Victoria explores how to conquer both motherhood and career in this op-ed.
27th March 2018
Beautifully timed on Father’s Day 2016 after Sunday lunch (and too much sticky toffee pudding), my darling daughter decided to make an appearance. It was an incredible yet utterly terrifying experience, as for any first-time mum, and since then the rollercoaster of life has undoubtedly ramped up a few gears.
Before becoming a mum I had grand ideas of what it would be like, but nothing prepares you for the reality. In the early days sleep deprivation took me to lows I’d never imagined – in all honesty, it was a good year before I really started to feel myself again. My confidence took a hit and a total loss of self-identity is something I still feel like I’m grappling with. I have moments of despair that I can’t spend all day every day making happy memories (when not washing sick out of my hair) with my daughter. Then there are the moments that I want to put on a suit and high heels (I must have some somewhere) and take over the world. The trick must be finding a happiness right in the middle of the two.. a trick I am learning but have yet to master.
Whilst on maternity leave from my marketing job in London, I had an epiphany. I’m guessing after 3 hours sleep and whilst singing about the trials of Miss Polly’s dolly, I made the decision to set up my own business as a marketing consultant and have a go at conquering the world.
Since spending my days drinking tea and chasing screaming toddlers with other new mums, I have noticed an incredible amount of untapped experience and potential in women who can’t see a way of balancing work and parenthood. There’s nothing more depressing than the standard ‘full-time 9-5pm’ job description that takes up 99% of recruitment pages.
It was at this time I was introduced to the concept of a portfolio career and the workstyle movement, coined by The Hoxby Collective where I am now a proud Associate. Alongside my work with Hoxby (which I do from home, mostly in my pyjamas), I freelance through my business and I am also an employee at Deloitte. I feel incredibly lucky to be supported by a forward-thinking business like Deloitte, who have made it possible for me to set up a business and work flexibly for them 2 days a week.
The main challenge I continue to face is how do I be a parent (ideally a half decent one) whilst taking over the world? Can I really hold down a successful career between a Monday and a Wednesday, whilst wearing my pyjamas? Pioneering business models like the Hoxby Collective, who are pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo, give me huge hope for the future.