My life has been touched by some uber amazing women whose passion for life and the way they choose to live it have really inspired me. Some are bloggers, some are not, their lives are all different and they are all special. I feel honoured and privileged that they are sharing their stories and sprinkling a little bit of their awesome right here. May you be wom-inspired!
Meet Rebecca Senyard.
Bec is pretty amazing. Not only she is mum to three girls under five, she runs two blogs and has qualifications in both plumbing and fashion styling! Bec has been both recognised and rewarded for her work in plumbing and in blogging and has received awards for both. Running a successful business, being a working woman in what is traditionally seen as a man’s world and being jolly good at it are awesome enough. But I think what really sets Bec apart isn’t just what she’s achieved but the attitude with which she’s achieved it. Bec juggles lots of balls and always manages to keep them in the air with grace and humility. Bec brings something truly special to the interwebs and she’s just so inspiring!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been married to my husband for over 10 years and we have three girls – Esther 5, Magdalene 2.9 (turns 3 in February) and Phoebe who is 18 months old. A year after I got married, I decided to work with my dad in our family plumbing business and I did an apprenticeship to become a plumber. While I was finishing my apprenticeship, the GFC happened in 2008. This became a catalyst to starting our domestic plumbing business where I acquired the nickname the plumbette. When Esther was 1 year old, I decided to start writing a blog The Plumbette where I would share stories of what dad and I got up to at work. We scaled the business down to suit our needs as my dad wanted to semi-retire and I wanted to be home more with my kids. It wasn’t until I was unexpectedly pregnant with my 3rd daughter, Phoebe, that dad decided to close our family business because he wanted to fully retire and there was no way I could handle the plumbing business on my own with my young family. But the closure made me determined to consistently write The Plumbette where it won awards in 2014 at Kidspot.
I also write a styling blog, Styled by Bec, which incidently was the first blog I ever wrote. When I was at Tafe doing the work for my apprenticeship, I was also studying a diploma in fashion styling during the smoko breaks. I completed the course and started my website Styled by Bec and offered styling services to those that required it. I’ve only started focusing on the blog over the last two years as another avenue to connect with others. I’ve always believed a girl can be practical and stylish and that’s why I write my blogs.
Tell us 3 things you are and 3 things you’re not.
I’m determined, faithful and will get things done. I’m not super woman, I’m not a tomboy and I’m not always right.
Complete this sentence, ____________________ changed my life. How and why?
There are many things that have changed my life. My life changed when I became a Christian. Knowing God and being able to converse with him – that is life changing.
But one of the biggest events that changed my life was having Phoebe. Well actually finding out I was pregnant with her created a chain reaction of change. When Magdalene was 9 months old I’d only beenback to work for 3 months and I found out I was pregnant with Phoebe. It took me by surprise and certainly wasn’t part of my plan. My husband and I toyed around with the idea of having a third child but we were completely caught off guard when we saw two lines on the pregnancy test. Being pregnant with Phoebe was part of the catalyst for closing our family plumbing business, and I grappled with thoughts of failure because I worried about what others thought – that I couldn’t handle being a mum and running a plumbing business. The only way to deal with the negativity was to work on my blog The Plumbette and be the stay-at-home mum I had always wanted to be. That whole life change showed me that life can change instantaneously, and sometimes the best things in life are brought about by the changes we can’t predict.
What has been life’s greatest lesson?
You have to work hard for what you want and life is precious. It’s also important to think positively when change occurs.
What is your biggest achievement?
Gosh, I’ve had many achievements. Finishing my apprenticeship, being awarded the Dux plumbing apprentice of the year for QLD for 2008 and the Dux Plumbing Apprentice of the year for Australia in 2009. I won another big award in the Construction Industry in 2009 and then a week later I found out I was pregnant with Esther. It was like I won the trifecta that year, but finding out I was going to be a mum trumped all those achievements. Being a mum would have to be my biggest achievement. I can’t believe I have three, beautiful daughters. I love the family God has blessed me with and I’m so thankful that Jacob is my husband. I’m super proud of the family we have created together.
Bec with her plumbing award in 2009
What has been your toughest obstacle and how have you overcome it?
Doing my apprenticeship was tough. No doubt about it. Being the only girl on a construction site and at TAFE was hard. I had to keep reminding myself of my purpose. Being in the minority is no fun and dealing with inappropriate talk and discrimination was difficult. The obstacles were constant and varied as an apprentice and licensed plumber. But the best way I found to overcome them was to remain positive, and see good in others even if they were small in their thinking and big with their opinions.
Viktor Frankl says “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.” Everyone needs a purpose, what’s yours?
My purpose for now is to be the best mum and wife I can be to my family. My writing work is always to help others. I love to help others and even though I’m no longer on the tools as a plumber, my prayer is that my blog can help and inspire other women to give a trade a go. I also love to see people succeed and think differently. That’s why I share personal posts about faith on my blog. I’d by lost without my faith in God.
What are your words to live by?
My favourite Bible verse from Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
If you could have any mentor, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
My parents are great mentors and their success in business and their wisdom is what has helped me in my life. Just recently I’ve had to engage in a difficult situation regarding my blog and having their wisdom and guidance helped me tremendously.
If you could play hookie for a day what would be on your list to do?
I’d sleep in, go to a day spa and book a 5 hour treatment (I’d go the deluxe – facial, massage, pedicure, the works) go shopping with no pram or whingy toddlers in tow and then I’d have dinner with my husband. I’d arrive home with my girls ready to read their bed time story and put them to bed.
You give so much to others, what do you do to take care of yourself?
The last year or so has been chaotic with a baby and toddler and 5 year old. The way for me to take care of myself is to spend quiet time reading my bible and praying. It calms a lot of chaos in my head. I alsotake regular breaks each week from the kids – whether meeting friends for dinner or organizing a babysitter for a couple of hours so I can get some solid writing work done. I think small breaks are healthy and help with the chaos of family life – especially in the early years of parenthood.
Thank you for sharing, Bec.
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