This much I know: How to succeed as a working mum

Just Recruitment Business Manager Abigail Webb knows a thing or two about the demands of parenthood and work. Here’s the mother-of-two’s inside track on hardest balancing act of all.

There’s nothing to rival the feeling of returning to work after maternity leave. Even if you know your job inside out, you’re bound to feel a twinge of nervousness as you step back into the office.

    Expect the office to feel different from when you left it before having your baby,...  

People come and go, and dynamics change. Expect the office to feel different from when you left it before having your baby, and you won’t be wrong-footed when you return.

You’ll slot in soon enough. And you’ll rapidly remember what you love about your career. I find mine to be stimulating and unpredictable, which is a great combination.

To succeed, you need to be hyper-organised. Each night, I devise a clear plan of what needs doing the next morning if we’re all to get out of the house in time for school, the childminder and work.

Routines are good. They make it easy for everyone in your household to know what to expect on any given day. I don’t think I could fit in everything that I do without having some pretty well-rehearsed routines in place.

Be prepared. I tend to log in to my work emails in the evening and catch up with admin and other tasks. That way, when I arrive in the office the next day, I can send vital emails to clients and candidates, and get on with the business of my job.

I thrive on pressure. At the moment, I’m responsible for our Witham branch. That gives me a clear focus, and means I can’t afford to get distracted. I find that clear sense of purpose really useful in keeping me motivated.

You need to make room for hobbies. As well as my job and my family, I’m a British Dressage competitor, and keep two horses. I ride most days, and find this time really creative and energising.

Working parents should never be afraid to get hired help. There’s nothing that will compensate your kids for your time. So pay someone else to weed your garden or clean your house, and spend those hours catching up with a family.

If you’re earning the money, be sure to spend it on exciting things. We plan a regular trip out with the kids so that they get to enjoy the rewards of our efforts. That’s also a great way of giving them a good work ethic, because they get to experience the benefits of hard graft.

The first thing I tell myself in the morning is: “You have had seven hours’ sleep. Honest.” It’s all about mind over matter.

Published 23 October 2019

© Copyright Just Recruitment 2019

If you liked this article, you may enjoy Why relearning the Piano is the best, and hardest, thing I have done. 

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