Hello Janeace, 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 mother to a 7 year old daughter and Co Founder of (Thompson and Ward Inc.) a retail consultancy business. I am fortunate enough to work from home, but when I am out with visiting clients, I try to ensure that I schedule this around school. When she was younger I moved to Barbados from Muswell Hill, North London, to Head up the first Louis Vuitton in the Eastern Caribbean. That required lots of travel at the time, so I hired a full time nanny, as I am a single mother too!
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 I was invited to attend and interview for Louis Vuitton, we were on a family holiday in Portugal. At the time I was a stay at home mummy and I was completely obsessed with my baby girl, and had never left her for more than a few hours! The interview was being held in Sao Paolo, Brail and it was the day after we were due to arrive back home. I have NEVER left her before. I was so anxious to leave her that I stacked each outfit and nappies for each day in her little wardrobe and every home made container breakfast, lunch and dinner in the freezer so her Dad could take care of her!
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
Never to feel guilty for working and to always take time to explain why you work. To always communicate this in the best possible way because children often read your signals. If you demonstrate frustration or a “poor me” attitude, it will bite you where it hurts!
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
I was lucky to have stayed at home for the first 16 months, so I had time to establish a solid routine, that meant I always had 8 hours! In fact I was up before she was. I find now though, I often go to work on 3 or 4 hours because I am always up organising or catching up with something or checking in on her in the wee hours of the morning.
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
That I value spending time with my daughter more than money and that once we can enjoy a decent home, food and a few luxuries, that I would always choose time spent with her over money! Although it would be even better to have both.
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
Try to find balance. Schedule time for yourself as well as time with family. The better you treat yourself, the better you will feel and the happier everyone will be… I am still reminding myself to live by that!
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
A sneaky dash to the beach in the morning after school run. Just me, a book, sunnies and iced latte!
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
Board meeting hands down!
9. If you asked your child / children what your job is, what would they say?
Mummy is the boss of Barbados!
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
How hard it is and how much women actually do as mothers!, And that's BEFORE adding work and PTA meetings.
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
Starting my company again. It was dormant for a number of years and I decided to take the leap back into self-employment earlier this year. It is a great achievement because I am fulfilling my desire to balance time and career.
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
That we are the real Superhero’s in this world and that women have very big shoes to fill.