Hi Katie, tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do and how old are your children and what happens with your kids when you are at work?
I’m a digital content designer, primarily working on content to promote the Scottish technology and creative industries sectors to potential inward investors. Essentially, I write articles for websites, muck around in Google Analytics to see if they’re working, and spend far too much time on LinkedIn.
I have a two-year-old daughter who goes to nursery four days a week and stays home with me on Fridays. Our family’s childcare arrangements have shifted with our jobs – for a while she was in nursery three days a week, home with my husband 1.5 days and home with me .5 days, and then for a few months my husband watched her almost full time. That’s one thing about being a WoMo – you have to be adaptable.
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?
I was trying to work from home because my daughter was sick and I went on a conference call. My daughter demanded that I pick her up and kept trying to pull my headset off, yelling, “No Mummy!”. That call ended pretty sharpish.
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
Don’t be afraid to ask for flexible working. There are lots of jobs that you can do without having your bum on an office chair from 9-5 Monday to Friday. Ask for flexible hours, reduced hours, remote working, home working – whatever you think can work for both your family and your company.
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
Probably about three hours, when my daughter went through her 22 month sleep regression (which is not an actual thing, but she’s...unique). I wrote some pretty epic nonsense that day, so I needed to go back and completely edit everything the following day.
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
That I actually like working. I’ve fallen in and out of love with my job many times over the years, but becoming a mother helped me appreciate how much I need to be able to devote my brain to something other than nappy changes and toddler tantrums.
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
Be kind to yourself. Drink coffee. Know your rights.
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
Blogging. I sometimes feel guilty about spending so much time in front of a computer (especially since that’s what I do for work), but I love writing about my experiences as a newish mum and connecting with the amazingly supportive parenting blogger community. You can check out my funnyish musings on parenting a toddler at www.squirmypopple.com.
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
Probably a tantrum, because you can usually resolve it with a cookie.
9. If you asked your child / children what your job is, what would they say?
She’s only two, so all she really knows right now is, “Mummy goes to work".
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
How expensive childcare is. I spend around 70% of my paycheck on nursery fees, which is absurd. And I have a professional job with a reasonable wage – I have no idea how most people manage it, to be honest.
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
When I returned to work after maternity leave, I was put in a new team and started working on content for a new sector. It was a steep learning curve, but just last month I was able to trace a new inward investor back to a LinkedIn post that I created – so I must be doing something right!
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
Don’t let your desire for a career put you off having kids. Don’t let your desire for a family put you off having a career. You can make it work.