Surely it was over the phone….
In person! Are you serious? That would have been enough for me to walk.
My friend (a sensational working mum) was aghast. In fact, so was I, at what I was telling her.
I’d just made a job offer to someone, in person, face to face… while breastfeeding my child.
One minute I’m an entrepreneur who’d rather hold a meeting than a close friend’s child and the next I’m this hybrid businessperson/manic mother whose attempts at multitasking today included:
- trying to feed my child while sitting in the driver’s seat in a drive-through car wash (note this was not successful: the car wash was very exciting to the tiny child)
- creating from instructions on the internet (because I couldn’t wait for postage from the States) my very own hands free breast pumping bra – so that I can use both hands to type while listening to the rhythmical whirr of the pump (one sports bra destroyed, but it works surprisingly well)
- and the aforementioned feeding of the child whilst making an offer to a candidate to come and work with us
Now in my defense, the person to whom I made the job offer had the option to see me today with child or tomorrow without and chose today and I have known her for some years. But ask me 3 years ago if I’d ever do what I did today and you’d have been met with a laugh and a scoff.
A mummy was something I travelled to Egypt to see, not something I was. Maternal instinct extended to me being exceptionally proud of my former staff when they started their own businesses, not something that would have me screaming in my sleep at my husband to stop rolling over lest he squash the baby (who does not and has not ever slept in our bed). Work-life balance meant having a fabulous husband who was fine with me working long hours or travelling when required, not dealing day to day with “mother’s guilt”. (NB: For those of you unaware of mother’s guilt – it seems to be the pretty commonplace fear that when you’re at work you should be with your child and when you’re with your child that you should be at work).
In my life I’ve done some things that others might see as being difficult. I’ve started businesses from age 15, bought and sold companies, worked with over 100 staff, owned over 40 properties and yet the most difficult challenge I’ve faced thus far is how to retain myself, my goals, my dreams, my business aspirations and to mesh them seamlessly with all I want to be as a mother (and believe me I want to do it to the best of my ability) to this tiny human who has come into my life.
Sometimes I write blogs when I’ve figured something out and want to share what I’ve learned. Not the case today. I’m simply writing to applaud the mothers that have worked with me previously and done amazing jobs at work and at home – I didn’t understand what you were going through – I’m only just beginning to see it now.
I’m also writing to thank my friends who are mothers for their help in working through these exciting and challenging times with me. You are my mentors. You help me see what’s possible, what’s not and what’s really important.