counting on fingers and toes to managing event budgets – all in a day’s work
Today is my first day back after my second maternity leave. Somehow the summer has passed and I’m back at my desk again. It actually feels like I never really left; I just added another ball into my training to become a professional juggler. I say training for the obvious reason – at least you go to school before you get a job – motherhood, you hit the ground running and need to go amateur to professional in your first three months. (Only you don’t get the sack if you’re not up to scratch after the probationary period.)
They say women are at their most creative and entrepreneurial after having kids. The latter is undoubtedly something to do with the need for flexibility in a corporate world where ‘part-time’ is still a dirty word. A friend of mine pre-kids was an Account Director for a brand design agency. Post-kids she has been an interior designer and set up a vintage bicycle business, Beg Bicycles. That is before becoming a children’s book illustrator and building her own house. But does motherhood, rather than take you out of the workplace, give you those all-important transferable skills to get back into the world of corporate events?
Fortunately my colleagues don’t throw their toys out of prams but managing big personalities in little people is invaluable experience for managing the same in big people. A working mother of multiple children can naturally turn her hand to the project management of events – the multi-tasking and inevitable logistics follow the same principle with the added benefit that at work your client’s event objectives aren’t always ‘moving targets’. Managing budgets is obviously light years from counting on your toddler’s fingers and toes, but just the fact that mummy as well as daddy is off to work each morning is an integral part of children’s view of the world today.
As a working mum myself I’m more of a realist than an idealist and I don’t believe you can have it all. I believe you can have some of it all or rather, do some of it all. It’s exhausting and rewarding in equal measures and if variety is the spice of life, it makes life as rich as the colours of a Moroccan spice market. I’m in.