Career and motherhood – what’s the problem?

Check out this great and a ‘hot topic’ blog post written by a special lady who also happens to be my friend – Lenka. 

Lenka is a mother to a lovely boy Hendrix who she loves from the bottom of her heart but finds it very challenging at times to deal with all the parenting struggles, especially after she had got back to work. 

Let’s see what she says about balancing motherhood and work.

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When my son Hendrix was born two years ago, my life changed completely. Long gone are boutique hotel stays and pricey workouts in a London gym.  Instead, I have my toddler’s drawing on the walls and a travel toiletry bottle filled up with play dough.

I had never in million years expected how active and creative he would be. When we, women, dream about babies, we picture them sitting quietly in adorable and clean clothes  This is far from the truth.

After my maternity leave had finished, I decided to return to work full-time as my career in marketing is very important to me and over the years I have worked hard to gain new skills and excel at my job. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Many companies, especially small ones, are not able to support mothers returning to work and they hardly realise how awfully stressful it is to leave your 1-year old child behind after spending every single day with him from the day he was born.

You are expected to meet deadlines, deliver miracles on a limited budget and smile like everything is just fine. Many times, I had only about 4 hours of proper sleep, for instance when Hendrix was teething or had a bad cold. I did not want to mention anything to my boss as I was grateful for him to let me adjust my working hours slightly. Otherwise, it would be basically impossible for me to return to work.

However, I was stunned by the attitude of some of my colleagues who questioned this small change in my working hours and did not understand my domestic duties of being a mother. There were also a few comments about how much weight I lost. Is it really anybody’s business? Unfortunately, some people make it their business.

In the beginning, my new boss also told me:  ‘I thought you’d might lose your brain during your time away but you are still with it!’ Good to know I have still got a brain then!

The cost of the childcare and communing fares are so high that it almost makes it not worth it to go back to your desk but most of us do. Some for a bit of sanity (yes, you do need a break from your child and a large glass of wine too), and some for keeping their job and career going.

After all, we are not just mothers, we are superheroes juggling many different things every day, not having any time for ourselves but still managing to bag promotions and most importantly complete that never-ending ‘To-do list’.

There is a long way to go for small companies being able to fully accommodate working mothers but I honestly believe you do not need to be tight up to your desk 9-5pm in order to be productive and creative.

It is actually the opposite, flexibility allows you to produce better work in a shorter period of time and that is what we all want.

Lenka xx

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