There is a thing going on right now. Call it the Insta effect, Mumboss, the strive for flexible working, a new wave of women who want it all, whatever the label, Mum bosses are on the rise.
I will call myself a Mumboss for the reality of what that means; I am a Mum and I am my own boss. I started my business The Modern Nursery on maternity leave from my Corporate job in the fashion industry at Burberry. I have now left and run The Modern Nursery full time. But I am also a full time Mum, with no childcare. And I am a wife, a friend, a daughter… you see where this is going.
We want it all. My decision to leave that world and start this new work life was absolutely the right thing to do and has brought me happiness, flexibility and fulfilment that I have never experienced. I LOVE my job. However, the reality is that all my Mum mates are starting to go back to work. They are putting on their nice Zara white chiffon tops, culottes and clippy cloppy shoes and walking into an office, without a tiny person clinging onto their legs with every step they take. They can answer an email without biscuit covered fingers adding a whole set of unwanted vowels and consonants to their sentences.
Childcare should be the answer but I left my paid job to spend more time with my daughter and to work for myself, for free.
Whilst a perfectly filtered Instagram feed may fill you with the desire to pack it all in and launch the next big thing, the reality of what that takes looks a little something like this:
That mum is writing emails and spoon feeding her child Petit Filous simultaneously, that takes some skill. Said child will wail if you type one too many words and fall short of your spoon to mouth rhythm.
That Mum is opening her laptop every single nap time instead of watching the next episode of Game of Thrones.
That Mum is sitting in a different room from her partner every night because her working day is 7pm-12am not 9-5.
That Mum looks like she is “always playing on her phone”, when actually she is dealing with an important work matter (even if it is on Instagram). This one kills me every time.
Would I give it all up to answer my emails in peace? To wear white to work? To walk out of the door with a bag that holds keys and an oyster pass instead of wipes and sweetcorn crisps? To drink that really good artisan coffee that costs more than a Pret A Manger sandwich? To sit at the boardroom meeting and have my say?
No, never. Because today in amongst answering emails and paying invoices we played “Row, Row your boat” and belly laughed our way through “Peekaboo”. And it’s those moments that I wouldn’t give up for anything. The flexibility, the fun, the TIME I get to spend with my daughter. Although a few less Petit Filous fingers on my paperwork would be much appreciated. Someone pass the baby wipe.
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