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 TWELVE through the eyes of working mothers…
Kat (Co-Founder and Director of PR & Comms, KK&O. Agency, Co-Host of The Yap podcast, and Mum to Poppy 19 months)
“Give yourself permission to be ruthless in your pursuit of happiness.”
- What do you believe are the pro’s and con’s of being self employed and having kids?
So. Many. Pros. Having been on both sides of this (being my own boss/working for someone else), I can wholeheartedly say that while working for yourself can be challenging, the pros outweigh the cons by a landslide. For me, it’s all about that having that flexibility. Flexibility is such an important thing for me and my family. Having that option to stay with her if she’s unwell, or take her out for the day on a whim, is why I choose to work for myself. I used to think I was trying to achieve ‘balance’, but actually, I don’t think I’m seeking balance, I’m just trying to enjoy my life as best as I can. Some of the downsides to working for yourself while being a mum is that you don’t have those typical inclusions, like sick leave or annual leave, or a normal clock-off time. So you’ve got to be strict in your time management and respect the boundaries you’ve set yourself.
- What are your tips for self motivation/banishing procrastination if you are overly tired/stressed from kids?
The girls from The Yap and I were talking about this only the other day, and Laura actually answered this question in a way that Ioved. If you’re not feeling motivated, just call it a day. I loved that because it’s an honest answer. Humans aren’t motivated 100% of the time, 24/7. We aren’t robots. Some of those days where you feel hit by a truck due to being up all night, run down etc. it’s okay to say to yourself ‘today, I’m done’. It’s self-care.
- Do you find yourself comparing yourself to other mums?
I don’t have the direct comparison thoughts of “I wish I was like her, or I wish I could do what she does,” etc. I’m more the other end, I draw inspiration from other Mums where I can. I do get inspired, or motivated, from Mums that I think are doing awesome things. I’m inspired by my real life mama friends, like Lauren and Laura from The Yap, and even clients of mine who have kids. We’re all in this together, doing the best we can, let’s keep it real, support each other, and enjoy the rollercoaster as much as we can.
- Do you feel pressure to over achieve as a mum/career woman and ‘have it all’?
I feel like before I became a Mum I felt the pressure to over achieve. Now, I’m like, completely the opposite. As long as my family are healthy and happy, it’s all gravy baby! If I feel like I need a pat on the back, I’ll drink out of my “Worlds Best Mum” mug and pretend it’s a legit award haha.
- 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?
In the line of work I do, I’m basically on call 24/7 for all of my PR clients, which I’m used too. My clients are really great in the sense they really only bother me outside of business hours if there is a crisis. I’ve worked really hard throughout my career to build my reputation as a great publicist, and just because I’m a Mum now, doesn’t mean that I’m any less of a reliable, accessible professional. In fact, I’d say I’m better, because I’m back in the drivers seat of my life and making choices that are always for the betterment of my family and clients.
- How has having your insanely epic podcast The Yap helped becoming a working mum?
Aw thank you! Still spins me out that people listen to us! The Yap has been such a welcome addition to my life. It allows us chance to connect with these seriously impressive women who run these extremely successful businesses, and are doing so while raising kids. We’re in such an exciting time where being a working Mum is celebrated and supported these days – and meeting and interviewing women like Sash from Beau Hudson, Margaux Parker from Triple M, and Evette from Esmi Skin Minerals all just set my passion on fire even more. I take away something from each guest we yap with. There is no shortage of inspirational Mamas out there; I hope we continue for a long time yet! It’s also kinda like free therapy too – ha!
- Were you excited to get back to work after maternity leave or had anxiety?
To this day, I still don’t know! I would say that by the time rolled around it was an equal mix of being excited, and having anxiety. I went back part-time when Poppy was 6 months old.. maybe one day I can make sense of my feelings at that time, but I honestly don’t know what I was feeling!
- How did you cope becoming a mum for the first/second time and putting kids as first priority over career?
Well, I knew it was going to be hard (becoming a Mum), but I honestly didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was. I ran off pure adrenaline for the first few weeks, then I hit a sleep-deprived brick wall, combined with feeding issues, and it threw me for six. I remember saying to my husband “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to work again, how will life get manageable?!” I look back and can reflect now, but far out, at the time, I thought my career was over. That’s the first moment where I thought… Wow. I really had NO IDEA what being a Mum meant. Mums are tough motherfuckers. Lol!
- What advice can you give to other mums – whether they work for themselves, for someone else or are thinking of starting work again?
I honestly don’t think I can give advice. I wish more of us saw the power in just doing what’s right for you and your family, and backing yourself when it comes to making decisions about your life. Hmm.. maybe that’s what I’d say. You do you, ignore the BS, and back yourself. No matter what you choose to do! Give yourself permission to be ruthless in your pursuit of happiness.
- 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’ve honestly never felt that. I think it’s pretty clear I work hard, and most of my clients know that. I’d hate to be the person who dared suggest I wasn’t hahaha!
- What positive changes have you found in yourself/your business partner since becoming mothers, that can help you day to day with clients?
My time management has never been so good! I’m a multi-tasking, straight-talking, fast-mover who wants to do an exceptional job, create a lasting legacy and make my family proud. Which I think is a good quality?!
- (Fill in the blanks) – Working mums should know that…
You’re doing amazing sweetie – Kris Jenner haha! Kidding… but not really. You ARE doing amazing.