…Is your baby damaging your career?

I can’t think of anything more stressful than taking my child to work with me but I heard a story of a mother who does just this. Is it rare or something that could be trending one day?

Either there isn’t a reliable nanny filling the gap yet or the family members that had all the time in the world suddenly don’t, they’ve moved away and you’re out of options. Imagine, the men that turn up to work only to be stuck in your office with your screaming child.. Ok babies don’t constantly cry true, but similarly they don’t belong in an office either! If the thought has ever passed through your head ‘I give up! Maybe I should just take them with me’, breathe a sigh of relief because you’re not the only one. However, the key to success in the workplace is to make it about teamwork and less about gender. It is that place of mutual respect which you earn by your contribution to the greater goal (in an ideal world). Women naturally have the innate ability to get things done, it’s a gift and this gift amongst others can cause a woman to rise to tremendous heights in her career. There are ways to sabotage God-given abilities and one of those ways is by letting that thought play out.

Here’s why:

1. Respect — As if it wasn’t hard enough being respected at work, now you have to apologize for the presence of your pride and joy that usually isn’t so bad but today has chosen to let the whole block know they have a voice and they’re not afraid to use it. Work is the place to be productive and gain affirmation in that. Many come to zone out from the pressures of home life — don’t remind them of the very thing they’re attempting to escape and expect to stay in their good books.

2. Productivity — I don’t know how everyone else’s mind works but I cannot focus on the task in hand and on the little person relying on me for their every need at the same time. I can do each very well at different times. Working productively for 8 hours in the office and then returning to the madhouse to bath, cuddle and bed my baby — maybe even sing to them a little. Why? Because the day is done and I didn’t survive, I smashed it. Let the channels of your mind be separate, resist the temptation in believing that superwoman status is about quantity and not quality.

3. Priorities — When the two worlds of life meet like this, it’s very easy from the outside looking in to give the advice ‘Get your priorities in order’. Well what is the right order? What comes first? Inevitably, your children who never asked to be created and have the right to your best, come first. Unfortunately, there is always a replacement for your role in the work place. Don’t be afraid of that truth — it was fundamentally a part of the realisation of many mompreneurs.

4. A better way — This post isn’t about entrepreneurship more than it is about childcare issues but inevitably being a businesswoman, it is difficult to ignore the potential for better. So many working mums have ditched that life, a job that they loved (that made them feel something more than a milk-machine) as a sacrifice for their family. Deciding that you can’t have both right now is one of the hardest, in some cases gut-wrenching decisions to make but it can be the best decision you ever made. Ok so now you’re home, with the kids. You love them more than you ever knew you could and you enjoy being with them but inevitably you start dreaming, which leads to curiosity and eventually research.. You’ve got an idea! Because you’re a co-ordinator and that will never change, a queen, wired to control and build something and being a mother might even compliment that because now you have another dimension to your fire — legacy. You were good at your job when you were focused. You have time and flexibility while you’re at home now so maybe it’s the perfect time to create.

5. Relationships — If you suck at your job because you can’t focus then that will flow into your relationship with your spouse first, always the prime target for frustration but also your colleagues and worse, your children. It isn’t their fault but sometimes you find yourself resenting them — too deep? No such thing.

What can you do instead?

Bite the bullet and locate incredible childcare. From where? Currently, the common way is through an agent where you’ll pay for their help and then for the hired help herself. The problem is that the agent doesn’t have high enough standards for you to be able to trust their judgement. You have little or limited information into the background or training of each candidate, yet you take the risk believing you can make do. So you need childcare fast! You don’t want to spend more than you have to and you definitely don’t want to be ripped off. You’ve paid agents who have provided you with questionable nannies who gave you more headache than help. There is definitely a better way. You can access the highest quality childcare in Nigeria at the click of a button on Childminder.ng, whether you’re searching for nannies, babysitters, and nurseries/crèches. Searching local childcare services, viewing profiles and messaging directly with those in charge means you can finally cut out that middle-man. It’s a no brainer! What’s more, you get to conduct the background check yourself to the ensure the authenticity (hey it’s a bit of work but consider the fact that you will be leaving your precious munchkins with them).

Maybe your children hang out in the office and you rock at your job, you can focus on both at once, you’re hitting targets and your performance hasn’t at all suffered, congratulations — you’re an alien! Thanks for reading and share this with someone who’s not in your boat. If you haven’t found yourself relating to anything we’ve talked about because you have incredible help at home that allows you to work peacefully for 8 hours a day, again congratulations because you are blessed! You may know people attempting or wishing to live your life but without the support of childcare — share this with them. Whichever boat you’re in, life is full of opportunities and regardless of the intensity of the season, it remains that anything can happen so whether you stay or go, consider leaving the work in the office and the baby at home.

Stay tuned for more on childcare, work and parenting!

If you think you might be sailing towards mompreneurship or maybe you haven’t got in that boat yet but you dream about it. Here are two of our favourites: