Hello Olivia, 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’m a Partner at Cognosis, a Strategy Consultancy. I live in Weybridge with my husband, Oliver and our two boys, Cassius is nine and Hector is seven. We have a fabulous live-in Nanny/Housekeeper Elaine who keeps us all in order.
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?
Many a classic moment when having to work from home with kids coming in and asking inappropriate questions whilst on a client conference call. Thank god for the mute button!
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
Be ready and happy to delegate, then let folk get on with it. Be relaxed that it might not be done how you’d have done it, as long as it’s done. Have your plan A, B and C ready on the childcare front. Ring-fence the important unmissable moments (e.g. nativity, school play, etc.) in your diary and defend them like a lioness. Be clear with your partner on home-front roles and expectations. Be outrageously organised.
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
About 3 hours during a particularly challenging bout of norovirus x2. Lots of tea and a sense of humour can get you through most things!
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
That working makes me a better Mother, and being a Mother makes me a better worker. Both bring insight and perspective that enrich the other. Surprising how many parenting skills are very transferable to the working environment.
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t apologise for being a working mother. Celebrate and support other working mothers. Make sure working fathers do their share!
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
Girls night out with fellow WoMo’s + prosecco!
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
No contest - Board Meeting! Although I have seen a tantrum or two in Board Meetings...
9. If you asked your child / children what your job is, what would they say?
“drink tea and tell people what do and how to make more money”
“play on the computer and wear high heels”
To be fair, not a million miles away from the truth!
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
That you don’t have to smash it every day on both fronts and strive for perfection. Sometimes, in fact most times, good enough, is good enough.
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
Keeping all the plates spinning with all parties happy most of the time is the greatest achievement!
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
That they are no different to working fathers.