5 things I’ve learnt from being a working mum in the events industry
Being a working mum is tough, no matter what industry you work in.
But, unlike most jobs, working in the events industry often means travelling away from home a lot of the time. We work silly hours too, not just during office hours. It can be incredibly demanding on us, as well as those people at home who love us. It makes the already hard job of parenting even harder.
Being a mum and working in events requires resilience, adaptability, and the ability to find balance amidst chaos. My son is almost 17 and the pressure on me has eased with respect to childcare. But I don’t think you ever stop worrying or feeling pangs of guilt as a mum.
During my experience of being a working mum in the events industry, I’ve picked up a lot of tips and advice. Here are 5 things I’ve learnt…
1 Embrace flexibility
The events industry is notorious for its irregular schedules and last-minute changes, so it requires immense dedication and flexibility. Deadlines, client demands, and unexpected curveballs are par for the course.
As a working mum, it can be challenging to balance these demands with the needs of your family. So, it’s important to be adaptable and embrace flexibility, which means understanding that not everything will go according to plan. Be prepared to adjust everything accordingly.
Setting clear boundaries, prioritising tasks, and effective time management are key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
2 The power of support systems
No working mum can do it all alone. Building a strong support network and having an army of childcare is crucial in overcoming the challenges of managing work and family.
Leaning on reliable childcare options, trusted friends, and family members can provide much-needed assistance during busy periods or when unexpected events arise.
I used a spreadsheet to record which childminder did which hours, and who was responsible for what? And I found it’s crucial to have a backup plan and a backup person. If little Johnny gets sick and you’re in Timbuktu, you aren’t much use!
I got divorced when my son was 10, so the childcare had to step up another level and I needed grandparents overnight, people after school, people before school. And this is only looking at childcare – don’t get me started on dog care!
3 Cherishing quality time
Time spent with family is precious, especially when balancing a demanding career. I’ve learned to cherish quality over quantity. It’s not always about the hours you spend with your loved ones but the meaningful moments you create.
Taking breaks, switching off from work, and being fully present with my son during those special moments allows me to connect and make lasting memories.
4 Accept the mum guilt
I used to feel like a stranger in the school playground. None of the clicky mums talked to me. I was the mum who worked away. I was a bit of a leper.
I even had a stand-up row with a mum once, and that’s what she threw at me, in front of all the other mums. “You’re not a good mum because you work away all the time”.
Mum guilt can be a terrible thing, but mum guilt thrown at you by other mums with their own mum guilt should not be a thing at all!
In all my time working this way, I only forgot Charlie once! It was me that was meant to pick him up that day, I had thought someone else was! It’s such an awful feeling.
Try to accept that mum guilt is real and don’t beat yourself up too much. Your job takes you away. It doesn’t make you a bad person. There’s no need to over-worry or over-complicate things.
One of my childminders told me when Charlie was very little, that children get used to what they grow up with. Our life was normal to Charlie.
5 Self-care and prioritising wellbeing
Taking care of yourself is often overlooked, especially when you’re a working mum. We tend to prioritise everyone else’s needs over our own.
However, self-care is crucial for maintaining balance and avoiding burnout. So, give yourself a break. Working in events is hard, and being a mum is hard work, too. There’s only so much one person can do.
Before I was a mum, I would come home from an event and chill out on the sofa, lie in, rest and recuperate. This all stops once there is a little person in the mix too.
Carve out time for activities that rejuvenate you – whether it’s exercise, reading, hobbies, or simply enjoying some solitude. For me, I swing kettlebells and walk my Labradoodle, Bruce.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
By setting boundaries, embracing flexibility, nurturing support systems, and prioritising self-care, you can excel in both professional and personal spheres.
To all the working mums out there, remember that you’re not alone. And with the right mindset and support, you can thrive in the events industry while cherishing the moments that matter most with your loved ones.
I’m so proud of the well-rounded man my son has become. If I can do it, so can you.