Although more dads are entering the school playground doing drop offs and pick-ups, juggling parenting duties and holding down a professional career can still be a mission. It’s still largely working mothers who have to find creative ways to make their careers work. That is, if they can still remain in their original industry at all. In fact, just last week we heard about fathers being afraid to ask for flexible hours at work.
Here we share stories of women who have had to change careers to make their working lives work alongside managing a family. Many working mothers are responsible for successful start-ups these days and the benefits here can be excellent for everyone concerned.
Here at Ten2Two, we think it’s right that ultimately, women feel they are in control of their career choices and not that they are the result of a lack of options from businesses unwilling to support flexibility.
A New Direction
Carrie started a new online business, having decided that her previous career would no longer work for her family.
Former Events Organiser, Carrie, recently launched her own fashion website, Fashionplayground.co.uk. She works from home, as does her partner.
“My new website Fashionplayground.co.uk is something I’m very proud of. I’ve always been interested in fashion. So it made sense that when I was considering my return to work after children, that I went in that direction.
It’s impossible to work in events when you have young children, unless you’re happy to be away often and my job involved lots of foreign travel. But I still have to put in long days and spend time with PR agencies in London or on photoshoots.
My other half does the school drop offs and as many pick ups when he isn’t travelling with work. He absolutely loves it! In fact, the mums know him better than they know me!
We also use a childminder. But there’s no way I could commute and make it work. No two days are the same in our lives, and more often than not we’re both logging on at night to make up hours. It’s very much a partnership between the both of us.”
The Career Change
Emma is a former wine representative. She now works at a local school as an administrator.
“I loved my job. I still hope to return to it one day. I went back after my second child and put them both in nursery. But after my third baby, I couldn’t make commuting and juggling work with all the children’s school commitments work. Plus there was the expense of three lots of childcare bills.
When my third child started school, I decided to find a local role that fit around school hours. Using my administrative and communication skills, I landed a full-time role in a school office – the days start at 8 and finish at 4pm. I get the holidays off so I can spend time with the kids. I can also take them to all their after-school clubs like gymnastics and football. It’s a win-win situation for our family.
It’s not easy for working mothers: I would rather be working back in the food industry of course. I keep in touch with my old colleagues with a view to making this happen eventually – perhaps when all three are at secondary school which won’t be long to wait.
This way, I am keeping my CV up-to-date and maintaining contact with the working world. I also enjoy working as part of a team and having autonomy over my earning capability. I don’t have massive childcare fees to pay and the children see me working and I think that’s really positive. If I was back in the wine industry now, I wouldn’t see nearly as much of them as I do.”
Here to help…
As a flexible and part-time recruitment agency, we exist to help businesses find quality staff for their organisations – whether to bolster a growing business, fill a skills gap or cover a prolonged period of absence such as an employee on maternity leave. The benefits to business are huge so if you’d like to know more, please get in touch.