Hello Amanda. 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 Senior Brand Communications Manager for The North Face EMEA. I have a little boy called Jacob who is 13 months old. We moved out to Switzerland when he turned 9 months for me to take this job. Not quite what I had planned for my maternity leave- emigrating! But the job offer, combined with the quality of life that Switzerland offered was too good for us to turn down. Can’t say I’d recommend moving to a new country/house/job with a 9 month old but it was worth it in the end ;-). Jacob goes to nursery every morning and is with his dad in the afternoons who works from home. I work 9-5.30 and only have a 20 minute commute, so we get a lot of family time in.
1. One word to describe how being a WoMo makes you feel?
Proud (aka tired)
2. What’s the funniest experience you have had juggling kids and work?
I remember going for a “keeping in touch/show off my new baby“ day at my old work place and having to change Jacob on a bathroom cubicle floor and subsequently feed him sat on said cubicle- poor Jacob. Lunch on a loo!
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
Have a sense of humour and remember one thing- you cannot be everything to everyone. Just be you!
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
Luckily I have a baby who sleeps (pure bloody luck I swear) and I didn’t have to go back to work until he was 10 months which was a blessing. Overall I’d say I have never got less than 6 but it’s the interruptions that kill you. When they are teething or sick and your sleep gets broken into 2-3 hours chunks- Takes you back to new born days. The struggle is real!!
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
That I am better at my job now than ever before. I have a more rounded view and I work smarter and faster now.
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
Head up, heart full. When people annoy you at work, keep your head up because you have everything you need at home. That little person gives me purpose.
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
I don’t actually feel guilty (I thought I would but I don’t), I would more say I feel compromised at times. I miss Jacob like crazy (it physically hurts sometimes) but generally working helps keeps me sane; it grounds me and I have no problem being honest about that. My guilty pleasure is in fact that. I love going to work and making sure both sides of ME exist. A miserable mummy is no good to either of us.
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
Definitely presenting… waaaay easier ;-)
9. If you asked your child what your job is, what would they say?
Jacob cant’ speak but I hope he would say , “she inspires people to go exploring every day.”
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
How much is possible and that becoming a mum is a privilege. I was scared of becoming a mummy, worried that I wouldn’t be any good, at being a mummy or an employee but turns out I am better at both than I thought and they really do complement each other.
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
I am not sure I have one.. I think the greatest achievement I’ve managed is to have a happy home and a good balance daily.
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
That love is expressed in different ways. I work my socks off for my family. I want my son to have everything he should do and to grow up loving life; Work/play/family- our children and their generation deserve to have it all… and we are simply helping to pave the way.