I’m the furthest thing from a mother you could probably find, I’m great with kids but I love burgers, staying out until the early hours of the morning and swearing like a sailor, so when I invited my 8-year-old sister to come and stay with me for four days I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. No matter how many times people mistook her for my daughter, I was kind of relieved that I could say I was just the cool big sister, to be honest! Here’s what I learned…
1. You have to be a master of the morning routine
You want to be chic, have your hair done and look amazing, but the reality is you barely have time to do your makeup after convincing a child to dress themselves, brush their hair and get their socks on.
I spent the first few days with my jeans undone and my hair unwashed, with snotty tissues in my pockets and lipstick around my face, until I figured out that I needed to plan the morning routine flawlessly for both of us. Luckily our article on cutting your morning routine really helped, plus don’t underestimate the power of BB cream!
2. Balancing a business with a baby feels impossible
You know what, I’m sure everyone noticed my absence on CGD, I wasn’t sending emails – I wasn’t communicating, simply because she took up all of my time (in the best way!) I loved taking her to the zoo and doing an easter egg hunt, but part of me was having a panic attack that I was absent from my career.
Career Girls with kids have to find a balance that works, I found that working together was the best way to get anything done. Pinterest was my best friend for craft ideas, and I printed out photographs for her to make a scrapbook of our adventures together, it kept her quiet for ages! If you need to learn about juggling a career with a kid read this article about one of our contributor’s unique experience and how having a child changed their career.
3. Networking is easier with a child in tow
When you have a child in tow, people are more likely to smile and ask a question. My sister brought her hamster George to London with her, so a lot of people were very inquisitive about him, it was kind of nice to get smiles and polite conversation instead of scowls and frowns. If only I could take her to networking events with me…
4. Having a responsibility makes you kinder to yourself
You can’t grab a greasy burger and five vodka lemonades with a child in tow, so it forces you to spend more time thinking creatively about dinner. Sliced cucumber anyone? You can’t really eat two different meals either because the first thing you’ll hear is “Can I try?”. Plus, you find yourself giving advice to children that you should really take yourself.
Having her around made me see myself through a different pair of eyes, and appreciate myself more. When you’re responsible for a child you can’t have a burnout, so read our article on telling the difference between a bad day or a burnout.
Do you want to learn more about juggling a career with a child – or do you have any tips about being a working mom? We’d love to hear from you – drop a comment in the box below!