Ashlee Thomas

Industry: Career & Business Coaching

Children: 2

How would you best describe yourself?

I would describe myself as being free spirited, quite organised, easy to get along with and understanding. I am also career driven and ambitious. A huge passion of mine is flexible working and supporting mums in their return to work, whether that be in a workplace or creating their own home based business.

How has becoming a parent changed your perception of work and career and what surprised you the most?

Pre-children as a recruiter, I never really understood the need for 'flexibility.' The norm was working 9 - 5 in an office. But, once children came along, my priorities changed. I craved flexibility and the opportunity to work around my family on my own terms. That's one of the many reasons why I began my own business.

What advice would you give your younger self about starting a family?

Just because you choose to start a family, does not mean that your career is over.

What has been your biggest challenge in motherhood to date? How have you overcome this?

My biggest challenge has been juggling two young children and working from home.. and of course the guilt that comes with that. I accept help, I outsource, I utilise child care and I remind myself why I am working - to follow my passion, to set a good example for my children, to connect with amazing women, to help people. Modern expectations of working motherhood are undesirable, unrealistic, and most certainly unachievable. I connect to that regularly.

What are your strategies to manage the juggle of career and family?

Time management and setting boundaries. I use a planner that I take with me everywhere along with an online project management system so I can track where I am at work wise. I priorotise and set realistic time frames as well as set boundaries with both friends and clients. My family is my number one priority, everything else is secondary.

What do you do for self-care?

Self-care is a necessity. Looking after myself, is looking after the children.. Whether I go for a long walk, have a bath, listen to a podcast, call a friend, daily I make it a priority to do some sort of self care.. Whatever that may look like.