Vicki Psarias set up The Honest Mum blog and in her new book, Mumboss – The Honest Mum’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home, she covers many topics such as when and if you should return to work after having a baby and juggling home/work life balance. Read our review of her book here.
An extract from Mumboss:
On the other hand, many mothers don’t feel ready to return to work at the end of their allocated maternity leave, so listen to your body and mind, and work out a way to make yourself happy. If you feel you need longer, or are suffering from PTSD (post- traumatic stress disorder) or PND (post- natal depression), it’s imperative to be honest with your employer as soon as possible, using doctor’s notes for support. Communication is key.
Many of my friends and colleagues changed careers or started new businesses during or after maternity leave. Others chose to become stay- at- home mums, or returned to work part time or in a job- share role. There are huge inequalities within the workforce for parents, so be aware of that, and know that maternity leave can potentially provide an opportunity to switch things up, try something new and make a change when it comes to your career.
I started Honest Mum on maternity leave and kept it going, despite my return to directing. It simmered along before, two years on, becoming my main job. Online businesses can grow quickly, particularly in this digital age, but overnight success is, sadly, a myth – even if it can look like someone has just appeared from nowhere. Any successful business/personal brand is based on accumulated hard work and an investment of time and energy. Don’t be afraid of hard graft. It’s the key to success.
Work and work until you cannot be ignored.
First decipher your goals and how you can chug towards them, slowly but surely, pinpointing whether you can ask family and friends for help with childcare, or if you can work early in the morning or late at night once your kids sleep, as I still do.
Many mumbosses, like myself, simply followed our passions first, and the monetising naturally came later. Anna Lewis, creator of Sketchy Muma and author (annalewisillustration.co.uk) describes her business as a bit of a happy accident as she didn’t set out to start a shop. Prior to having her daughter, a few of the children’s books she had illustrated had been published. However, due to her own personal circumstances, she knew that she was going to be a full- time mum for quite a while with her daughter. As a creative release during maternity leave, she embarked on a few funny sketches about motherhood, which led to a thriving business.