Sorry Cherie Blair, but we are proud and efficient home mums & mumpreneurs!
- Published on Thursday, 21 June 2012 11:32
- Last Updated on 27 March 2014
- Monica Costa
- 9 Comments
Yesterday morning LBC Radio called me to comment on Cherie Blair's attack to women who prefer to stay at home, but unfortunately I had a dentist appointment and could not do the interview. Here is my response.
I get really upset when people say 'Oh well, as you are at home you can do this and that..'. Actually, being a stay at home mum and (worse!) a multitasking mumpreneur can be a really daunting task sometimes. You don't just have the full responsibility for the kids, the household and the wellbeing of the family but also for the business or businesses you run from your own home. It's ironically easier to delegate childcare to a nanny or a nursery/school. Over the years I have had tons of messages from mums who decided to go back to work to 'relax' and 'have an easier life'.
I don't know if this is so extreme but being a stay at home mumpreneur is really tough. I have often found myself on the phone with business clients and my child screaming for attention in the other room. Or having to work late at night … All the mumpreneurs out there would totally relate to that. Every day I get emails from other mumpreneurs at midnight. That's the best time to work when you are doing millions of jobs at the time ….
So dear Cherie Blair, your attack on 'yummy' mummies (who by the way don't feel at all yummy due to the lack to time spent on becoming 'yummy') “dangerous” lifestyle, delivered at Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women event in Claridge’s, sounds rather out of touch.
Deciding to become a mumpreneur over a promising career is very hard, but it is very rewarding if you manage to survive the first few years of tough working while dealing with the kids' upbringing full time.
One of the drives for many professional women to start their own home business is that they want to spend quality time with their children while finding their own business niche and fulfilling a life dream. This is all possible. But even if you decide to be a stay-at-home mum, you find yourself being always at everyone's disposal, acting as an entertainer, cleaner, financial controller, project manager etc etc
Everybody should be left free to do what they want to do. Even the main book character from 'I don't know how she does it' tries to have a banking career while raising a young family but in the end she finds her own path and decides to start her own business.
We asked Margot Bloom, a Lifestyle Management Coach who works with businesses and people to find their ultimate work/life balance, what she thinks of Cherie Blair's comments. Margot works closely with the theory that creating time by working more smartly is the sure fire way to a ‘tidy life’, so when it comes to balancing her business with her family she is an expert at making sure everything is run smoothly!
On hearing Ms Blair’s comments yesterday, Margot has come up with 5 tops tips in store for getting the balance right as a working mother:
"Whilst I agree in part with Mrs Blair, working parents do set a better example, but the work/life balance has to be right or the children will suffer from lack of attention and feelings of isolation and resentment towards the mothers job!
I do feel that in this age of virtual workplace women have a very real choice to work from their home and around their children and many are doing just that and very successfully.
Getting the balance right is the key for a working mother.
5 top tips
1. Actually schedule 'me' time
It is essential to take some uninterrupted time out to process what is going on in your life and to see what you need to do more clearly
2. Keep to office hours
Whatever office hours you chose – stick to them and make sure that family time is not impacted by work calls etc.
3. Hire a cleaner
It’s amazing how much can be done by someone who does not have to keep stopping to answer the phone or send an email – cost can be offset by not having to buy takeaways because kitchen is unusable.
4. Set smart phone to silent during family time
If you have clearly explained your working hours to everybody who maybe impacted by them, there is no guilt in leaving an email unanswered until you get back to the office.
5. ASK FOR HELP when things get too much
There is no shame in asking for help, many of us take pride in multi-tasking, but actually we should be more proud of finding the right people to delegate to and the way that we manage our lifestyle …."
Read our inspiring mumpreneurs' testimonials here https://londonmumsmagazine.com/category/mums-tips/mumpreneurs-mums-at-work
When we asked Mayor of London Boris Johnson 'What can be done to improve female entrepreneurship, and grow existing female businesses in London?' he said: "Forums such as London Mums and Work Your Way are invaluable for forging new relationships, sparking ideas and providing advice in an easy, accessible way. For living proof of the dizzy career heights which are being reached by ambitious, talented and entrepreneurially-minded women in London, I need to look no further than my own team – Isabel Dedring, Rosie Boycott, Munira Mirza and Pamela Chesters are all outstanding female advisors of mine who are shaping London’s bright future. They are among many fantastic female role models in London who are step ping forward to instil confidence in the next generation of entrepreneurial women".
Please let us know what you think by leaving your comments below.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums