Mother’s Day Q & A with two busy mums
As Mother’s Day is fast approaching, it’s time to celebrate busy mums everywhere! That is why we are giving you 15% off our lifestyle range to help you stay beautifully organised while out and about. Busy mums also deserve a bit of R&R and we’ve teamed up with Tropics Skincare to give you the chance to win an indulgent treat. Make sure you visit our Instagram page on Friday 22nd March to find out more!
We took this opportunity to chat with two working mums to get an insight into how they balance working life and family life.
Pamela Majekodunmi – Full time working mum and mum to little girl
Sharka Guiomar – Full time mum to two little girls and full-time lifestyle blogger
1. What do you do for a living?
Pamela: I am working full time as a procurement director and am running a motherhood & lifestyle Instagram blog on the side (@latteandlullabies), something that I started when I was on maternity leave and has now become my creative outlet as there isn’t much time for hobbies when being a new mum.
Sharka: I am multitasking between taking care of my two little girls and blogging. I am fortunate enough to make it my fulltime gig right now:)
2. What does a typical weekday look like for you?
Pamela: I get up just after 6:00 so I can have my shower whilst Vicky (she is 18 months old) is still asleep. She usually wakes up around 6:30. While my husband and I get ready she’ll be with us, have her milk and play. I will then take my daughter downstairs and use the spare time before we leave the house to do some housework like emptying the dishwasher and folding the laundry whilst Vicky plays next to me. I drop my daughter off at nursery at 8:00 and then take the train into work. My workday usually involves lots of meetings, both internal and with customers and suppliers, so no day is like the other. Just after 17:00 I leave the office to rush home so I can pick my daughter up from nursery. When we get home, I cook her dinner whilst she plays in the kitchen. After she has eaten my husband will usually be at home and gives her a bath while I clean up the mess and make her bottle. We then swap round and whilst my husband prepares our dinner, I will get Vicky ready for the night, read a story and put her down to sleep. After dinner I either finish off some work, work on my blog or we just watch a movie.
Sharka: I get up early, prepare Emma to go to kindergarten and then I spend time with my younger one. I go and pick up Emma at noon and we all have lunch at home, before putting them for their naps. Then I work until they wake up and usually if weather allows, we spend time outside until daddy can take over so I can again work for a bit. I don't need to describe the evening chaos to other moms, we all know it is a battle of survival :)
3. How do you organise your life as a career woman and mother?
Pamela: My husband and I send each other invites to our work calendars for when we need to work late or when we are travelling so the other person knows who is in charge of picking up Vicky that day. I try to do the weekly food shop on the weekend, so I don’t have the additional stress of having to go to the supermarket after work. And I try to keep on top of my laundry during the week and often put in a load right after I get up so it’s ready to be hung to dry before I leave the house as otherwise I find that all my weekend is spent catching up on doing the washing.
Sharka: My kids are calling the shots:) They are still so small, and I definitely take them as a priority. I work whenever they sleep! Luckily being an influencer allows me to choose my own hours.
4. Do you think it is easier or harder to be a working mum nowadays?
Pamela: I have never actually thought about this before. Whilst I think that the working environment in general has definitely become more demanding compared to 20-30 years ago, companies seem to be more and more open for flexible working hours and working from home concepts, catching up on work in the evening when the little ones are asleep etc., even though I think we still have a long way to go. Being able to get your groceries delivered definitely also helps reducing the stress. So, is it easier? Maybe…it is still a constant juggle though.
Sharka: I think nowadays there is a pressure to be the best. The best mom and the best wife while having skyrocketing career. The best homemaker which bakes pies for school events in sparkly clean house :)
5. How do you manage your busy schedule?
Pamela: I am very organised and try to keep my work diary free after 17:00 so I can pick my daughter up from nursery. I don’t mind logging into my laptop once Vicky is asleep but that hour that I have with her in the evening is holy for me. I try to work from home once a week as well as I find this really lowers my stress levels as it saves me the commute time. Vicky would still go to nursery, but it gives me an extra hour in the morning and evening to work and I can put on the odd washing machine in between.
Sharka: I multitask. We all know only woman can do that:) I thought I was a good multitasker before being a mom, but I definitely surprised myself with how much I can get done within 24 hours.
6. What has been the biggest challenge in your career since being a mother?
Pamela: Going on short notice business trips abroad is somewhat of a challenge as my husband also works long hours and won’t always be able to leave the office in time for nursery pick up. I try to plan ahead as much as I can, and this seems to really work and people have been really understanding that I am not as flexible anymore. What I find quite challenging is when she is ill and can’t go into nursery. We don’t really have grandparents here that could help out looking after her (I am from Germany and my husband is from Nigeria), so trying to work from home with a sick toddler is a challenge. But thankfully that hasn’t happened much yet and as she gets older, she is getting so much better at entertaining herself, so this should hopefully get easier.
Sharka: I think being able to manage the tiredness while staying sharp after an exhausting day and sleepless night. I don't remember the last time I had a good full night sleep. I think we are hitting a 5-year mark :)
7. How important do you think it is to have some time to yourself and what do you do when you get it?
Pamela: Very important! Luckily Vicky still has got long lunch time naps on the weekend, so I try to do something for myself then…going for a pedicure whilst the husband is at home with her, reading, having a bath or just doing nothing at all! I also try to go out with my friends once a month. To some degree I find that being back at work has given me some of my pre-baby-self back, being able to go for a quick lunch with my colleagues or just going for a quick walk at lunch time felt like a luxury after returning from maternity leave.
Sharka: I think this is one of the most important things or you will have a burn out. Even if it's just half an hour each day. I love photography so I am usually working on editing or I love to watch a good series on Netflix.
8. What is your top tip to other busy working mums juggling a career and a family life?
Pamela: Prioritise! There will never be enough hours in the day to do everything on your to do list and spend enough time with your kids. We got a cleaner who comes in once a week so at least I don’t need to worry about this. And be open and honest with your employer around your childcare commitments as there is nothing worse than feeling bad when you’re leaving the office at 17:00 whilst most of the other staff is still there.
Sharka: Don't put pressure on yourself to excel at everything. It is OK not to be perfect.
Some wonderful advice from two very inspirational ladies. Lets all celebrate busy mums this Mother's Day, whether it's your mum, grandmother, auntie, sister or best friend!