Hi Em, tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do, and who looks after the children when you are working?
I am the MD and founder of a sustainable fashion label called Bird + Wolf. My children are now 15 and 18. One is now at University in London. When my children were younger I always worked freelance so structured my day so I could take and pick up from school. Back then I ran my own PR agency. During holidays I would wake up very early and work whilst they slept. I also worked in the evenings after they had gone to bed.
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?
Can’t think of one to be honest!
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
Never ever ever feel guilty
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
Zero. Just push through!
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
That it's my rules. So what if the laundry bin is full for two days or I forgot to bake a cake for the Cake Sale. The world will not judge me. It's only my own self judgement. I've learnt to be kinder on myself and not to beat myself up if I haven't managed to do everything one day or I forgot something at school.
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
Let it go.
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
I dropped guilt many years ago, so I don't have a guilty pleasure to combat it. I don't think we should feel an iota of guilt being a working mother. If we give our children all the love and attention we can when we are with them then that is a healthy balance.
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
I would definitely say the latter, although in my business I never see boardrooms!
9. If you asked your children what your job is, what would they say?
My children are now 15 and 18 so they have seen me working in many roles and have seen my current business grow from scratch. Not sure what they would title me as though, come to think of it, nor would I!
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
I don't think there is anything I wish I had known. Becoming WoMo came chapter by chapter. When my sons were very young my husband worked away alot so I didn't work. It was rather like being a sole parent then! When they began nursery I started working again but freelance so I balanced school pick ups, etc. I have always worked freelance or had my own businesses so it was easier to juggle work and children. I had a childrenswear shop and they used to come and play in the corner, it was like home from home. I also had an garden office as later I had my own PR agency and also worked as a content creator and writer. So it was all a case of juggling. I guess the answer is that anything is possible, it's just a case of setting goals.
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
Having my two sons.
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
My sons think it's just normal. They have grown up in an world were mothers work. They have not seen a 'traditional' household were the mother just stayed at home. My sons generation is a big leap from mine. They have seen a massive change in family structures, sexuality, etc. What I saw as a 'normal' family when I was a kid is not the case today. My children are deeply accepting of any structure ie working mums, same sex families etc. The bottom line is the love, attention and care that we give our children. To me, that is and always will be my number one priority.
Thank you Em! Check out Bird + Wolf (WoMos get a 20% discount using code WOMO20) www.birdandwolf.com