It's not easy being a mum and trying to juggle a full time job with family life, but the good news is it is doable. We asked three influential women who are not only great mothers, but are also succeeding in their chosen careers, how they manage it all.
Dalia El Ali, founder and designer of Dee by Dalia
“Juggling two boys and my own business is challenging, but it’s definitely possible. One of the biggest things for me to be able to manage both is making sure I’m always super organised. Delegating is the key for all working mums, its something you really need to learn to help maximise your productivity and value. It’s also important to choose the right moments to be with your children and the times you can let someone else step in and help out. I work in the mornings while my boys are in school and then I dedicate the afternoon to them. We usually do some kind of fun activity together followed by homework. In the evening I will always read them a bedtime story and then go back to work while they are sleeping. I always try and get a good nights sleep myself so I have the energy to be on form the next day.”
Ascia Al Faraj, Kuwaiti influencer and founder of Seoul Kool
“It can be incredibly frustrating trying to do both at a really intense capacity. I juggle it by trying my best to delegate different work to different people, and schedule time with each family member to care for the kids. It eases the guilt a bit knowing they’re with a family member and not always a paid caregiver. One thing that definitely helps is finding services that make your life easier: laundry services, cleaning services, grocery delivery, and food delivery. Anything I can do remotely from work (no matter where in the world I am) makes me feel like I’m still caring for my family despite also being at work. It’s all about feeling like you’re still doing something for them (besides working to make their lives better).
When I’m not working, I put in quality time instead of quantity. I put my phone down, I pay 100% attention, and I’m truly there. When I’m away, it’s easier to overcome those feelings of guilt by coming up with a new game, hobby or experience that I promise to share with them when I return. It also helps that I have boys because I remind myself how incredibly important it is to model for them a woman that is strong willed, good at her job and not constrained by being a mother and a wife. Instead of being constrained by them, I revel in them and still do what I love.”
Omaira Farooq Al Olama, Emirati woman leader and owner of ALF Administration
“Being a full time mum or a working mum? Can you do both? These are the sort of questions I would often get. As if you suddenly stop being a parent just because you have a 9 to 5. When did things become so black and white? There is no right or wrong answer and there certainly isn’t one that better than the other. I think we need to stop being so hard on ourselves and on other women in general. Being a mother is a tough enough job as it is and we could all do without judgment. For me I find what works most is being present with my kids when I’m with them. To take a break from work emails and phone calls and sit and watch silly TV with them. For what I know it’s more quality than quantity. And it’s more of being aligned with their needs as well as your own. Most mothers tend to put themselves not even second more like third or fourth and this has such a negative impact on their health and happiness as well as the happiness of their kids. We have to give ourselves a break and listen to bodies as well as our minds.”