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Embracing Parenthood and Professionalism: My Journey as a Working Mum

July 21, 2023

I am going to put this out there, right from the start. I am proud of me! I am proud of the career I have built-in Human Resources, I love my work and I am a proud full-time working mum to a lively almost three-year-old, I've been on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, balancing the joys of parenthood with the demands of my career. Today, I want to share a piece of my heart with you all and shed some light on the struggles of childcare and working parents, along with the importance of giving ourselves some slack in this crazy journey we call parenting. You know what? Being a working parent is no walk in the park. It's more like a tightrope walk between important meetings, payroll deadlines, and ensuring my little one has a big smile on their face. There have been times when I questioned if I was doing enough for my child or if I was dropping the ball at work. It's easy to get overwhelmed and feel like I'm failing at times, but let me tell you this - it's okay to have those moments. We're all human, and the reality is that parenthood is one wild adventure with twists and turns we can't always predict. Note: This has taken some acceptance, as I am not a fan of change! But here's the thing I've learned on this journey - imperfection is beautiful. It's what makes us human, and it's what connects us as parents. Instead of beating ourselves up over not being the "perfect" mum or dad, let's embrace the little imperfections and celebrate the love and effort we pour into raising our children. Trust me; they appreciate every bit of it, even if they don't always show it. I have been getting the treatment of "it's Daddy Day" a lot lately, but I know my monkey loves me also really. I am also so grateful to have my partner to balance this imperfection with, we keep each other stable. But now, let's talk about external support - something we all need, especially when it comes to balancing work and parenting. Employers, listen up! Offering flexibility in the workplace is a game-changer for us working parents. Whether it's the option to work from home when the little one is feeling under the weather or having a slightly adjusted schedule to fit in school drop-offs, these small changes can make a massive difference in our lives. So, to all the companies out there, let's create a family-friendly culture that understands the needs of working parents and provides the support we require. Of course, it's not just the companies that play a role in this journey. The UK government can lend a helping hand too! Affordable and accessible childcare options are a lifeline for many families, allowing us to focus on our work without constantly worrying about our children's well-being. Moreover, parental leave policies that consider the needs of modern families can give us the time and flexibility we need to be present for our kids during those crucial early years. The government is expanding the 30 hours-free childcare scheme so that working parents of all children over the age of nine months are also entitled to free 30 hours of childcare. This is a transformational change that will make a difference to so many of us across the country. From April 2024, working parents of two-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours of free childcare. From September 2024, 15 hours of free childcare will be extended to all children from the age of nine months. From September 2025, working parents of children under the age of five will be entitled to 30 hours of free childcare per week. Therefore the changes slowly being implemented here for greater access to childcare at a younger age for many families is a massive win! But do you know what's been my secret weapon in all of this? It's the power of community. As HR professionals, we have the unique opportunity to foster a supportive and understanding environment within our organisations. Let's encourage open conversations about the ups and downs of parenting, breaking the stigma around seeking help or advice. Building this sense of community not only helps us as parents but also empowers our colleagues to better understand and appreciate the challenges we face. In conclusion, my fellow working parents, let's cut ourselves some slack and remember that we are not alone in this beautiful yet chaotic journey of parenthood. Embracing our imperfections and supporting one another will create a workplace that celebrates us both as professionals and as parents. And to my little one, if you ever read this in the future - Mum's doing her best, and I love you more than words can say! About the Author: Hi, I'm Emma, and I wear many hats - an HR professional, owner of erpayrollhrservices, and most importantly, a proud full-time working mum. I'm passionate about supporting working parents and creating family-friendly workplaces where everyone can thrive. Let's connect on LinkedIn, and feel free to visit my website to explore more on how we could work together in this beautiful chaos called life!

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