Amy McDermott

image1 (1)Meet Amy, Head of Sales and Mum to a 17-month-old son. Her honest account describes the challenge of balancing motherhood with a full-time career.  This working mum discusses being realistic in self-expectations and the importance of retaining elements of life before motherhood.

Tell me about what you do?
I head up a sales team in a publishing environment. It’s full on, but I love it and love the people I work with!

Tell me a bit about your routine?
I work full time (5 days a week, 8 hours a day) and so does my husband. He does nursery drop offs and I do collections). My son goes to nursery three days a week and my mother in law has him for the other two days.

What is work/life balance to you?
This is the struggle! Life balance meant going out most of the weekend eating and drinking and lying on the sofa. Life now is hanging out with my son and my husband and I taking turns on going out!

Are you able to work flexibly?
Not really. I have changed my hours to 8.30am – 4.30pm meaning I can pick my son up. I’m sure my work would accommodate me in emergencies as I have been with the business for 15 years.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
When my son was 9 months old I had this overwhelming urge to go back to work. I felt so guilty for wanting to get back to work with 3 months of maternity leave left. Once at work after the 12 months off I felt guilty for enjoying being away from him. At weekends you need time for you, but that comes with guilt too! I should be spending the 48 hours I have off work with him… but it’s simply not realistic for us to not have some time out. So I guess my advice is to go easy on yourself it’s okay to still have and enjoy elements of your baby free life!

In the UK what could society/government do better to help working parents?
Make sure laws support part-time/flexible work options

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Yvonne Boateng

I had the pleasure of working with Yvonne before I left LinkedIn and its great to hear they are champions of flexibleworking!

Yvonne Boateng, Client Solutions Manager at LinkedIn and Mum to a 17 month old son.

Tell me about what you do?
I partner with clients to plan and deliver successful digital campaigns.

Tell me a bit about your routine?
It can be quite tough sometimes. I wake up before my 17 month old son, get ready for work, and by which time, my son is awake. I drop off my son and make my way to work. I then also pick up my son at the end of the day. My husband is currently studying for his CIMA qualification, which means he wakes up early to get a study session in, and also has study classes some evenings. Whenever I need to get into work early or stay back late, my husband does the rounds.

What is work/life balance to you?
I haven’t quite figured it out and it’s still sometimes a challenge. My role has changed at work, it’s almost like a new job, so I find myself doing some extra work after the baby goes to bed.

Are you able to work flexibly?
Yes, anytime I need to.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’m still searching for the secret to great work/life balance so any tips and tricks are welcome!

In the UK what could society/government/companies do better to help working parents?
In an ideal world, we would have a 3 day weekend! I’d like to see a travel card discount for working parents who need to travel into work. Just something to help relief parents.

Victoria Jobson

I feel so humbled reading Victoria story below she lists so many benefits of being a working parent…

I am a registered mental health nurse.

I work with later life clients on an acute assessment and treatment inpatient ward. In a mental health unit. I work part time 22.5 hours a week.

I realise how precious time is and make my days off count with my toddler son on weekdays when we are off.

I think it is tiring and hard work working then being a mum with all the expectations, however, I also believe that work provides a purpose and an achievement that is good for my well being.

As well as providing financial income it demonstrates and role models to my son that work is important and that teamwork matters. That we all have a purpose and skills we can offer others.

It means that we are as a family not always stressed about being able to afford things and I have the rest of the days I don’t work to have time with my son and husband when he is not at work.

It is important to have time somewhere for myself and even if that’s to do jobs at home etc. We don’t have grandparent childcare support, however, I do now have one day a week whereby I am not at work and my son is in preschool, this is so valuable. Plus to maintain friendships where possible my old friends and newer friends inc mummy friends.

Overall if I’m fed up and ever near to feeling sorry for self .. work always puts my woes into perspective as there are always others in a worse position and I get great reward from working in part of a team and giving to others.

Being mum is my best ever job. However one day my son will no longer need me as much as he does now so I still have my career identity to keep me mentally challenged and stimulated.

Victoria Jobson
RMN
Mother to son 3.5 years