Hi Emily-Rose, tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do, and what happens with your child when you are at work?
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?
Not one standout funny experience, there have been a few. On a smaller more frequent note, I usually get items in the wrong bags when packing for work and Freddie’s childminder. I usually find a tiny pair of socks or a t- shirt in my work bag. When I find them they always make me pause for a sec and smile as they seem so small and out of place in the office and it’s a quick reminder of who I get to see at the end of the working day.
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
Prepare - it’s so important to be on top of your diary and logistics.
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
I’ve always been obsessed with getting a healthy 7 hours sleep a night so having a baby really put a spanner in the works. Pre and post babe as soon as I get less than 7 hours I automatically think I must be tired. So on these mornings I walk to work to try get fresh air in my head before starting the day. Im slowly learning not to be so obsessed by counting the hours sleep as it doesn’t help.
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
Without sounding too superficial I’ve surprised myself by acquiring a new habit of shopping. I wasn’t into buying clothes/ fashion before, but since having Freddie I’ve brought lots more smart staple pieces for work and try make much more of an effort.
I want to feel good, and dressing up helps me differentiate work and home. I’ve surprised myself how much this helps me get my head in the game and feel ready to face the day.
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
Whether this be sitting silently meditating, on a run, walking, or in the bath. Wherever and whenever- just take some time out to breathe. I always feel instantly calmer. It’s so simple but effective.
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
The guilt is hard to shake off but it’s definitely the case of - a problem shared, is a problem halved.
I’ve spent quite a few hours, with quite a few a glasses of wine talking around this subject with my best friend Chloe. She impressively founded a construction company called Thornhill Shann whilst pregnant, and can totally relate to the guilt of being away from your children and the feeling of being torn. So wine (guilty pleasure) and talking helps combat that.
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
I’m writing this after what felt like an incredibly long flight where Freddie cried most the way. I ended up walking up and down the plane aisle for the majority of the flight. Totally exhausting and embarrassing in front of all the passengers.
So if I am going to have to stand up in front of a lot of people, I’d prefer it to be on my terms in a board meeting not with “tantrum Tom” in my arms.
9. If you asked your child / children what your job is, what would they say?
Freddie hasn’t said his first words yet- I can’t wait to hear what he thinks though.
If I had to guess, he’ll probably say a vet as we always walk to Kiera his childminder, and then onto work with our sausage dog Wilma. He must think Wilma and I work together, or maybe I work for Wilma?!
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
To sort your childcare early on. I didn’t realise how much it would affect my maternity leave knowing I was going back to work soon, and not yet knowing who was going to look after Freddie. It felt like a cloud over my head. We eventually found an amazing childminder and immediately I felt so much happier. So I’d advise to start the search and research in good time before heading back to work.
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
My company Marble LDN had its most successful quarter last quarter. A contributing factor to this was that we delivered our largest project to date called Cog X. A festival of AI and Emerging Technology called Cog X - the largest festival of its kind outside China.
The project had an incredibly quick 3 month turnaround so all of this work happened whilst i was away on a 4 month maternity leave.
Also, during this time, on a wider note the company made 4 new hires. It’s this growth that makes me so proud.
Although this time I wasn’t directly involved in the hiring process, or working on Cog X, to be able to come back to work after having a child to this result made me feel so happy. There was a time when I was so en-grained in the day to day running of the business that stepping back for a few months seemed impossible. So personally it is a huge win to get our company to a place which allowed me to even take maternity leave. Not only this, during this time the company grew and has been consistently delivering some amazing live experiences. I’m so proud of the team at Marble who made this happen.
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
I hope I set an example to them that although we work we should leave work in the office. I’m terrible at reaching for my iPhone to check my emails but I’m teaching myself not to do this out of hours.
I would be really upset if my children associated my job and work with mummy being glued to a screen the whole time. I hope I manage to find the right balance.
Emily-Rose has written a brilliant blog about her return to work. Read it here.