Hi Katy, tell us a bit about yourself - What do you do, how old are your children and what happens with your kids when you are at work?
I am a full time Consultant Radiologist. I have always worked since I qualified as a doctor in 1997 and I employed a nanny when my first daughter was born in 2003. I have 2 daughters aged 13 and 10 and I have had the same nanny for 13 years. She is better than Mary Poppins.
1. One word to describe how being a WoMo makes you feel?
2. What’s the funniest experience you have had juggling kids and work?
When my daughter was 18 months old she swallowed a £1 coin whilst rolling around on the bed as I was getting ready for work so I just grabbed her and took her with me. The advantage of working in a hospital! I spent all day at “work” with my daughter eventually having a general anaesthetic only to discover it had passed through naturally and my nanny found it in her nappy 2 days later!
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
Pay for the best child care you can. Never feel guilty about having time for yourself.
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
Thankfully my days of resident on call are over and I don’t function well if I don’t get a good nights sleep but on the rare occasion I have managed to get through the day after only 3 to 4 hours sleep with a lot of coffee.
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
I am a bit of a perfectionist and control freak and I’ve had to learn to delegate and manage my stress levels.
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
Keep a sense of humour at all times and always have a list. I love a list.
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
Manicure, pedicure, blow dry, spinning and champagne in no particular order.
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
Thankfully my girls don’t have tantrums anymore but I would have said board meeting as no one normally throws things or hits you.
9. If you asked your child / children what your job is, what would they say (exact quotation if possible)?
“As a radiologist it is to look at scans and report back. If it’s really bad someone needs to know quick. And you help registrars learn. “ from Poppy aged 13. “Looking at images. I like it. You help people. Most people think only the father works” Izzy aged 10.
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
That feeling guilty doesn’t help anyone.
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
There was a period of time in my life about 6 years ago when my husband was very ill and an in patient in hospital for 9 months. I managed to work fulltime, look after 2 kids and a household and went to the hospital most days. I was on auto-pilot. I look back now and give myself a pat on the back.
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
I encourage my daughters to work hard and strive for excellence in everything they do because it will give them choices later on in life and the ability to be a mother and carry on working is the best of both worlds and a choice I would make again and again.