Can You Have a Successful Career and Still Be a Full Time Mum?

Can You Have a Successful Career and Still Be a Full Time Mum?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 10:51 am

Grace Essen

Grace Essen

By Grace Essen

Can a man have a successful career and be a full time dad? Of course! Then so can a woman!
That may sound like a quick answer without much thought, but getting down to the real deal we all know building a career or business and being a full time mum is one of the toughest things to do. It is even worse if you are a single mum or you have a husband whose job makes it look like he does not live in the same town with you.

Here is one mum’s account: “During weekdays when I work I only see my kids for two hours a day. three hours total if you want to include getting them ready for school and day-care in the mornings, and after work I am just cooking, feeding them and putting them to bed. Then on weekends, I am so busy with chores and shopping and trying to get some rest due to exhaustion, that I rarely do activities with them and I feel so awful about it. I sometimes miss their doctor’s appointments or parent/teacher meetings, open days and other school stuff because I am so busy and needed at work that I can hardly get time off for family stuff. My boss doesn’t tolerate taking time off for family duties when there is work to do. I go to work when I am sick and send my kids to school sick, I am very overwhelmed but doing what I gotta do”.

Oh yea! A mum is gotta do what a mum is gotta do, right? So if you are wondering if it is indeed possible to build a successful career and be a full time mum, the answer is YES, but, you have to become an expert at juggling both. Some times we find ourselves doing it without knowing how exactly we do. Taking it one day at a time, and taking our tasks head-on have become ‘our way’ around it. I would like to share some tips I have found helpful:

· First, it is wise to redefine what ‘success’ means to you at this time, a lot must have changed since your bundle of joy came into the picture. It is best to be very realistic about our expectations and we will find that the whole process will begin to look more doable and less daunting.

· Make a list of everything you feel you must accomplish, and then prioritize them. For example, at the top of the list may be your wish to make sales calls to at least ten prospective clients ever working day, to pick up your child at the day-care by 6pm everyday, to run errands for your household at the close of work, or to spend one hour at the gym everyday. Your list will help you keep track of what is absolutely necessary in your life—and what you can learn to live without.

· Accept that you can’t do everything, and live with that truth without feeling bad or guilty. For instance, you won’t be able to attend all of your child’s school events if you also want to spend about 50 – 60 hours a week at work as it is expected of you as an employee —something has got to give.

· Face the tasks before you head-on whether at home or at work. Most mothers who work often feel they have to because “we need the money” but if you adopt a more positive attitude to work where you work because you want to work and you derive personal satisfaction from working, you will more likely succeed.

· Draw strength from women who have gone before you; your mother, your mentor, your boss, a senior colleague etc. A lot of people have shared stories of how their mums worked so hard to make their lives so much better. You want your children to be as proud of you as you are proud of your mum, and you also want them to know firsthand the benefits of having a mother who earns her own money and has her own achievements, so you better get on with your work.

· A supportive spouse who is also an involved parent is essential to balancing work and family successfully and it is the best gift any career woman can ever have! Always seek help and support so you are not stressed out particularly if you are the main or only source of financial support for your family and at the same time doing the chores around the home.

· A few more things here and there can help make the journey a lot smoother – flexibility, a sense of humour, and lots of prayers. Consider out-source of some of your chores, adopt online shopping and delivery services for some household and personal needs, keep a well stocked freezer and pantry and acquire other useful gadgets like washing machine even if you have to save towards that.

It takes a lot effort and planning to keep it all coordinated. But if you find that managing your career and very young children is rather too challenging whereby your work, health and family suffer so much, you may chose to get off the fast track temporarily until when your kids are a bit more independent. But take time to think it through and be sure that is what you really want to do. Other options are considering a less demanding job or starting your own business, these may not be any easier but they will give you the flexibility you need.

Motherhood in itself is a CAREER. Just like life’s other challenges, juggling work and family is a PUSH-AND-PULL affair! And here we are doing it and excelling in it, I salute y’all working mums!

Grace Essen is the author of Successful Working Mom; she speaks and writes on how to make business, career and motherhood work [email protected] 08023271339.

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