Lisa is a busy full time worker and mum to two busy boys aged 5 and 3 years old. She bravely admits she feels guilty being away from her kids and...
Connecting our Community: Meet Becky
Becky is mum to two very busy dancing daughters 12 y.o. Jessie and 10 y.o. Kate. She is a member of the FlexCommunity even though she runs her own business.
What industry do you work in?
Health care. I run my own private Physiotherapy practice and Pilates Studio specialising in Pregnant and Postnatal women. I’m also co-creator of the online Pregnancy and Postnatal exercise program Body Beyond Birth
How long were you off on maternity leave?
My first daughter…3 months off but definitely planned on longer. However, I was offered a PhD scholarship that I thought I couldn’t refuse. That insanity lasted 6 months before I wisened up, quit, and secured an 18 hour a week sports physio gig which was definitely a more practical way to stimulate my mind.
My second daughter… 9 months off. BTW, I almost went insane and we were very poor. Then back to part-time physio.
What is your current working arrangement?
Currently my work arrangement is fabulous because I have THE best boss ever… ME!! I work in my own physio practice treating patients and teaching Pilates classes 2 days/week, but only during school hours. I work on my Body Beyond Birth Online program 2 days a week, also during school hours. And then, Fridays are my free day. I tend to squeeze emails and phone calls into the cracks of grocery shopping, ballet, and guitar lessons.
Does this work for you and your family?
This arrangement suits our family down to the ground. My girls always feel like I’m here for them and they understand when they have to stop squealing in the car because Mommy’s on a work call. Being my own boss has also resolved most of my mommy guilt issues as, with a little planning ahead, I can structure kid activities into any day I need to. The schedule is jam-packed and down to the minute so if I didn’t have a hubby to pitch in we’d definitely be scaling back on after-school and social activities. Ive found it important to pace myself so I can enjoy things instead of killing myself to cram in more. When I get stressed I sit down and think, “Okay, what can I cut out?” Then I actually axe it. It’s SO liberating.
What surprised you when you returned to work?
That you aren’t able to give work 110% like you did before kids. I really had no idea how demotivating children can be to a career! A) You have something (someone) much more important on your mind now. B) You’ll never have the time and energy to give yourself completely to work ever again.
What is your biggest challenge juggling work and family?
Overbooking! I have to constantly pull back the reigns because if we said yes to everything our lives would be a treadmill. I’m a get ‘er done kind of person so when I’m asked to join a committee, organise a dinner or be class mum I used to always say, “Sure!” Now, I say, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” It’s been such a good tool for me.
What’s your best piece of advice for mums returning to work?
Be a lioness! Tell your employer what hours and days you want to work and chose a schedule that suits you not them. You can always negotiate from here if you need to. I was often surprised by how much my employers would bend if I only asked. Remember, if you’re good at what you do, your employer needs you. You’ll never know what you can get unless you ask-->
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