Working moms inspiration, just how do they do it!?
Une and I are currently full time moms; I have always wondered how working moms handle this hectic routine with kids…. So I was chatting to one of my friends on whatsapp tonight and she was talking about being a working mom, it sounds really hectic but at the same time so great to be able to have a life outside of motherhood.
Before becoming a full time mom I used to work as a model and owned a bikini/sportwear boutique with my best friend, where we imported goods from Brasil to South Africa. It was so much fun traveling around the world, dealing with people and having projects on the go; I really loved what I did and I plan, in the near future, to do something for myself again.
I always admired full time working moms and take my hat off to them for their dedication… Really, being a mom is a full time job but in today’s society, women work, manage to be a mom and wife at the same time!! I call that ‘Super Mom’!
Below are the answers from a few mothers that I personally know who work and make it look super easy…!
Aimee Smith, married to Lloyd Smith
What kind of work do you do?
I am a chemical engineering working for an engineering design company based in Umhlanga, Durban.
2. How old is your child? My son, Lincoln, is 9 months old.
3. How do you manage being a working mom?
Lots of coffee 😉 But other than that, I place a lot of emphasis on quality over quantity. I don’t get to spend a lot of time with Linc during the week but the time I do have with him I make sure that I am totally present and giving him my all. We laugh, wrestle, play with the puppies and just enjoy being completely absorbed in each other. Carrying on breastfeeding has also been such a great help during the transition from maternity leave to being back at work. Although expressing at work can be quite a hassle at times, those special moments I have nursing Linc each morning and evening really help to revive me and strengthen our bond.
4. What is your advice for other working moms out there?
Never feel guilty about leaving your babe to go back to work. Whether you go back to work because you need to assist your family financially or because you are passionate about your career, don’t let guilt creep in and get you down. You are teaching your child(ren) such valuable lessons by being a working mom; your sons will learn that women are empowered and deserve to be treated with respect in the workplace and you are teaching your daughters that it is inspiring to follow their dreams and pursue a career. At the end of the day, be proud that you are not only doing an amazing job of raising your beautiful child(ren) but you are also providing for your family. And fortunately, as every working mom knows, nothing can beat the cuddles that welcome you after a long day in the office.
Jo-Ann Strass TV Presenter/Blogger/Entrepreneur
Mom of Noah (2 years old) & Hannah (5 months old)
Married to Michael
What kind of work do you do??
I am a media entrepreneur. I started a mommy blog called Modern Mommy (www.modernmommy.co.za) with the birth of our first child as a little past-time and now it’s growing into a business venture on its own. I hope to create a platform to empower moms in the country and eventually across the continent. I also present television, produce tv and online media properties and sit on the boards of Media24, M&C Saatchi Abel as well as the advisory board of the Stellenbosch University Graduate School of Business. I am also privileged to travel the world and host high profile events.
How old are your children’s?
Our son is nearly 2 and half years old and our daughter will be 5 months old soon. They are exactly two years and two weeks apart.
How do you manage being a working mom?
It’s not always easy as the working mom guilt always manifests itself. When you’re at work, you feel you should be at home and vice versa. But, I have realised that a happy mom equals happy children, so I aim for balance. I work from home often and try to incorporate the children into what I do if possible. For example, when I travelled to Berlin Fashion Week, I took our daughter along and did a travel piece for my blog.
What is your advice for working moms out there?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take time for yourself – even if it feels impossible to do. I have realised that even if I nap for 20 minutes while my baby is asleep, it helps to reboot my system during the day. It does take a village to raise a child, so rope in friends (especially those who are broody and don’t yet have kids) if you need to just have an hour of “you” time.
Weedad Lima, Senior Brand manager at Sunglass Hut
Mom of baby Farah (7 months) married to Hugo Lima.
It is quite difficult, but I am copingJ I have pretty much gone from being a typical night owl to an early morning person, I used to start work at 9 and finish at 6pm and now do the opposite. I literally go to bed at 9.30(midnight before baby) to compensate for waking up for a midnight feed as well as get an early start the next day. I get ready for work, feed and dress Farah and then head off to work, I now start at 8 (9 before baby) in order to leave by 4.30 so I have enough time to bath, feed, and play before she goes to sleep. It’s become a routine, really tough one to manage but I have to do it in order to stay sane.
My husband and I have dinner together after Farah has gone to sleep, when dinner’s over, we spend some time catching up at which point my eyes are already sending messages that it is time for bed haha they feel super tired and heavy as though it’s already midnight! Weekends have become so important, I try not to plan anything, I do everything on my own time and on my terms (except for changing and feeding Farah, cause she always comes first haha, no room for negotiation), I also take a few hours out for yoga…
What’s your best advice for other working moms??
Live a healthy lifestyle, get enough rest and make time for yourself without feeling guilty about it- you deserve it!
Kerry Rose, TV Producer
How do I handle being a working Mum?
Being a working Mum is not easy; it’s a juggling act. I’m lucky to have a very supportive and hands on husband as well as the most wonderful Nanny. I have to plan my weeks in advance and have quite a strict routine for the children in terms of sleep, bath and feeding times, the structure helps me cope with the craziness of two young children and helps me feel more in control.
If that is possible, I make sure there is enough food in the house for the entire week, because when you’re not working its easy to just pop to the shops to be more flexible but when you are at work all day you often don’t have time and also might not have the energy to go shopping after work. Also that’s valuable time wasted away from my babies. I try to plan things for them to do while I’m at work because I worry they are sitting at home staring at the wall and not being stimulated. So I encourage my nanny to take them out for walks or to the park, playgroup, music class, play dates and home activities like baking. It makes me feel better knowing they are busy and having fun in the day, its hard not being there to see some of their milestones unfold, I have serious FOMO and feel really guilty about not being with them everyday because they need their mother while they are still so young but they have an amazing nanny who LOVES them which we makes it all so much easier. My nanny has a journal and writes down what they did in the day, how much they ate, slept etc etc this helps me feel more involved.
I actually think working is more relaxing than running after two kids all day, I get to do some online banking, have a hot cup of tea and actually drink it., have an adult conversation and I actually love my job so its fun. Working gives me the opportunity to give them a better life and its good for me but I would rather be with them any day of the week. I choose to spend a lot of time with my children; I am grateful for every moment with them and also very aware that it all goes by in the blink of an eye. So even if I am awake half the night with Lucy I hold her close to me and cherish those moments.
What’s your best advice for other working Mum’s?
Mom of Raphael (5years old) & Freya (1 year old)
Married to Mathew
It’s much easier working than being a stay at home mom – that is the toughest job!!!
I m also a much better mom if I work, it helped me a lot having a partner who helps 50 / 50 with the kids! That is how I am able to work and being a mom.
Being a working mom is nothing to be ashamed of, a lot of mothers feel huge guilt working because their time is divided. Being a working mom should be empowering and rewarding, it is up to working women to change societies perception of working mothers. We can be amazing mothers who work.
Kirsty willis, married to Daniel Willis.
Im a teatcher at Chelsea Prep the Northway campus which goes from Grade R – Grade 3. I teach Grade 1.
how old are your children?
I have 2 beautiful kiddies. My oldest, Sophie turned 2 in June and Evan will be 1 at the end of this month.
How do you handle being a working mom?
The juggling act of being a working mom is very real and tough. My job is very hands on and it does not give me much sitting time and so my brain is always on the go! When I get home I don’t get to sit on the couch and enjoy a peaceful HOT cup of tea, it is go go go and time to spend with my very active toddlers. It’s hard but I wouldn’t change it for the world! I manage by being organized. Everything is packed and ready the night before to ensure that the mornings have very little stress as Dan leaves very early in the morning. I have a brilliant support system. An incredible hands on husband who’s work is much more flexible than mine and so if the school phones to tell me I have a sick child, he can fetch them. A mom in law who drops my kids at school for me every morning so that I can arrive at school on time. Support is key! I manage by forcing myself to stop feeling guilty. I’m impacting the children at my school and shaping and mounding minds of our future generation but I struggled with guilt at the reality that my own children are sitting at a play school. As a family we make time for each other. We don’t make plans on a Friday so that we can have family movie and pizza nights and connect after a busy week.
Advise for working moms: it isn’t easy to juggle everything and sometimes certain days are harder than others. I’ve learnt that if spending quality time with my children at the end of a long day means leaving the dishes or ordering take away that’s ok and we do that. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect in all areas but to rather be the best possible parent when you are with your kids and for me, the best possible teacher in the day. Ask for help. Put your pride aside and realize you need people in your life to help out, you can’t do everything! Share the responsibility. Being a teacher and a mom are 2 of my greatest accomplishments. What are yours? Embrace them and join together to encourage each other. Hold your kiddies tight when you see them at the end of the day and be purposeful in the time you spend with them even though your energy levels are running low.
Cheryl Krieger, married to Grant Krieger
What kind of work do you do?
I own a recruitment agency.Incdreams recruitment based on the beautiful north coast of Kwa Zulu Natal.
How old are your children?
Tiara is 6 years 10 months and my little boy Kai 7 months.
How do You manage being a working mom?
It takes alot of time management and planning.I like to be super organized and have all my ducks in a row.I always ensure I do my groceries monthly and fresh produce on the weekend.I draw up rosters with all extra mural activities for each term for kids.
What is your advise for working moms
The key to success is time managent and being organized.