Being a builder’s wife has not only open up a career for me, it has provided me the opportunity to meet so many amazing women. Today’s guest, Maree OShea is one of those.
Maree first came onto my radar last year as a fellow finalist in the HIA Women in Construction Award. A fellow Builder’s Wife, Maree reached out via Facebook to say hi! Our friendship has grown from there, and while we still haven’t met “in real life”, we have had a few close calls 🙂
I am very please to be able to share with you, part of the story of my friend and mentor, Maree OShea.
My Trade Story With Maree OShea
I’m the builder’s wife, the builder’s mother, the builder’s mother-in-law (my husband is a builder, my son is a builder, my son-in-law is a builder)
My interest in the building industry started long ago when my husband was a mere 19-year-old undertaking a carpentry apprenticeship. I was there helping with the college assignments and advanced studies. I’ve done my time “on the tools” and I’m still a regular on the worksites.
In the last ten years I had to overcome significant personal and professional challenges. As a result of a building accident – my husband sustained a spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia. This event had a massive impact on the whole family. While there were the difficulties during the several months of hospitalisation, nothing prepared us for ‘life after a spinal cord injury”. As the partner, carer and mother, I struggled with the overwhelming amount of everyday tasks while supporting my broken husband and our children. I can now talk about the impact and my emotions but during the tough times I experienced reduced well-being, increased stress, fatigue, resentment, sheer exhaustion and a whole lot more.
A life-changing event like this has the ability to take away your whole self worth and it takes much discipline and effort to get your life back. I had to let go of the drama and learn to re-love myself and treat myself with kindness and respect. I had to live my life to enable my husband reclaim his life.
When the clouds were clear, the family could appreciate the immense generosity, support and assistance we had received from so many people. As a way of giving back, we teamed up with our children and formed a small family building company called i4 Development.
Collectively our focus is improving our local community by designing, building and decorating quality homes based on purpose and values and engaging contractors and suppliers who share our vision.
My role in the family business commences from the beginning by leading the project to make sure the houses are designed from the outside in as well and from the inside out.
I take responsibility for ensuring our project houses are functional, beautifully finished, aesthetically inviting, meet the objective of being distinctively different as well as meeting the social and cultural requirements of the potential occupants.
In addition to the business I play lots of roles ….maybe I can share these with you next time….
I love my life, I love what I do and who I am. My wish for you is that you love life too.
Thank you for sharing Maree, and may I be selfish for just a moment, and publicly acknowledge all you do for so many women in construction. You truly are in inspiration! I do hope you will join us again and share the rest of your story xx
Is there a trade story you are interested in hearing? Do you have a story to share? I’d love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org