1. What do you do and how old are your child(ren)?
My career is a portfolio of projects which I am passionate about and all align with my vision of helping more women avoid having to pick between family or career.
I run my professional coaching business - Work Life Mother - to help career women return to work after maternity leave or re-launch their careers after an extended break from the corporate world. I am also co-founder of The Modern Thrive supporting small business growth through marketing and mindset coaching and mentoring.
Before leaping into the freelance world I was a senior leader for John Lewis and Waitrose and this has influenced my coaching style which is a blend of Life, Career and Leadership coaching.
I report into my two managers: Olivia (3) and Lottie (2)!
2. What’s your journey to motherhood been like?
Motherhood has been such a wonderful and exhausting highlight of my life. I have an 18 month age gap between my two daughters, partly due to wanting a career relaunch after my baby making years and not wanting to stretch it out for too long, and partly because my first (Olivia) was such a great sleeper. My youngest (Lottie) has bucked that trend and I can now only dream of having unbroken sleep and waking up on my own terms!
3. How quickly did you go back to work and do you have any regrets?
I had a 1 year maternity leave with my first daughter and actually returned to work pregnant. With my second I never really had a proper maternity leave because by this point I was launching my own business and looking after a toddler with no childcare - which is a full time job in itself. My husband was able to negotiate flexible working with his employer which helped with the juggle.
I have learnt that it’s critical to have a support network in place and paying for childcare and sleep consultants is such a gamerchanger. In the short term it requires some budgeting but the longer term impacts it had for my mental health and career progression were worth the investment.
4. What’s your most memorable child related incident as a WorkingMama?
Locking my two daughters in the hire car whilst on holiday in Spain, they keys were on the inside with the girls. We were getting ready to head for the airport and whilst strapping the girls into their seats my eldest clicked the car lock button just as I closed the door. To avoid missing our flight home I had to smash the passenger window. It was very stressful but it’s a great story to tell the grandchildren!
Moral of the story : don’t try and distract your toddler by giving them the keys
5. Which Working Mama inspires you?
Can I be cheeky and pick two? I am inspired daily by Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper - founders of @amazingif, mothers to small non sleeping toddlers and authors of the squiggly career. They produce really wonderful podcasts and support for anyone navigating a career which isn’t quite as linear as originally expected.
6. What are your top tips for all the WorkingMamas out there?
Invest the time to listen to yourself. To be truly fulfilled and happy you must follow your own path. Don’t let the loud voice of fear, the shoulds, coulds and temptation to please others, come in the way of being who you want to be.