Yep, you heard it here first. I am a mum AND I have a career! These are the two things I always said would never go hand in hand and as soon as I became pregnant I felt and overwhelming sense of pressure to take a side step from my ambitions. I knew I would struggle with a loss of identity and I just didn’t know know where to place my heart. But 4 and a half years after the arrival of Hugo I can quite safely say I have both. I am a mum and I have a (reasonably successful) career too. 

Someone once asked me to define success. My answer; success is defined by the smile in your eyes. And I stand by this. Because no matter how stressed I am, no matter how late I work (every night, 5 nights a week for the last 3 months) and no matter how hard life can get, I am genuinely happy. 

The rise in female startups

And to prove this happiness and to show that I made the best decision of my life by taking my career into my own hands, I was recently approached to discuss the topic of how women on maternity leave are fuelling a rise in female startups.

You can read the whole case study here, here and here (take your pick)!

I believe that to get the balance right there is no better way than to work for yourself. In fact, I learned the hard way. Being employed with a young child just wasn’t for me. I didn’t have the freedom and flexibility to live in a way that suited me, my son, my family and my growing ambition. 

Was it worth it?

By leaving the luxuries of annual leave, sick pay and a reliable pay cheque, I now have so much more control over my own existence and I can say with my hand on my heart, that it was the best decision I ever made.

“Traditional employment can be difficult for mothers, especially those with young children, as it does not provide the flexibility that having a child demands. Working for myself has solved so many of the issues I was facing before, and I would encourage any mothers struggling to balance being a parent with their career to consider taking their careers into their own hands.”

“I am so much braver than I ever was before. Sometimes in life, when things do not go the way you want them to go, it isn’t so bad as long as you can pick yourself up and look to the future, and that’s exactly what I am doing!”

Photos by Nick Morrison, and Guy. Kandinsky inspired masterpiece by Hugo.