09. 24. 2020
Work and family balance can be tricky for any dedicated mother who works in a competitive industry such as digital marketing. Despite this, our resident moms make it look easy. We asked mom and copywriter Nomathamsanqa Bota to tell us how she does it.
Suddenly I found myself working from home with three kids to take care of. The thought of staying home with my kids while simultaneously working seemed like a dream the kind of life that happens only to those who are fortunate. Fast forward to 2020 and this has become my reality- a messy and mentally taxing one. Heres how Im surviving a pandemic, deadlines, and three little humans.
I had to accept that I need help
After a month of being a super-mom zombie, I had to find a way to fulfil my duties at work and also make sure that the kids are well-taken care of. Hiring a helper was the only way possible for me to keep my job and remain sane. Getting help doesnt mean that youre weak, it means that youre human with only 24hrs in your day.
I had to find what works for me
My childrens ages are 6, 3, and 1, so theres no way theyll listen to me when I say that Im busy and I cant be distracted. They simply dont understand and by me being home, it seems to them that Im all theirs. For the work that needs my utmost attention, I do it at night. Find what works for you and stick to that.
I learned to prioritise
I had to let go of the notion that I had to everything at once, and accept that not being a super work-from-home mom was okay. There might be a million things for me to do, but I do everything according to priority and what I dont get to do, I know that tomorrow is still another chance for me to tick off my to-do list.
I found out that rest is absolutely necessary
I was working around the clock and my body and mental health finally gave in. I was too exhausted and nothing seemed to be going right, so I decided to include rest days in my schedule, where are Im not working, thinking about work or being the perfect mom. Pyjamas all day, kids bathed and fed, thats enough on my rest days. Rest is essential and will recharge you physically and mentally a day or two for yourself is not selfish, its vital.
Its been four months since I started working from home and its been a rollercoaster ride, meeting deadlines makes me feel like Ive done the impossible. Even though sometimes Im the one throwing tantrums, I can confidently say that Ive got this. Im still learning to balance it all, but seeing that Ive still got my job and all my kids intact, I think its safe for me to say that Im a pretty good juggler.
What has your experience been like being a mom while working in an industry as competitive as this one?
Its been challenging because I have to keep up with the fast-paced industry demands while also trying to take care of the little ones. The challenge was finding the balance and making sure that the frustration and exhaustion doesnt get in the way of my creativity, leaving me completely blocked.
Do you think being a mom is sometimes considered disadvantage in this industry? How can this be changed?
Definitely, the industry is not friendly to mothers, you end up feeling out of place and almost have to prove that you deserve a place at the table. You have to prove that even though you're a mother, you still can get the job done.
Is there more pressure when you're trying to get ahead/grow in digital as a mom?
Not really, I think digital allows me to be flexible and aids in my growth because everything as at the palm of my hands.
Do you think motherhood gives you a certain type of edge when working in a team/on brands?
Depends on what kind of brands, but it does give me an edge when Im working in a team because Im able to understand people better and I'm able to handle different personalities.
Now that you're working from home, what's changed?
Everything has changed. Even though I have a helper, Im still mom. My kids think that I'm home just for fun and refuse to understand when I have to work, sometimes making it really hard for me to work at my best. I've resorted to doing most of my work at night when they're sleeping and honestly, I enjoy not having to travel and being able to keep an eye on my kids.
How do you deal with the demands and added pressure?
Honestly, Im just winging it hey.
Your message to other young moms working in this industry during this pandemic?
Reach out for help, take time off ON YOUR OWN! Breathe... you've got this.