A Working Mothers’ Story
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we are reminded once again how great our mothers truly are. We even got to witness the joys of working from home in a hilarious BBC interview. Now a household name, Robert Kelly, was giving a live Skype interview on the BBC, only for his kids to crash the interview and steal the show.
In a now viral remake of this infamous interview, a woman is being interviewed by the BBC, but the outcome is somewhat different. The mother handles the interruption very well, managing to feed and play with kids, find the husbands socks, check dinner, oh and she defuses a bomb through the interview too!
Perhaps, a slight exaggeration, but being a mother and working a full-time job needs to be commend, multi-tasking abilities and patience are fundamental!
Louise Allen, the Director and founder of Allen Recruitment, knows all too well how family life can transform everything, despite planning a head. “As a competent manager, I planned every aspect of bringing a child into the world, I did my research, shopped till I nearly dropped – a miracle in itself as I hate shopping, feng shui’ed the house, and naively thought I had it all covered – but nothing prepared me for life after becoming a Mom.”
Louise re-joined the world of work again after just 4 short months, which she admits was a welcomed comeback as she spent most of those months inside, due to the usual glorious Irish summer.
Life transformed somewhat differently but these changes were all manageable, “I found a fantastic crèche, learnt to adjust to making plans that I’d often have to cancel, a very limited social life, no uninterrupted sleep, eating with one hand, and my car becoming a trash can – to mention a few of the adjustments.”
Everyone woman and mother is unique in their own values, but for Louise it was imperative she returned to her business, not just for its success but for her own well-being. “I am passionate about the work we do in Allen Recruitment; every day brings its new challenges and rewards (I could write a book about every aspect – if I had the time)”.
Balancing work life and family life has become an art in itself with many working adults failing to find the happy medium between work and family. Although Louise now has found that balance, it didn’t come easy. “Over the first few years I learnt, painfully, to become less of a perfectionist, I tried harder to delegate more, I asked for help more often (but not often enough).”
“I grudgingly became more patient with my aspirations, I learnt to deal with the loneliness of being a mum, I learnt to accept that I wasn’t superhuman and all of the above with the help of a box of Kleenex at times.”
Many mothers are faced with decisions surrounding their family life, some choose to return to work, whilst others choose to remain as a full-time mother. Louise admits that every woman is different, “we all have our memories of our own childhood, of what our aspirations were and still are for ourselves and our children.”
“For some women being effective in the workplace is an essential part of their persona, for others being an effective full time Mum is a greater calling and I suspect many of us have a foot in both camps.”
In Ireland, things are steadily improving for parents, with paid paternity for fathers being introduced just last year. “I know that much has improved in the workplace and legislation to support working Mums but there are still scope to improve,” Louise added.
So, what’s Louise’s answer to the age-old question – What is more challenging, being a mother or your working life?
Amused by this question, Louise said to ask her that same question tomorrow! “Honestly – I’m proud and privileged for the gift of doing the work that I do, at home and in the office. I tell my kids to do themselves proud as they head off into each day and I aspire and plan to do the same whether it be at work and in the home.”