Working mother confessions – A mother’s work meme

 

A meme! I never get tagged in memes, and I have so much to meme about. So thank you very much to a working motherThe Daily Mum for inviting me to join in this one. A Mother’s Work Meme started with mother.wife.me and is currently winging its way through the blogosphere .

Here are the rules:

1. Post the rules. OK, I’ve done that, now what?
  2. Answer the questions in as much or as little detail as suits you
3. Leave a comment on mother.wife.me so we can keep track of the meme
4. Tag 3 people and link to them on your blog
   5. Let them know you tagged them
   6. Tweet that you’re taking part using #amothersworkmeme

Questions:

1. Did you work before becoming a mum?

  2. What is your current situation?

  3. Freestyle – got your own point you’d like to get across on this issue? Here’s your chance…

And, most importantly…. here are my taggees:

Sarah Ebner – Schoolgate at The Times

Mme Lindor – Salt & Caramel

Janice – A Working Mum

(don’t worry guys I won’t be offended if you haven’t got time to do this ‘cos you’re working ‘n stuff)

 

Aaaaanyway….

   1. Did you work before becoming a mum?
Yes I have always worked, mainly in a self employed capacity and mainly in media. Before I had my children I worked in TV as a producer on many chat shows. Probably the most well known were GMTV and This Morning. After I had my daughter I carried on doing sporadic shifts, but TV is very much a long working hours business and anyway what I really wanted to do was write. So I trained as a life coach and started building up work I could do from home and combine better with family life.

Being self employed means you are entitled to Maternity Benefit but little else. I deliberately timed having my second child for just after the benefit was due to go up. I don’t think I ever totally stopped thinking about work for any length of time – being self employed means you are always on the lookout for the next thing and have to keep visible. So even if I was technically on maternity leave I would still be doing things like media interviews which didn’t earn me any money but kept my profile as a coach up.

 

  2. What is your current situation?
I work flexibly, mainly from home. Over the last few years I have built up my writing more and more, but I still coach as well. I coach people from all around the world via phone. I also do consulting, broadcasting and a bit of public speaking – whatever comes along and pays the bills really. Currently I am finishing off my second book which is about fear of driving. Once that’s been sent off to the publisher then I plan to do more feature writing.

Right now I work throughout the school day, stopping for the school run to pick up my 8 year old, then carry on in the evening and at weekends if I need to. I never mind working at odd hours because this is what means I can be there for my children when they need me. The big challenge is during school holidays – I’ve found it’s unrealistic to expect to put a full day in and leave the children to go feral. They moan a bit about me working from home, but I point out that they would like the alternatives even less.

 

  3. A rant about working mums in TV

I always found that the TV industry was utterly crap in terms of the value of ‘presenteeism’ and a long hours working culture which rarely gets questioned. This is why women in television seem to disappear – you don’t get many women with children in senior jobs in TV, certainly not outside the BBC. When you consider that many programmes are made for a family audience, it’s ironic that the people making those programmes often have very little family time for themselves.

The world has moved on considerably in terms of working from home and other flexible options, but from what I can see the TV production industry has not embraced this, leading to many experienced people to leave. And then they go off and do creative things elsewhere, leaving the TV industry poorer for it.

 

  • Thanks for joining in, Joanne.
    I’m self-employed too, and have found that work is constantly on my mind. It never stops. Although I enjoy it much more because of the flexibility. I’ve also found it more freeing.
    It’s interesting what you said about TV. Wonder how other mums in TV feel.

  • Hello, thanks so much for taking part in the A Mother’s Work Meme with such a great response.

    What comes out most for me here, is that the alternative to working in a non-flexible environment is to leave it behind.

    This can of course lead to great things – as it has for you. But what a drain on talent and experience for industries that aren’t moving with the times.

  • I’ve never visited your blog before but as I’m involved with the meme just popped over for a look. I love the fact that you do something you totally believe in and are so good at.Right I’m going to have a nice long nosy round now (switches cartoon on for son).
    http://www.pret-a-mummy.com

  • @mother.wife.me – Yes that is a good point. If you don’t feel supported by your industry (and I didn’t), what other choice do you have?

    @Pret-A-Mummy – thank you so much for visiting, I shall come and visit your blog soon.