I am a mother, (the boldest reminder of this is currently perched on my knee attempting to remove my nose from my face, with her tiny claws as I type). I also head up Marketing Recruitment for RedCat Digital. I work at least 50 hours each week and have set ambitious career goals that somehow didn’t suddenly vanish when my daughter was born – they grew. So what happens when you are both career minded and a hand’s on Mum too? Is it even possible you can be both!?
After having conversations with several highly inspirational career women who also had children, I noticed there was a common occurrence experienced by us “Working Mums” and that common occurrence was judgement. From the second you become a mother it seems generally the whole world begins judging your mothering abilities but especially if you decide to head back to work full-time post baby. “Who has the baby whilst you work all those hours?” , “when do you ever see your child?!” , “you are missing their best years growing up with them being in nursery all that time”.
I spoke to Subna Ganesh, Head of Performance Marketing for Worldstore’s and ex-Global Head of Paid Media for ASOS on the matter as it’s a topic that really hits home for her also, here were her thoughts:
“As a working mum, the biggest challenge I have faced is the judgemental people around me. They either pity you for missing all those ‘lovely’ times with your kids or they judge that you are more career oriented. I learned a long time back to not analyse too much into these judgements and just be yourself. My kids and I have a lovely time every minute we are together; we don’t wait for any quality time or any cliché like that. We just spend time and create memories every single day.
My advice to the working mums out there:
1. When at home, learn to switch off from work and enjoy every single minute with family. Cook, eat, read together.
2. Kids need reassurance and that doesn’t come by just spending time. They need a lot of physical contact. Hug them, hold hands together when watching TV, reading books or sleeping. The physical contact calms them more than we acknowledge.
3. However tired you are, when they try to talk, listen to them. You don’t have to find a solution for them, just listen and assure them that you care, you trust, you will stand with them and you are always there for them, whatever happens.
I am blessed to have a very understanding man in my life, who sees us as equals and shares responsibility for every aspect of our life. I lean into him a lot and figure out what is best for us and our kids as we get on with life and that’s all it matters to me.”
In conclusion, each mother and child’s relationship is theirs and theirs alone, despite other people’s opinions and your working situation. Personally, I can only hope through my daughter seeing her mother work hard, will too become infected with a drive to succeed in whatever it is her heart desires. If your child is happy, loved and nurtured it really isn’t anyone’s business. So to all the mums out there striving to reach personal career goals, don’t feel guilty, or selfish, you are doing a great job! Go get em’ ladies!
Written by Francesca Lambert, Head of Digital Marketing Recruitment
Twitter: @Franny_RedCat / @RedCat_Digital
Google+: RedCat Digital