Wendy Squires

Children: Three children and two stepchildren

Industry: Hairdressing

How would you best describe yourself?

Positive, extremely organised with good time management. My kids call me excitable....

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

When having my children I took very little time off especially with my first as I had my own hairdressing salon. I had to go back to work when he was only a few weeks old. The support of my parents and family was how I got through. They say it takes a village to raise and child and that was the case for us. After my second I decided to do part-time work and continued for my third. I have always found the juggle difficult at times. Not only did it helped us financially, but it also helped with keeping my skills up to date and have a happy, healthy work/home life ratio. I did sometimes find I would put my clients before my children, which I would always feel guilty. Now my kids are first. With the 5 kids and an amazing partner the juggle is sometimes hectic and a little crazy but we all do our bit to make it all work.

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

I would tell myself not to sweat on the small stuff and the time you get with your children, make it quality time. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself with parenting. We learn as we go too.

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

Now that the kids are in their teens, I find it harder from when they were baby’s, toddlers, or even primary school kids. When they are young it’s physical but when they are older it becomes more emotional. (Also there is a lot more running around). Teenagers go on a real emotional roller coaster and you have to be there all the time for them.. even if sometimes they are hard to be around. Keep your lines of communication open.

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

You have to be really organised, and have great time management. One of the most important keys is to communicate well with your partner and your kids.

What do you do for self-care?

This is a difficult thing to achieve, I need plenty of sleep so I have reasonably early nights and try and eat healthier. I occasionally try to get massages, go out with friends, or have a hot bath with champagne, and lovely smelling candles.