It’s no secret that motherhood can be overwhelming, but add on running a business and you have a challenging world full of pressure, elation, happiness, guilt, pride and a million more emotions…
In the world we live in, being portrayed as a mother on social media can carry quite a burden – having to always look and act the part, but in reality it can be quite the opposite.
As a team of mums who support each other in business and in life, we decided to sit down and answer some Q+A’s all about how we really feel with this juggling act we call #bossmumlife.
Here’s PART THIRTEEN through the eyes of working mothers…
Erica (Senior Associate – Communications, u&u. Recruitment Partners, Mum to Oscar 11 months)
“Don’t try to be perfect – perfect doesn’t exist…’”
- What do you believe are the pro’s and con’s of being employed and having kids?
Pros:I appreciate the time that I spend with Oscar as I miss him when we are not together. I also like the fact that I am contributing to setting our family up for a comfortable future
Cons: I feel like I am always rushing!
- What are your tips for self motivation/banishing procrastination if you are overly tired/stressed from kids?
This is so interesting as ‘pre-kids’ I was the queen of procrastination! Since having Oscar, I do not have any time to procrastinate so things always get done on time! You know the saying ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it’ – it is so right!!
- Do you find yourself comparing yourself to other mums?
I was super guilty of this when I was first learning to be a mum. Over the last few months though, I have realised that all mums and all babies are different and instead I try to use my intuition as much as I can. I also had to teach myself to stop googling!! Boy was this an issue in those first few months of motherhood!
- Do you feel pressure to over achieve as a mum/career woman and ‘have it all’?
I don’t feel pressure to have it all, but I have to sometimes remind myself that it is literally impossible to have it all. At work you can get excited and want to spend lots of time on a project like you did pre-child but then have to remind yourself that it is not possible to do that. You cannot work those extra hours, be there for your family, AND have enough time to sleep in a day. What I have learnt though is to be more efficient and not waste as much time on pointless tasks as I used to.
- Do you experience mum guilt when you have to pick your kids up or have kids around and you have to answer calls? Do you tell clients the truth or lie about what you are doing?
As I am writing this, Oscar is crawling around on the ground. I feel guilty every time I have my laptop or phone up when I am watching him. I worry that he thinks that I am not being totally present with him. In saying this though, I make sure that I do spend time with him where he does have my 100% attention. We can put so much pressure on ourselves to try to do everything exactly right. My mum said something to me early on which is so simple but so right. She said ‘Erica, don’t try to be perfect – perfect doesn’t exist’. I try to keep reminding myself of that. I am also very lucky to work for an employer that is very flexible and trusts me to deliver, even if it doesn’t look like your traditional 9-5 hours.
- How did you decide when it was the right time to go back to work?
My gorgeous boy Oscar is the most happy, beautiful boy you will ever meet. BUT, the little tyke does not like to sleep! I would listen jealously to my girlfriends who have babies that sleep for hours during the day, allowing them to have a rest themselves or do chores. I didn’t get that, plus I was up multiple times with Oscar during the night. As bad as this sounded, I was ready to go back to work to have a break. Who knew that going to work would be so much easier than caring for a baby!! I have so much respect for stay-at-home mums. That is a tough job. I went back to work part time when Oscar turned 9 months. For me that was right and has made me really savour the time that we have together. I think it makes me a better mum. Plus, it allows me to earn money that is going to help our future as a family.