Over the past few years I’ve been learning to combine work and motherhood.
Recently I realised that somehow I’ve managed to bypass the whole working parent guilt thing – and have managed to make more, not less of a success of my career since having kids. I want to try to unpick why, and hope it will help other people in the same boat.
I am still in the world of corporate work, and have no intention of leaving it any time soon. I am absolutely living the issues I write about, and see others wrestle with them every day.
Here’s a bit about my background.
I am a third generation working mum – my mother and grandmother had full time professional careers while raising their families. So I grew up in an environment where it was natural for women to work and succeed outside the home. This was unusual for many of us girls growing up during the 80s and 90s. Maternity leave was minimal and most women gave up work after their first child, only going back part time when their youngest went to school. I also grew up watching my mother juggling work, house and childcare, so a lot of the issues (and ways to cope with them) aren’t new to me.
I’ve been hugely lucky to marry a man who is an absolutely equal hands-on and involved father. This has given me a great example of what can be possible when the responsibility of childcare and home is shared equally. He also happens to have an extremely flexible job, which is a great help, but this is far from the only reason it works.
Finally, it’s part of my job to be curious about people, what they think and why they do what they do. I’ve studied and worked with lots of mums, especially around the point at which they become mums, when their whole life, working and home, is transformed.