Naomi Leunig

Children: 1

Industry: Entertainment & Leisure

How would you best describe yourself?

As a Mum I’m loving, caring and can be a bit of a pushover.

As a Worker I’m tough, passionate, hard working and a great leader.

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

Before I became a Mum I thought it was important to be fully present in your child’s life and it was selfish to work and put your child into care. When I became a Mum I realised how important it is to continue to do something for myself, and to show my daughter that Women can do both - be a Mum and have a career.

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

Expect the unexpected and don’t compare yourself and your children to others.

What has been your biggest challenge so far across the stages of pregnancy / leave / returning to work?  How have you overcome this?

I underestimated how tough it is to maintain a balance of both roles and even after doing it for 5 years I still struggle at times. My work is quite demanding and when I’m not at work I am always ‘on call’ and often have to drop what I’m doing to take a call and deal with an issue. This definately impedes on family time.

I also get Mummy guilts on days when I get home late and my daughter is already in bed or about to go.

To overcome these I try to make sure my daughter and I have some 1-1 time during the week - jumping on the trampoline, reading a book, going to the park etc.

The other big challenge is allowing and maintaining time for me. My ability to juggle and cope suffers when I don’t factor any in and it is really important for my mental health. It doesn’t have to be much - yoga once a week, taking our dog for a walk, reading a book, watching telly.

What strategies / initiatives do you use to help you manage the juggle of being a Working Mumma and family?

I’m fortunate to have flexible work hours which I negotiated as part of my role and it means that I can do school drop off and my partner does pick up when he finishes work. My partner also takes our daughter to after school activities and he does a large portion of the domestic duties. Things that help us are:

  • Routine

  • Doing a load of washing every evening to dry overnight

  • Planning out meals at the start of the week and if possible having a few frozen meals ready to go in the freezer (Pre Mum days I would shop and cook daily!)

  • Doing ad hoc cleaning during the week rather than having a dedicated cleaning day (it used to be Saturday mornings) AND trying to remember that a clean house isn’t everything!