When conceptualizing this website something I was most excited about was the idea of interviewing working mothers and sharing their stories with other moms particularly because I knew so few working mothers myself.
Here is my first ever Working Mom SA Q & A with Laura-Kim le Roux. Laura-Kim is a Social Media Consultant, Freelance Writer and Blogger who has four children: Cameron 13, Kiara 11, Jack 4 and Emma 2.
- How did your friends and family react to the news that you were expecting a child and still planned on returning to work: My mom returned to work with both my brother and I so it was really not a surprise, people did question me working with a newborn but I think when you say you work from home, they are less questioning.
- What support structure did you have in place at the time: With the older two we had a full time nanny and now I have a nanny for Emma and my mom in law is very involved and helps out twice a week and in between if we need.
- When did you return to work after giving birth and how was the transition: With Cameron it was just before he was 3 months (I wanted to go back earlier, a whole separate story) and with Kiara it was 3 months. I have never had a problem going back, obviously I did miss them but we all transitioned really well.
- What were the biggest challenges that you faced as a working mother: When I was working in corporate I really struggled not being able to be there for sports events and things moms were asked to attend. It is one of the main reasons I stopped working for a company, so I could be there for the kids easier. Now the challenge is with so many, who do I watch!
- What were/are the biggest rewards of being a working mother: I think accomplishing things that don’t involve little people. Sitting in a meeting and being listened to by a group of your peers.
- Is there anything that you would do differently: I would have started working for myself earlier!!
What were the most important lessons that you had to learn as a working mother: Time management and when I drop the ball to not feel so guilty.
- Do you feel that the work environment is accommodating to working mothers and if you could change anything about the work environment to make it easier on mothers what would you change? Yes and no. There are some companies who are very accommodating but for the most part it is not easy and moms often do feel like they have to put their company first. I would encourage companies to allow more people to work remotely (men and women), it would solve the traffic disasters and people will probably be more productive.
- What can your partner/the father do to help support a working mother: I have a very supportive husband, he helps out when he can. Fortunately he has a flexible job so can come home early to fetch kids and will happily watch them for a day or two if I have to go away.
- What was the biggest low you ever faced as a working mother: It has to be letting my kids down and not being able to make a sports event that is important to them.
- What was the biggest high that you ever faced as a working mother: The sense of accomplishment.
- Any advice for other working mothers? Trust yourself! And live your dreams!
A big thank you to Laura-Kim for participating! Check out Laura-Kim’s awesome blog here: http://www.harassedmom.co.za/