I'M DELIGHTED to share this story with you!
SARAH BARRACLOUGH - Operations Director, Skipton PropertiesA fine balance – work and motherhood
Having a full-time job is fulfilling, but juggling my family life around it is a finely tuned process and has taken many years of practice. But the flexibility my job offers allows me to be the mum I want to be. It hasn’t always been this way however.
When I first started working full time after my maternity leave with my first child, I found it very hard to switch off and work commitments would often take over. Luckily, I have always had the support of my husband (we share the school runs and extra-curricular activities for the kids) but when you first start work you really feel like you have a mountain to climb.
I would often bring the stresses of work home with me, which would affect my relationship with my husband and my children. This is something I have worked very hard on. I think in any business, and especially in family businesses, it’s hard to leave the work at work. I am very close to my father and sister and often the time we spend together can become dominated by it. We all work hard to separate the two. My husband is also a part of the business, so you can imagine how easy it is to slip into business mode around the dinner table!
My children are now 6 and 8 and it’s a different story. I don’t always work full days and instead pick my work back up when I’ve put the children to bed. Not every night, as I don’t think my husband would approve, but whenever I need to! I’m always at home to put the kids to bed, I never miss a sports day or a school concert. I’m there for them and I’m also fully able to commit to work too. Feeling fulfilled at home means when I’m at work I’m focused; I achieve so much more in the time I am in the office than I ever have done.
I was recently promoted to the role of Operations Director, which has been a fresh challenge. It does often mean I need to stay a little longer at work but this evolution is much easier to manage now that my children are at school full time. I do sometimes wonder and feel for career women out there that increase their workload when their children are young. I salute you! My top tip for managing an ever-increasing workload is to have someone who is right there to support you, both at work and at home. Also, a blackboard with school runs on doesn’t go amiss!
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