Hi Annie, 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 run Annie Abbatt Consulting - specialising in website design, branding and marketing. I also paint and draw commissioned portraits, especially children’s portraits. I have two children - Phoebe (nearly 4) and Rafferty (1.5). Phoebe goes to pre-school, Raffie is at home with me, so at the moment I work from 6pm - midnight(ish) and weekends, until our childminder starts in a few months. I also often get a day or so a week child free thanks to wonderful grandparents.
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?
Realising I was playing fetch with my daughter when she was very little, while our dog sat on the sofa and watched, to distract her while on an emergency conference call!
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
Compartmentalise. It might not work for everyone but I am trying as much as possible to keep ‘wo’ and ‘mo’ separate. My children definitely notice if I’m distracted or have to be on the computer or phone so I try to keep that to when I’m not with them.
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
Zero hours. We apparently do not breed good sleepers for the first 18-20 months of their lives! Then boom, champion sleepers and it all gets easier.
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
The real meaning of the words multi-tasking and productive
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
Onwards - power through!
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
I am lucky in that I don’t have to deal with guilt often, as I work when the children are asleep or when daddy/grandparents are around, but I’ve definitely had it when working on consulting projects in London and have to spend days/nights without them. Combating guilt would always just be more mummy time with them - nice calm time and lots of cuddles.
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
Probably a tantrum because I (mostly) find them fairly amusing, especially the particularly dramatic ones!
9. If you asked your children what your job is, what would they say?
Raffie: “MUMMY MUMMY MUMMY Hello? Hello? Hello?” (holding phone to ear)
Phoebe: “Mummy draws pictures or works on her compooooter”
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
That childcare is a total minefield and that not all babies will nap in their cots when they are very little, I’ve worked for many hours with a baby in a sling
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
Managing a very rapidly expanding business on total flexi-time (with little to no childcare). (Also building the WoMo site and branding - obviously my fave client!)
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
That you should be proud to work AND proud to be a Mother, and not try to work like someone who isn’t a WoMo. I’ve seen a quote several times about mums feeling pressure to “work as if one did not have children, while raising one’s children as if one did not have a job.” That pressure is real - I’ve definitely felt it and fight it all the time, so I like to work for myself, set my own boundaries and show clients time and again that mums don’t have to work like they don’t have kids in order to be just as - if not more - successful. I’d like to teach my children to remember this, to embrace a different model of working and encourage others to do the same and support mums to be able to do this. WoMos so often do the same amount of work as 2 people either in less time or off-peak hours!
Annie is a big fan of supporting WoMos in their business ventures so is offering a 10% discount to all WoMos on the design & build of new websites until June 2019. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote “WoMo” to discuss.