.

Julie wanted a challenge so she went to Trinidad at age 17 and spent a year doing the chartered accountant technician programme. When that was completed she went to Britain to do her three-year Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) certification.

“I studied for the three years, worked part-time as an account assistant for a housing association so I could help my mum support my education. It was hard and the culture was a bit of a shock but I don’t regret the experience.”

At age 21 she returned to Barbados, ready for the world of work.

“I knew it was going to be hard to find work as I did the reverse. Instead of being in the field and then going to do my ACCA I did it first and then came to find work.”

But “God works in mysterious ways” and in a month’s time Julie landed her first job in an auditing firm as an auditing assistant for two years.

She proved her mettle and went to another job as an accounting supervisor for three years and is now finance manager at her current job. Along the way she became a mum, something she always dreamt of.

“I wanted three children. Anthony and I were on our honeymoon when we decided if the first child was a boy his name would be Jon-David which Anthony picked. He also named our daughter and I gave her the middle name.”

Being a working mum is strenuous and Julie said it was more challenging with toddlers.

“In my field I have reporting deadlines, especially the last week of the month and the first week of the following month. Then I have to put in really, really long hours. I also have to do quite  a bit of travelling for work so since they were born my time with them has been hampered by my work schedule.”

But Julie gets it done with help of her husband and close support system of her parents and extended family. Her employer is also flexible and allows her to sometimes work from home which is a blessing.

Julie says it’s all about planning.

“Anthony works on radio in the morning shift so all the morning preparations for school are done by me. I cannot wait until the morning to iron or think about what is for lunch. I always prep for the night before no matter what time I get in.”

The children are woken up and they pray (“something I am getting them in the habit of”).

Julie says they leave home in Christ Church by 6:45 a.m. to get to school in Haggatt Hall and then off to The Belle for work.

Jon-David and Rhema-Jae have different personalities and characteristics and “managing that in the same space and balancing everything else is hard,” she said.

“With my job I still have to make sure my family is a priority.”

Julie smiles when she speaks of how she is watching Jon-David and Rhema-Jae grow into themselves.

“I am so glad at the opportunity that God gave me to be a mum. For me to groom and carve out what they are supposed to be and also being there for them, I love that. They know that mummy will be there for them.”

Jon-David loves to read. He is dedicated and passionate. He loves to swim and he is very outspoken and loves to take part in school plays.

Rhema-Jae is reserved but observant. But once she gets comfortable, she opens up.

Julie likes to spend whatever time she can with her children, taking them to the park, going to the beach and listening to Anthony read them stories at night.

Julie said that becoming a parent has changed her.

“I realised that I didn’t have a choice. Having children transform your mindset.”

And what is her biggest fear?

“My biggest fear for my son Jon-David, three, and daughter Rhema-Jae, two years old, is that they don’t live for God. I want them to know that with God all things are possible. Put him first and everything else will fall into place.”


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