Career and Motherhood? How To Have It All

Career and Motherhood? How To Have It All

When I had my daughter I wondered how I would juggle motherhood and not only maintain but progress in a career I had spent 12 years establishing, after all, society reinforces the general view that women can’t have both.

When becoming a parent, some women chose to let go or put their career on hold while others chose to accommodate both. I am in the latter but feel that there has to be a way of having both without compromising either.

Women who return to the workforce after having children are faced with uncertainty about their future career prospects.

I know that this is definitely the case for me so I have decided to dedicate time during my 12 months of maternity leave to activities that ensure I remain what I call ‘career active’.

Balancing a successful career and being a mum

These are my personal tips for anyone looking to do the same:

1. Stay in touch – a lot can change in 12 months; staff turnover, restructures, changes in role, etc so keeping in touch means that returning to work won’t be as much of an adjustment for both you and your employer.

It also shows a commitment to work as it is often assumed that once having a child, a woman’s priorities change.

3. Be upfront – I feel that it’s important to be upfront about your return to work intentions if you know them.

This prevents your employer from making assumptions about what your plans will be so that they can plan for and accommodate your needs when you return to work.

2. Update or add to your skills – if you’re lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps well (and don’t have other care responsibilities) chances are you will have some spare time on your hands.

Spend this time obtaining or updating a qualification or building a new skill.

There are so many online study options available that can be done from home in your own time. If you are lucky enough to have someone care for your little one for a few hours a week, you might even consider doing some volunteer work.

Know you can be an amazing mother and still build your career and follow your dreams #believe Click To Tweet

The reality is I may not be able to change the general view that women can’t have both.

But I can challenge the status quo and give myself the best chance of maintaining a career by remaining career active while taking time out of the paid workforce.

Have you been faced with this challenge or are you concerned about how you too might juggle both motherhood and a career? We’d love to hear your experiences.

Helena Bishop
Helena is a wife, mother and social worker who has worked in the not for profit, community and government sectors. She is passionate about creating gender equality and supporting women to pursue their goals and dreams.