Being a mum and juggling a full-time job with family life is no easy feat. With the recent news that New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, 37, is pregnant, we felt it timely to discuss just how to balance a busy career with motherhood.
Firstly, remember that it is certainly possible. While it’s undeniably hard work and a challenge, countless women have had successful full-time careers while raising children. Here are just a few women in leadership who have done so that we find inspiring:
Susan Wojcicki, mother of five, has been CEO of YouTube since 2014. Before that, she was the marketing manager of Google then promoted to the company’s senior vice president of Advertising and Commerce.
Hillary Clinton gave birth to her daughter in 1980 while working as the first female partner of Rose Law Firm. She then raised her child while campaigning for her husband’s presidential election.
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors and the first woman to become CEO of a major global automaker, has two children. Last year she was also elected onto the board of Disney.
Jo Tyndall, New Zealand’s climate change ambassador, had two children while working on World Trade Organisations in Geneva.
Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo has raised two daughters while working her way up the company. She was named #2 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women of 2015 list.
Read our top five tips for balancing a successful career with motherhood:
Don’t feel guilty: you have just as much right as your male counterpart to maintain a successful career that you are proud of while raising children. Don’t feel guilty because you’re leaving your children in your partner’s care or the care of a nanny/play centre. You can still be a dedicated, loving mother while working full time.
Start each day the night before: make your life easier by organising yourself in the evenings. Prepare your lunch, choose your outfit and lay out your handbag and any other equipment you might need the next day.
Keep a family calendar: this will prevent you from missing important events and help you stay on top of things. Work with your partner to establish who needs to do what, when, and make sure you schedule in dedicated family time each weekend.
Communicate with colleagues: let your employer and fellow employees know if you need help with something or have something family-related coming up that might impact your work. Communication is the key to avoiding major issues.
Don’t forget “me” time: remember to be kind to yourself. Overworking yourself and burning out will do nothing to help your situation, so give yourself some time to relax and unwind each day. Read a book, have a bath, go for a walk – whatever works for you. Why not create an at-home spa to really rejuvinate?