In The Times mag on Saturday 17th August 2019, was an interview by Alice Thomson with Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4 and Mum of 4.
I am writing about it as Alex raised some relevant points for WoMos. The opening page of the article leads with ‘I’m always asked how I cope having a career and four children. Men never get asked that’. She is right. As a Mum of 3, I too get comments such as ‘I don’t know how you juggle it all’, yet male colleagues never get these comments.
Alex’s children range from age 6 to 12, and acknowledges, as a self confessed TV lover she is competing with You Tube for the younger audience. What scares her is that kids can access anything from porn to violence online. The statistic that 62% of 12-15 year olds take a device to bed with them horrified me. I am in the camp of mothers who has a hard and fast rule that all devices must be in the kitchen at bed time, but I have to confess, once my eldest turned 16, the rules were relaxed for her.
Alex is strict on internet safety, and the point about it being unsupervised is the biggy. I don’t stand over my kids constantly checking what they are watching and neither can any busy parent. Its not realistic. So how do we keep our kids safe? I’m not suggesting I have the answer, it’s just food for thought.
The link to the full article is here, and if you are a busy WoMo its worth a read. Alex shares how she grew up with a working mother and things were different then. There wasn’t the same expectation to be at school events. Now there is more pressure on parents to be involved, and Alex says ‘I don’t feel it’. I get it, and I have taken a similar approach to her, which is I will be there when I can, and if not their Dad will be there. And sometimes no one will be there to watch, and that’s ok.
As kids get older it is easier to explain to them the reasons why you can’t be there, but I do remember the odd tearful moment with my girls were small, and on those occasions, my Mum, the aupair or another parent made it known they were there to support, and we muddled through.
Now I have a 16 and 14 year old, the teen support is different on another level, and challenging in a whole new way. The joy of a massive gap, is my 3 year old reminds me how far I have come, and sometimes that REALLY helps when it all feels too much. I just keep positive and take it a day at a time. What else can you do? We are all learning on the job. Thank you Alex Mahon for such a good article.
By Elizabeth, Founder, WoMo Network