Being A Working Mother In The 21st Century | International Women’s Day.
The art of mothering is defined as ‘bringing up a child with care and attention’. In today’s society, where women are determined more so than ever to be recognised as equal, we’re seeing a rise of mothers entering offices and places of work all over the world. But, quite simply, how are they doing it? Is it possible to be a career woman as well as a doting mother? To honour International Women’s Day, we interviewed a handful of working mothers who are currently balancing motherhood and their careers. Read on to discover how long they worked for during their pregnancies, why they think working is beneficial for their children and how they cope with the daily stresses of being both a mother and a businesswoman…
SAM EASTWOOD, FITNESS & LIFESTYLE COACH
Sam has one daughter, Nala, aged 7.
Your job role?
I’m a Pilates trainer in the movie sector.
What struggles do you face being both a mother and a career woman?
Balancing everything out and lack of time is always an ongoing battle! Switching off from work when it’s time to be a mother too…
Did you keep working during your pregnancy?
Yes – all the way through!
Describe a usual working day for you.
I start the day with a coffee, see my husband off to work and get Nalah up, we then have breakfast together and it’s off to school. If I have time I train myself (usually on the mat at home) before heading to the studio where I’ll be training clients and working on my GET SET workout program. Each day varies – I could be updating the website and adding new workouts or advising GET SET members on fitness and food – it just depends on what needs to be done that day. I usually grab a quick lunch around 1pm (often prepped beforehand) and then it’s on to the next location for the next client training session. I pick Nalah up from school at 4.30pm and we’re usually home by 5pm where we’ll get onto any homework that needs to be done. After that it’s prepping dinner and winding down and getting ready for bed! I always like to eat at the table as a family as it’s the one time we get to chat about our days in peace! Once Nalah is in bed, it’s back to the laptop to prepare for the next day. Naturally, fitness is hugely important to me – I’ve always got my mat with me and will try and squeeze in severa short sessions a day to open up the shoulders, unwind the wrists and stretch the hamstrings.
Do you find the balance of being a career woman and a mother easy or difficult?
I wouldn’t say difficult because I have a strong bond with my daughter. But admittedly at times I want to pull my hair out because everything overlaps!! When I start to feel overwhelmed, I train. It focuses me, helps me relax and get things in perspective.
Do you feel constrained in your career now that you have children?
Not at all, I always say that if you want something important done, ask a busy woman!
How does the reward of being a mother compare to the reward of being a successful career woman?
My daughter is my proudest project yet! But really work is work and your family is all encompassing. I suppose to me the two are very different.
How do you feel your child benefits from you being a working mother?
I think it’s good to show that women work hard! I want to be a good role model for my daughter and I think working hard is a very natural part of that.
Do you feel like your industry supports mothers who decide to work full time?
The fitness industry is very flexible so I’d say yes, though most people working as a trainer are self-employed so they only really have themselves to answer to. I know that if I don’t work I don’t get paid so I have to be smart about my working hours.
Journal thanks to Maxwell Scott Bags