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 NINE through the eyes of working mothers…
Judy (Account Manager at Nova Entertainment, Mum to Lucina 1)
“It’s ok to ask for help if you need it, as you are not alone…”
- What do you believe are the pro’s and con’s of being self employed and having kids?
Pro’s: I enjoy the industry I’m in and I thrive on the mental stimulation and interactions of being in a work environment. Plus, getting to finish a warm coffee uninterrupted is a nice bonus too!
Con’s: The added pressure of juggling a good work/home life balance. Also trying to manage your workload whilst caring for an unwell child can be challenging at times.
- What are your tips for self motivation/banishing procrastination if you are overly tired/stressed from kids?
When you’re feeling exhausted, self-motivation can be hard some days! But being organised the night before and having a daily routine helps me to get going (along with my morning caffeine hit). Also making some time for yourself, even if only brief, can help re-charge the batteries.
- Do you find yourself comparing yourself to other mums?
As much as I try not to, I do catch myself comparing to other mums especially in the world of social media. I need to remind myself that each child is unique and there is no ‘one size fits all’ method to parenting. You can only do what’s best for your family and your own situation.
- Do you feel pressure to over achieve as a mum/career woman and ‘have it all’?
I do feel pressure, but this something I put on myself. I’ve always been career focused and now adding “mum” to my résumé has meant I’ve had to re-evaluate my goals and priorities, to find the right balance for me. At the end of the day, “having it all” can be something different to every individual, so it is what you make of it.
- 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 feel the mum guilt if I have to leave work early to make it in time for pick-up or if my little one is unwell. I am grateful to have an understanding workplace that gives me flexibility in these instances, however I am concerned that peers/clients (especially those without children) may not be as understanding and I am conscious of how this is perceived. I’m always honest on the situation but I don’t want to come across as unreliable/unavailable when I’m not physically in the office, as that is certainly not the case!
- How has having friends in the same situation helped the changes of becoming a working mum?
It’s been great to be able to speak to others who are in the same situation and totally get it, as it can help you get through some of those stressful times. I am lucky to have a very supportive and understanding network of like-minded individuals, who are also on the rollercoaster ride of being a working mum.
- Were you excited to get back to work after maternity leave or had anxiety?
It was a combination of both! I was looking forward to returning to work and regaining a sense of my old self again, however I was also nervous about how I would juggle my new responsibilities as a working mum.
- How did you cope becoming a mum for the first time and putting kids as first priority over career?
In the early days of being a new mum, I felt like I lost a part of my identity in a way. Work has always been a major part of my life both professionally and socially, so it was a huge adjustment for me to put all that on hold and figure out how to raise a mini human.
- What advice can you give to other mums – whether they work for themselves, for someone else or are thinking of starting work again?
Amongst all the chaos of being a new parent, the thought of returning to work might seem daunting, but you’ve totally got this. You’ll find a way to make it work and be able to juggle both. Some days might not be as smooth as others, and that’s totally ok – so try not to be too hard on yourself (maybe I should take my own advice?! Ha)
- What positive changes have you found in yourself/your business partner since becoming mothers, that can help you day to day with clients?
I’d like to think I am more patient and your perspective changes on things – I try not to sweat the small stuff as much.
- (Fill in the blanks) – Working mums should know that…
It’s ok to ask for help if you need it, as you are not alone.