What is your childcare arrangement and how happy are you with it?
My kids are in school most of the day and then I have a babysitter who picks them up and watches them until I get home. I’m very happy with that arrangement.
If you have a spouse or a partner, what does he do? How do you share the home responsibilities?
My husband is a portfolio manager. We totally share in the home responsibilities. He is the camp director, constantly coming up with great activities for the kids, and I’m the social director, figuring out all the places we can go on the weekends without driving us all to the point of exhaustion.
Has having children affecting your career path?
Absolutely, but I’ve managed to make real changes in my department because of the birth of my kids. When I became pregnant with my daughter, I suggested the idea of telecommuting to my boss and he allowed me do it on a six-week trial basis. Well the six weeks turned into eight years and now several other moms in my department telecommute too. As a result, the turnover in our division is pretty low and we’ve got a lot of satisfied employees and bosses.
Did you find that your colleagues/clients treated you differently after you had kids?
When I started telecommuting, some colleagues who didn’t have kids were a bit resentful of my situation at first. But over the years they realized that I was still able to pull my weight and then some, they came around. They sometimes work from home too. I think it’s important for bosses to create flexible arrangements for all their employees – you may not have kids but you could be caring for an ailing parent or have other commitments that might call for you to spend time away from the office. In this day and age, it’s possible to do my job from Mars – as long as my BlackBerry connection is working.
Please share with us the top three things/strategies that’s you’ve used to successfully get through your busy days at work and at home:
- Humor is the top strategy: If you’re overwhelmed at work and at home you’ve got to take a moment and laugh at the lunacy of your life.
- Having a great home team: your spouse, great babysitting, parents or anyone else who can come through for you in a pinch.
- Presenting a plan to your boss. As a working mother, you may want to have it all, but you can’t necessarily do it all. Know your limitations and present a plan to your boss on how you can still get the job done without missing a beat. Your hours may have to be reduced or altered (there’s no such thing as a 9-5 work schedule anymore) but at the end of the day, if you’re still reaching your goals at work then you will be happier and your boss will be too.