It’s not easy being a working mum. The guilt, the tiredness, the multi-tasking, makes it one of the most stressful times
With so much energy invested in the birth, NCT groups, tummy time and no end of maternal madness, I had neglected to think about myself.
Fast-forward two years and things have changed dramatically. I left my job of eight years, after being overlooked for a promotion (again) and decided to set up as a freelancer. Change is gradual, and I didn’t realise just how far I’d come until my friend got pregnant.
She turned to me recently for advice, and I found myself reminiscing about the journey each and every one of us mums go on. Armed with knowledge and experience from my working sisters, here’s some easy ways you too can own being a mum boss.
Put on the Hells, Splash on the Lipstick!
If you’re going to work, then make it work for you! I’ve always said that despite it being the hardest time in my life, returning to work was one of the best decisions I ever made. It helped me find myself again, and it all starts with self-esteem. For a whole year I hadn’t worn heels, had barely worn make-up, and lived in velour jump suits (and they were the good days)! But something about having a purpose, other than your child, makes you care again. It’s easy to feel invisible when you’re walking with a stroller up your high-street for the millionth time that week, but going back to work, using your brain again and being around people who don’t just talk about nappy rash, will help you find yourself again. I’m certain of it. (*Make up is not essential to make you look good. But for some women like myself, I feel better with it on. Just saying!)
Take No S**t
It’s easy to lose your voice and feel that you don’t have a say when you work part-time, or if you’ve recently returned to work. A good friend of mine was accidently missed off the Christmas office party invite because she works one day a week. Whether on purpose or by accident, it’s not cool. If you feel that you’re being excluded in any way, please say something. Sometimes people genuinelly don’t realise they’re doing it, other times its downright discrimination. Whatever the case, voicing your concerns will make a difference.
You Don’t Have to Prove Yourself
If you’ve been working in your job for a good length of time, trust me – you don’t need to prove yourself. Continue to work hard, continue to add value the way you always did. Things will have changed as a working mum – you might not be able to travel as much and your working hours might be different, but your contribution is still the same. It’s important to try and maintain a work-life balance. You don’t have to be on email every waking moment, and certainly not on your days off, but occassionaly checking in and showing your commitment does go a long way.
- Don’t Stay Because it’s Easy
With any luck, you’ll return to your job with new vigour and enthusiasm than ever before. Your boss will appreciate just how many hours a working parent can pack in, juggling more than an act on Britain’s Got Talent! Its happened to a number of my friends, and it’s encouaging to see.
On the other hand, there’s a reason why there’s more ‘mumpreneurs’ than ever before, setting up their own companies, and going freelance. From Emma Bunton to Holly Willoughbuy, mums everywhere are starting their own business’ and owning life as a mum boss!
If you find that you’re not getting what you want from your job – promotion, fulfillment, support – then it’s time to think about moving on.
“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” – Robert Tew