Kids and Careers: Words of a Working Mum - Kirsten Urquhart
Kirsten is Informations Manager at Young Scot. Here she tells us how she manages a career as well as bringing up her three year old son.
What's it like being a working mum? Well, it's life! I believe that there are very few mothers who aren't in paid employment in some capacity...few could afford the luxury not to work.
I am very fortunate that I love my job...well, it's more than a job, it's my career. The career that I studied over many years, across two universities (and still paying of the debt!) and the countless extra hours put in working above & beyond to carve a career...pre-baby!
Before I went off on maternity, I was realistic about my post-baby work life would mean. I knew that I couldn't have it all...right now. It sounds defeatist but I think I am just realistic. I didn't want to work full-time as I wanted to spend quality time with my little bundle of joy & thankfully we could afford to do so. The job that I returned to at a digital agency did not lend itself well to part-time working for me personally so I changed jobs, but it was a positive move for me. I know that I am making sacrifices in my career to give my son the best upbringing but he won't be little forever. I have a lot to offer an employer...now and when I have more time on my hands!
Being a working mother makes you super organised with your time. When I am at work, I pack in so much. I have a large team to manage as well as my own workload with multiple digital projects & stakeholders. It's not easy and I do get stressed. I often find myself awake at night with anxiety about my to-do list...and an insomniac 3 year old! At times I get all zen about it and realise that I can only do what I can do, and I wouldn't change it as I love what I do and I am good at it.
And I am good at my job. I am motivated, ambitious and self-directed in my learning meaning that I am confident in what I do. But it is not my priority. My son & my family are my priority. I will never look back thinking that I should have worked more. But I will regret missing his nursery snowdrop walks and taking him to his wee football class!
I think that there is a whole world of stigma surrounding working mothers...too many to even go into. You feel guilty all the time...I wonder if many working Dad's feel that way...or is that just a stigma too?
Sometimes I feel like packing in my 'career' job to do something that I don't have to think about when I leave the office...but I would be bored! Yes, I am a mother, but I am a person too who is extremely capable. It's just a shame that there aren't many decent part-time career opportunities for working mothers. Employers are missing a trick! You get twice as much work done in half the time.