We strive to be super-mums, career girls, wives, girlfriends, and everything else in between; here, Mojo Mums’, Amanda Mills, discusses what it means to have it all, and whether it’s really possible!
Getting straight to the point, can we have it all?
I guess it depends what your ‘all’ is? I am really lucky to have had my mum to look after my daughter for me so I could return to work. I love working and having my own identity, using my brain and talking to adults who don’t want to just talk about nappies and bottles and sleeping – although we all do that in the office too! So what would my ‘all’ be? Well a bit more money and to be able (financially) to work part time would probably be my all – Ok and a Porsche – but I know I am pushing my luck now!
When you first had children did you feel it was important to do something to distinguish your identity from your role as ‘mum’?
When I first had my daughter I knew I was going back to work so I just enjoyed my six months off and did everything I could to enjoy my ‘mummy’ time. I joined mother and baby groups, I went to the farm and zoo and met other mums for lunch. Plus everyone wants to talk about the baby and see the baby at the beginning so there is no point fighting it, just go with it and enjoy it!
Is having a career important for women’s wellbeing?
I think it is very important for some, but I guess it depends on your life stage and financial situation. Some women can’t go back to work due to childcare costs and flexible working hours for school runs etc. I think every woman who wants to work in her chosen career should have the opportunity to go back to that career and not be penalised for having a family. All companies should be more flexible when it comes to returning mums, after all when it comes to multi tasking and getting the job done us mums are second to none!
Why do you think that is?
For some women climbing the career ladder is very important, for others they don’t need to work and don’t want to, some just want a job to earn a bit of money to help with the family but don’t want the pressure of a high flying role. Everyone is different and I think that is the same for men too, I just think that if you want a career you should be able to have it and reach the top of it, no matter what your race, gender or family circumstance.
Is it really possible for women to ‘have it all’?
If they have a great support network and a great employer then I think women can have it all.
What do you think ‘having it all’ means?
For me it means having a great work life balance, having a great support network of family and friends, being Amanda and not mummy all the time but loving the time I do spend being mummy.
Women have so many opportunities compared to previous generations, do you think there are any downsides to the way we live and work?
I think it is fantastic that women are given more opportunities now, however it still isn’t an equal society men are often still paid more than their women counterparts and when it comes to senior board room positions the men still outnumber the women. I think people should be given every opportunity within their chosen field to learn develop and become the best they can regardless of their sex or family situation.
Do you think women have equality in the workplace?/What do you think still needs to be achieved?
No they do not, salaries need to be addressed. As does flexible working hours and job shares etc. to make returning to work after having a child easier. I don’t see any reason why working fewer hours should affect your chance of promotion after all if you are determined and organised you can potentially do the full time role in fewer hours anyway!
What’s your top tip for any career woman, mum or otherwise, who might sometimes feel a little overwhelmed?
Talk about it! We have all had those days where nothing goes right, you are not on your own and finding out that others have felt that way too can just help you to overcome.
What are you going to do this week to #bekindtoyou?
This week I shall be making sure I take my lunch break and get outside for a little bit every day. I will also ensure I play with my daughter when I get home as watching her have fun brightens up my day.
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