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 FOUR through the eyes of working mothers…
Jaimee (Anatomical Specialist (Spine) at Johnson & Johnson Medical, Mum to Aliza 2)
“We are all different, and have different daily struggles – and what you see on social media is often only the highlight reel of someone’s life.”
- What do you believe are the pro’s and con’s of being employed and having kids?
The biggest pro to juggling work and having kids is that you can continue to progress in your chosen career. You go to school for 12 years, and then continue to study for many years after that in your chosen field. I have had two careers since graduating from university, and couldn’t imagine giving all of that up. I also believe that I am a good role model for my daughter. Aliza knows that I go to work to fix peoples backs, and in her words – ‘I am working to pay for her schooling’, and she is ok with that. It also allows her to have a day each with her grandparents, and a day with her dad – and I love the close bond she is forming with them all. The cons of juggling work and having kids is definitely missing out on some of the good stuff. I miss her swimming lessons each week, and sometimes some day care drop offs and pick-ups. I travel a bit for work, and it can be hard for both of us (and my husband) when I’m away.
- What are your tips for self motivation/banishing procrastination if you are overly tired/stressed from kids?
I’ve always found that any sort of physical movement is good for the body and the mind. I try to make time for myself to move every day. If it’s a good day, I’ll get to crossfit – if it’s a bad day, it’ll be a walk around the block. Regardless of what exercise I do – it 100% makes me feel better. If I find myself procrastinating – I will give myself a time limit to do just that, and then get back to it. If I’m lacking motivation – I remind myself that I made the choice to go back to work, and the reasonings behind it.
- Do you find yourself comparing yourself to other mums?
I think it’s hard to not compare yourself to other mums, just like it’s hard to not compare yourself to anyone in your daily life. I think it’s important to remember that we are all different, and have different daily struggles – and what you see on social media is often only the highlight reel of someone’s life.
- Do you feel pressure to over achieve as a mum/career woman and ‘have it all’?
Does anyone actually ever ‘have it all’? I am always on the hunt for that elusive work life balance.
- 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?
I am lucky enough to work for a company that promotes a ‘flexible work place’. I can work from the office, from home, from my car or the local coffee shop. I am always honest with my colleagues and customers and I haven’t run into any trouble yet – most people are very understanding.
- Were you excited to get back to work after maternity leave or had anxiety?
I was sad that my maternity leave had come to an end as it truly was the most amazing year at home with my daughter. I made some incredible friends that weren’t going back to work, and I was sad that I would be missing out on the coffee dates, walks, park dates etc. I had kept in regular contact with my boss whilst on leave, and had even attended the kick off sales meeting for the year (with baby and my mum in toe) – so I was right up to date when I started back. This definitely softened the blow.
- How did you cope becoming a mum for the first/second time and putting kids as first priority over career?
My company is very family orientated. It has fabulous maternity leave, a return to work program and flexible work hours/days. Although I can’t see myself climbing the corporate ladder for the next three years while I focus on being a mum, I am grateful that I can return to work full time doing a job I love.
- What advice can you give to other mums – whether they work for themselves, for someone else or are thinking of starting work again?
Find a job you love, and it’ll be so much easier going back to work. I went for a new job when I was 5 months pregnant. Obviously the timing wasn’t great, and there was a huge amount of guilt from my end knowing that I would only be in the role for 3-4 months max, and then off for a year. In hindsight it was the best thing I ever did, it made coming back to work so much easier as it was a role that I loved and was so excited to get stuck in to.
- Do you feel if you put more real content on social media of being a mum, that clients would view you as not ‘as motivated’?
No I don’t believe so.
- What positive changes have you found in yourself/your business partner since becoming mothers, that can help you day to day with clients?
I am so much more patient, and organised. It blows my mind how much work I can get through now when given a couple of uninterrupted hours. My sales skills have tripled as well, how could they not when you’re negotiating with a two year old on a daily basis.
- (Fill in the blanks) – Working mums should know that…
They’re doing the most amazing job!!