1.What do you do and how old are your child(ren)?
I’m the Director of the Manchester office for global recruitment organisation Robert Walters Group. I manage two brands, Robert Walters and Walters People, specialising in recruiting talent into the professional services market, including the Finance, Technology, Banking and Business Support sectors.
My son Seb is 5 and Nate is 3.
2.What’s your journey to motherhood been like?
I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) when I was 30, and it took me and my husband a couple of years to have our first son, Seb. I have always had a lot of control over my life and work, and so I really struggled not knowing when or if I was going to be a mum. Nate went on to surprise us exactly two years later when he was born on Seb’s birthday!
3.How quickly did you go back to work and do you have any regrets?
I had exactly 6 months off with both my boys and returned to work when they were 5.5 months old. No regrets. Whilst my job doesn’t define me, it is a big part of who I am, what keeps me driven, and most importantly, what makes me happy. I have been very fortunate to have an understanding employer who has allowed me a lot of flexibility to juggle the boys and work full time.
4.What’s your most memorable child related incident as a WorkingMama?
Lockdown was very memorable - trying to work full time with the boys fighting/singing/playing in the background. Nate shouting “mummy I need a poo poo” at the top of his voice whilst on a video call to a client was memorable. As was the time he ran in with no pants on whilst I was on a video call with the other judges of the MEN Awards. Fortunately, I checked with Shelina and you couldn’t see him showing anything!
5.Which Working Mama inspires you?
Anyone who manages to work without a support network. I am extremely lucky that my parents and my in-laws both live locally and are on hand to help with childcare. Sometimes things come up with work and you can’t always leave when you had intended to, so knowing I can rely on family has been invaluable.
6.What are your top tips for all the WorkingMamas out there?
Organisation – I lay the boys clothes out and pack their bags the night before to save time. Myself and my husband also sit down and the start of each week to compare diaries to divide the pick ups and drop offs.
Make sure you enjoy what you do – if you are leaving your children to go to work, try to find something that you enjoy doing and that makes you happy.
Leave the guilt behind – you will always feel guilty that you are not doing enough, whether that’s spending enough time with your children or focusing enough on work. I try to take advantage of the times when work is quiet to spend more time at home, and when work is busier I can allow myself to dedicate more time to my job.