Hi Toni, 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 the Studio Manager at Rose & Willard. I work two full days (Monday and Friday). On Tuesdays and Thursdays I work just past lunch. I don’t work on Wednesdays. My children are aged 6 and 8.
When I’m at work – in the morning I take them breakfast club before work. These clubs are run by the schools or local councils. Ours opens at 7.30am and provides breakfasts. This allows me to get to work on time. During the day the children are at school. School finishes at 3.10pm and 3.30pm. On Mondays my parents collect the children from school and bring them to my home. I collect them on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Fridays my partner works from home and so he takes responsibility for the full school run.
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 once took my daughter to work. Somebody gave her stickers. She then proceeded to stick everybody with a sticker. She also went looking for sweets and treats on people’s desks and then would ask for them. She’s a precocious little girl.
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
I think it’s useful to build up a network with the other parents at the school so you can rely on each other for emergency pick-ups or other unforeseen situations.
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
A couple of hours’ sleep when one of the children was poorly. I try to keep myself fit and healthy so I can cope with these situations. Being healthy also ensures that when I do sleep I a get proper sleep.
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
The value of being organised, being in control and being able to juggle. I’m also very good at anticipating what needs to be done.
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
Partners/spouses need to make time for each other because happy parents make for happy children.
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
I only felt guilty when they were very young. I went to work when each of children turned one. I don’t feel guilty now as I think it’s good for them to see their mother working, contributing and being independent. I want to be a role model to my children.
If I did have a guilty pleasure – I’m a news junkie and like to sit in the garden with no distraction catching up on the news.
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
Definitely the board meeting. Generally dealing with a tantrum is more difficult because it’s hard to reason with a child versus an adult colleague at work.
9. If you asked your child / children what your job is, what would they say?
‘Mummy makes clothes’.
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
How much my life has changed and how I’ve had to adapt my working to juggle my family commitments.
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
I studied and qualified for a new occupation after having both children. I have a postgraduate diploma in garment technology and pattern cutting. This was a career change because I worked previously in public sector management role.
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
See answer to question 7.