Sunday, 15 March 2015
Four mums on career change Lisa's story
Heidi Scrimgeour speaks to four mums who changed career to get their work and home life balance right
'I've had to adjust the way I think about work, and remind myself that tomorrow is another day'
Lisa, mum to Lewis, 1
'I'd been running my own business as a wellbeing consultant and style and image coach for three years. I really enjoyed it, and was happy to devote myself to it 24/7 when necessary, seeing clients whenever I liked.
But when Lewis was born it simply wasn't possible to keep up that pace.
'I did try for a while (I even had two support staff for three months) but it felt like I wasn't doing very well, either at work or as a mother. I was disappointed because I love the process of helping people to change their lives and I didn't want to give that up.
I just needed to find a better way of fitting work around caring for my son.
'Now I'm still working full time, but my working week follows a different pattern. Lewis goes to nursery twice a week, and I spend those days in the office – sometimes they can be very long days though, so my husband looks after Lewis in the evening.
But I can fit so much into that time – there are absolutely no wasted moments anymore.
It's amazing how productive you can be when you need to.
'I manage to do a lot of work at home too, while Lewis naps during the day, or in the evenings after he's gone to sleep.
'Recently I've also become an Ideal Weight coach. The company helps people lose weight and provides coaches to help them understand why they have put on weight, supports them while they lose it and encourages them to keep it off. So these days networking means chatting to other mums at baby groups, and Lewis comes too! It's an incredible feeling being able to help others feel better about themselves.
'I love the balance I have now. I've had to adjust the way I think about work, accepting that some days are stressful and that the juggling act doesn't always run smoothly. But on those days I just have to remind myself that tomorrow is another day.
'I've also had to make adjustments at home, and to learn that some things have to take a back seat – the house is definitely not as tidy as it used to be! But I have the best of both worlds: I have a lovely son, and I also have a rewarding work/life balance.'
Lisa's secrets for success
✦ 'Accept that life may change significantly when you have a baby. Don't fight it – things could turn out better than ever in the end.'
✦ 'Treat yourself kindly. Being a working mum is a juggling act so it's vital that you look after yourself.'
✦ 'Surround yourself with supportive people who can step in when you need extra help.'
✦ Find a job that is rewarding and flexible so you can fit it in around being a mum – being an Ideal Weight coach suits me.
Read our other three mums stories now
>> Read Lydia's story here
>> Read Sarah's story here
>> Read Clair's story here