Hi Holly, tell us a bit about yourself. How old is your child, and what happens with your child when you are at work?
I work in PR. My baby girl Amelia is 16 months old and she goes to the childminder when I’m at work.
1.One word to describe how being a WoMo makes you feel?
Frantic (I’m always chasing my tail)
2. What’s the funniest experience you have had juggling kids and work?
I was trying to do a conference call with a key client from home when Amelia had impetigo. At the start she was playing quietly with her toys, but after a while she got agitated and needy. I grabbed the first thing I could find to divert her attention away so I could continue the call and it happened to be a packet of closed wet wipes. I turned around for 1 second, literally 1 second (!!) and when I looked back she had every wipe out of the packet and was sitting in a mass of them. Well I suppose it was money well spent for 2 minutes of peace with a client.
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
Try to know when to switch off. To be fair I’m terrible at it most of the time. However when it’s bath time or story time, I will not look at emails or take work calls. Full stop. They will have to wait.
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
Gosh there have been plenty of times. I can’t recall one specific night, but I remember many when Amelia just didn’t settle and I had to keep going down to soothe her. For many a day I have run on coffee alone.
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
That I am far more empathetic since having a baby. I used to be very game faced at work, but since I became a mum I have dealt with my team and my clients in a very different way and show my human side more. I think they like it and I know I do.
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
It’s just a phase. Everything’s just a phase and you will get through it.
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
Going out for a run with the pram. Ticking two boxes in one go; fresh air and a trip out for my daughter and fitness for me.
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
Presenting in a board meeting without a doubt. Being a mum is by far the hardest of my two jobs.
9. If you asked your child what you do, what would they say?
“bubble” – it’s Amelia’s favourite word. She’s only 16 months.
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
I wish I had known how little headspace I would have for all the little things todo with work, especially office politics. I have so much going on these days that I simply have, not the time, nor the inclination, to worry about things like this.
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
Being able to start my blog PitterPatterPither whilst off on maternity leave. I had my fair share of naysayers who said I wouldn’t be able to keep the blog up, but I have proved them wrong. And even better I am now a finalist for the UK Blog awards this year after just 1.5 years of writing it. I’m very proud of that.
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
I want my kids to know that it’s ok to be a working mum. There is nothing wrong with loving your career and your babies, rather this should be celebrated. You should never be made to feel guilty for following your own passions at work.
Holly Pither is blogger at PitterPatterPither