The power of networking with working mums

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Citymother's lunch event.
Anne Richards, CIO of Aberdeen Asset Management, presented her thoughts,
perspectives and experience around being a working mother in the City.  
Despite spending all of my working week discussing the challenges of
combining career and parenthood, I ALWAYS learn something new from EVERY
working mother I meet.  Yesterday was a great reminder of this.  Here is
what I took away from the presentation:

1.	 A wonderful reminder about how positive and inspired you can feel
after spending an hour talking to like-minded parents, all sharing the tips
they have picked up along the way.  We all need to do more of this!

2.	Anne Richards challenged the feelings of guilt that consumes so many
of us as we leave our children to go to work.  Put simply, Anne says 'I just
don't do guilt.'  When talking about the feeling that some of us have that
in some way we are depriving our children by us going out to work, Anne is
straight down the line: 'it's like your children asking for another bag of
sweets and you saying no.'  I like this concept.  Rather than thinking of us
depriving our children by not being there 100% of the time, we are thinking
of the longer term positive of our lifestyle choice:  the impact of working
on the future of our family health, happiness, finances, wellbeing and
contribution to the world.

3.	Anne shared a great tip around managing your school or your
childcare provider.  On answering a question from a delegate around feeling
guilty that you can rarely make an event during school time, Anne's response
was:  'make friends with your school.'    She went on to suggest how you
could sit down with the teachers and explain what you can and can't do and
where you need their support.  That way, they won't bombard you with the
continuous requests that only end up making us feel guilty and overwhelmed.

Another sound piece of advice was to discuss with your school-aged children
which event of the term they would most like you to be there for - and then
make sure you stick to this; or offer to do something with their friends on
a Saturday.   A very powerful comment Anne made was 'your children just want
to show you off because they are proud of you, so find an opportunity for
them to do this.'  It's true - you don't have to be on the Parent's
Committee to make your children proud of you - think of other things you can
do to make them proud of you - and that fit in with your working week.  

A huge thank you to Citymothers and Anne Richards.  

By Helen Letchfield

Comments are closed.