I know there are a lot of corporate mummies out there who manages between work and family. Welcome to the club!
I was a travel freak for work about 8 years ago for more than 10 years. I am almost like George Clooney, Up in the Air…seriously what this movie states is really true who not to follow behind when you are passing immigration and bag scans. Anyway, those were the days and I gave up on travelling for work with corporate desk job.
Why did I gave it up? Well age was catching up at 35 and without any children and divorced previously. I bet this is all women dreams or woes. I met my childhood boyfriend after 20 years and magic happens, we clicked so well as if we were together previously for a long time. We got hitched and immediately I was conceiving my 1st child when I was 36 years old. It was an amazing journey as a mother-to-be.
Complications after complications happen during my pregnancy, I had bleeding when I was 2 months pregnant and I was still working long hours…I mean really long hours. It was due to polyps that made me bleed. Had it removed without any painkiller, trust me…I was screaming with pain until patients out there were wondering what did my gynecologist did to me. When I gave birth to my son through natural birth, I had internal bleeding, which I had a minor surgery to save my life. But it was definitely worth going through this.
My 2nd pregnancy was a different challenge, on the 4th month, my baby was diagnosed with down syndrome through blood test. So I had to go through amniotic fluid test to ensure that my baby is normal. Thankfully everything is alright and I gave birth a wonderful girl.
Work lifestyle is different where as a mummy I often need to leave work on time to see my babies. I dearly miss them, I am sure all working mummies do as well. So I had to balance my work and my motherhood lifestyle. I still work extended hours but at a controlled manner, to ensure that I had time with my little ones.
When I joined a new firm in Senior Management position, a new work lifestyle is being adopted. Thankfully, I had great work team, some mummies and daddies in my team new parents, therefore we shoulder each others responsibilities and ensure that all our workload is well distributed and balanced.
As a department leader, I had to be compassionate to understand a parent’s juggle between work and family. Therefore workload distribution and fairness had to be implemented so that those single individuals were not overloaded with work. The team manages their work well in terms of team spirit and collaboration, its a culture that had been implemented to respect all individuals.
I influenced a culture where we create transparency at work where project managers are able to take on another project so that they will not be any interruption towards project delivery. While consultants will be a challenge as they are skilled with different knowledge. How did I do it? We cross skill so that a consultant is able to take on an assignment on temporary basis so that upon return of the colleague, handover can take place once again.
Work Life Balance
In a corporate world, mummies often find this a challenge as this may not exist and it depends on the firm that we are being employed. I worked in a Top 5 consulting firm, although they preach Work Life Balance, as a young parent I worked from 8:30am till 10:00pm at night. Therefore, I decided to leave this firm.
I joined another firm in a Senior Management position, now a real corporate mummy, I struggled? Yes, I did. I had to balance between work and family as I have daily house chores, my helper only comes 4 hours 3 times a week to do basic house cleaning. Working in this firm is negotiable, as I mentioned earlier I had a great team. We balance each other and we back each other up.
We developed a culture where we are all employees of the firm, even though I am the leader, we practice equality. We get our hands dirty in all aspect related to our department from functional, technical and project management. I am in an IT industry and we rotate among ourselves if a need arise, whenever we declare a project LIVE.
I learned in my years of childhood, respect is a crucial life value. If I respect others, respect will come to me in return with extra rewards ie assistance required, friendship and many more. But…do not always expect something in return yeah 😉 This goes for family members including our little ones.
Face it…is it easy to apologize to someone? I had to swallow so hard to say the word sorry. This goes to our little ones, how often do we say sorry. I practiced this and if I mistakenly did something wrong at home I apologized and at work I did the same to my subordinates. Honestly, the working environment creates a lot of fun and collaboration if we do apologize sincerely.
Its always hard to take the first step, give it a try and see the difference.
In this page moving forward I will be sharing more stuffs hope to blog more sharing and fun. See you soon!