Louboutin’s to Lullaby’s

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Can you really have “IT ALL?”

In 2015 I was working in the city, on the board of a successful luxury retail recruitment business. I had spent the previous 5 years “living the London life”, working hard and playing hard, as some may say.

When my daughter arrived, I knew I wanted to lead by example, show her that anything is possible and to follow her dreams. It sounds so cliché, yet for me, it is key to allow her to do exactly what she wants to do, to believe in herself and to grow up having a fulfilled life.

I have watched and spoken to so many women first-hand about the juggle of motherhood and a career, with many feeling that it is a choice, a sacrifice. That it’s simply not possible to “have it all”. The pressure from the media to have it all, the perfect body, relationship, home life, successful career and family life continues to mount. We are slowly seeing a revolt of women pushing back, to drop the façade of the perfect life and to show up more authentically.

So back to my original question, can you have it all? The career and the family?

YES! You absolutely can, but for each individual that looks different.

I personally went through a challenging time in those first two years of becoming a mum. I returned to the city, dropping my daughter at nursery and continuing my career as I had done before, with the exception of doing four day week.

My life quickly became a military operation, to make sure I didn’t miss the train, to give enough time to each person in my team, to be on time to collect from nursery. Home time became a slick process for bath and bedtime before the laptop came back out. I would constantly feel guilty to my daughter, for not being able to enjoy each moment more, to my work for not feeling like I could perform like I used to. I just never had enough time. Added to this my identity seemed to change, who was I now that I was a mother? I no longer had time to go for “after-work drinks”, I often felt overdressed compared to other mums when dropping off at nursery, in my designer gear. Where did I fit? Who was Michelle?

Fast forward 6 years, it’s been a journey of self-discovery and growth. Learning about what is really important to me and figuring out how I can have it all. My all isn’t commuting into the city, working crazy hours, yet I thrive on building businesses and not just being Michelle the mother. Now don’t get me wrong I love my daughter, but I love being me too.

Over these past years, I have forged a successful business coaching other women, to believe in themselves, to have confidence and create a lifestyle they love. In addition to starting my own HR & Recruitment business with two incredible business partners. I got creative and identified what I really wanted and what made me tick.

I have learnt that success doesn’t need to come at a price, but you need to define what success looks like for you. Success to me is having the flexibility to work from home, to set my own hours and to be in control of my day. I want to be around to take my daughter to school and to swimming lessons, yet I want to be able to have my own independence.

Life ebbs and flows, I am not there for every school run, as I have clients but I have found my happy medium.

Success and happiness are your own to define, don’t let others define them for you.

Check out WIBBC Co-Founders, Lucy & Mary on Michelles podcast; The Real Woman Series

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