Balancing a career in media with parenting isn’t always easy, but I do believe it can be both empowering and rewarding, and for me personally, it’s something I’m proud of.
Over the years I’ve read countless articles about the guilt of busy working parents, especially when it comes to working mothers. Assumptions that my choice to be a working mother should be one that is laden with guilt is frustrating, to say the least.
Who isn’t busy these days? We live in a time of information and diary overload, regardless of whether you are a parent or not. We all must make choices about how and where we spend our time and energy, so here are my three key pieces of advice (or choice) for fellow working mums:
Do something you love
If you’ve made an active choice to continue to grow your career, it goes without saying that you need to be motivated by what you do (beyond the cash). It needs to be something that’s more than just a job. It should be, and is, possible to have both a family that you get to spend quality time with and to do work that you enjoy.
Make it work for you personally
Flexibility works in both directions. Everyone offers ‘flexible working’ these days, but good employers should also be open to tailoring it to support you at an individual level. Being open about your needs will mean that you can craft a working relationship that works for you, and where your employer also gets the best out of you across the week.
Seek support and pay it back
Buddying up with fellow mums in your place of work or in the wider industry can be a brilliant source of camaraderie and community. Some days or weeks might feel more balanced than others, and leaning on those around you is an easy and obvious way to build a support network.
At the7stars I feel lucky to say that I benefit from all of the above. We have a range of initiatives that supports new mums including a ‘bump bonus’ which helps with buying a maternity wardrobe, and our growing ‘parent buddies’ network. Flexible working is an option for all those wanting to build a career plan around their family, and alongside this, we provide access to a maternity coach and tailored training programmes. Additionally, we also offer all returning parents a £500 return-to-work bonus! Finally, we host ‘Meet the Parents’ meet-ups to help the community of both mums and dads in the agency get to know each other better.
There’s plenty of evidence about the positive impact of working mothers and family-friendly policies on business performance. Parenting is an evolving experience – as your kids grow and develop so do you. Having a workplace that supports your growth as a mother is a win-win; not only is it good for you, but also for your employer as they reap the benefits of retaining talent and championing more female role models in the industry.
Forget the guilt! Lean into a career that makes you happy, find an employer that supports you, and continue to learn, grow, and thrive alongside other working mums. Happy Mother’s Day!