As Mother’s Day approaches, we share stories about how hard working mums make working, work. From organising complex childcare to sorting out extra-curricular activities, it’s still unfortunately largely 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.
We originally started Ten2Two to help seek out opportunities for working mums who wanted to keep their careers going post childbirth. Mothers who just weren’t getting the sorts of roles that allowed them to be able to work flexibly.
Many women have to change jobs altogether to be able to work locally – but we believe, and constantly prove, that needn’t be the case. We just need more employers to realise the benefits of flexible staff – particularly across this hardworking section of society.
Here are some stories from career women we know and their experiences of ‘keeping their professional lives going’ whilst bringing up kids.
Nanny knows best
Karen is a Partner in one of London’s top legal firms. She has been included in Timewise’s Power Part-Time List. She also has two young children and a husband who also works in law.
“I work a four-day week. But I take calls and answer emails on my day off also. My job involves a lot of travel and evening work. I’ve had a nanny since I went back to work. It’s the only way to commute and get the flexibility I need if either of us is delayed at work or on the train.
Our nanny is brilliant, but I recognise that you need the income to pay an annual wage if you hire a nanny. And then there’s holidays, National Insurance contributions and so on.”
Free time is such a precious commodity that Karen has even moved to be closer to the train station. She says,
“I’m often asked, ‘How do I do it?’. The answer is, with a lot of support. I also have lots of stamina! I don’t see many other women reaching the glass ceiling and the ones that do, well their husbands stay at home or they don’t have kids. I’ve been lucky to work ‘flexibly’ but I easily put in full-time hours and overtime on top of that.”
Granny to the rescue
Lisa works as a creative in an advertising agency.
“I’ve been able to return to my career after children, but only on a freelance basis. The issue I have is that you need to earn big bucks to have a nanny, so unless you opt for a childminder who is happy to have your child until 6.30 or 7pm, it’s impossible to commute and have a full-time role.
A professional career in London’s advertising agencies usually demands long hours and this just isn’t conducive to family life. Some of the women I see who make it work live in Zone 2 so they can get back in time for after school clubs. And when they need to work late, their partners do the bedtime routine.
Our after-school club runs until 5.30 or 5.45pm so it’s not an option for me, but luckily my husband works locally and he juggles the pick-ups with grandparents’ help.
If we could find flexible childcare, it would change everything but carers have to make a living and can’t afford to be flexible. In many ways, it’s easier when your children are really young and in nursery. They’re in one place for the entire day and don’t need supervising to do homework or be taken to after school clubs.”
Talk to Ten2Two
If you’d like to fill a skills gap in your business with a flexible worker, please get in touch. Or if you’d like to return to work after children, why not register with our website. In the meantime, may we add that we place many excellent flexible professionals every day in rewarding career roles within local businesses.
Happy Mother’s Day!