How to Juggle Being a Working Mum in Leadership

How to Juggle Being a Working Mum in Leadership

The recently legislated Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination Bill provides protections for working mums while helping address the ongoing skills shortage. Yet, despite the post-pandemic work landscape making it harder for employers to recruit and retain talent, working mums are often overlooked. Even though they are a hidden talent pool of highly-skilled and flexible employees, especially in a leadership role.

No doubt, working mums are terrific at their jobs, but this can often come at the cost of their personal and family life. Being a working mum comes with its own set of challenges that are quite unlike what other employees face. We are expected to be as effective and efficient as our colleagues but are harshly judged when we don’t seem to perform well as a parent. And when we do prioritise our families, there’s a tendency to view us as unprofessional. Today, we’ll go over some of the ways working mums can do their best, even as leaders in the workforce:

Build your support system

Mothers who are also leaders have gone through enough multitasking days to know that having additional hands on deck is a great help. Based on the stories of women in leadership roles from LHH, having friends, family, mentors, and child care professionals around is the key to their success. Such is the case for Shirley, a commercial litigator who balances her ambition and childcare responsibilities by taking turns with a significant member of her support system — her husband — which every family should strive to follow.

Of course, while every mum has different support systems, what matters is knowing that you don’t have to take on your responsibilities alone. Relying on your family, friends, and loved ones won’t take anything away from your achievements, and you’ll be happier.

Allow yourself some “me” time

Between leading your team and caring for your family, losing yourself in your responsibilities can be easy. In our post entitled “More Than Mum: Rediscovering Me”, we emphasise the importance of making time for your personal hobbies and interests. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon your duties; rather, it’s about allowing yourself some time to be an individual with trivial pleasures, even if it’s just taking ten minutes to choose your earrings or do your makeup.

Whether you have a hidden passion for baking desserts or simply want a little time on the sofa to scroll your phone — it’s okay to set aside your chores and work messages for a while. Being a working mum can be demanding, so giving yourself “me” time can ensure you have time for self-reflection and some rest. After all, working or doing the laundry when you’re not feeling well might be even more detrimental to your health.

Let go of perfection

Being a good leader and a good mum shares some similarities — in both roles, you are often expected to be in peak form, setting an excellent example for your team members, your family, and your young children. That isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s also important not to get too carried away in your endeavours that your perfectionism holds you back. As explained in a Motherly feature on perfection, mums are often pressured to minimise mistakes and to be the absolute best at everything. But mistakes don’t have to be a sign of weakness.

In fact, your children and your team members can learn a lot from your ability to be vulnerable. Through your example, you can teach them to build resilience after mistakes and persevere to keep getting better in the future. Being a working mum can sometimes feel like a superpower, but you don’t need to be a perfect superhero all the time.

Kate Dyson

Kate is the Founder of The Motherload, the 'owner' of one husband, two daughters, two cats and one rabbit. She loves wine, loathes exercise and fervently believes in the power of women supporting women. Find me on instagram: @themotherloadhq

No comments yet. Be the first one to leave a thought.
Leave a comment

Leave a Comment