A blog from Army&You’s autumn 2023 edition by Liz Edmunds

When I became an army spouse – and step-mum to two young children – more than 15 years ago, my career in child protection and family court work gradually fell by the wayside as our own children came along and the demands of moving every few years really hit home.

In 2013 we were posted to Italy and whilst from a family perspective this was amazing, it firmly put a stop to my career. I was extremely fortunate to have the option not to work and focus solely on our young family and where the next gelato was coming from! However, it was tough giving up my career, a significant part of my identity and purpose.

Fast-forward eight years and three moves later, a different country, another baby and my husband approaching civvy street, I decided it was time to focus on me again.

So convinced that I would fail, I secretly embarked on a long-held ambition of a law degree. I genuinely worried whether my brain would work again after years of being CEO of the family; I had zero confidence in my intellectual ability.

Another few years on and I’m happy and proud to report that I did it… somehow! The cherry on top is that I’m now working in family law for Central Law CIC, a non-profit law firm. A lot of my work involves helping separated parents make appropriate arrangements for their children or finances – the firm also works pro bono for all soldiers based in Essex (and is expanding to other areas) who need support and advice with divorce or separation.

Maintaining relationships with children isn’t easy when significant distances, unpredictable working patterns, pressured environments and financial constraints are a regular feature.

So I suppose I’ve come full circle in my career, I’m just working with a different hat on now. And it’s so rewarding to be able to give something back to the community I have been a part of for so long.

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