Working Mothers On Achieving Work / Life Balance

Working mothers on achieving work / life balance


A good work / life balance: the holy grail for all working mothers. Much like the glistening pot of gold at the end of the rainbow it holds so much promise, and yet always feels just out of reach. We wonder though that amongst all the hectic activities – the midnight feeds, the tripping over toys, the wiping mess off your best suit and pouring the extra shot of espresso when you reach the office – just two little changes in mindset and outlook might be the key to a healthy work / life balance.

Choose to be happy

Ok, we know this is far more easily said than done, but there is a choice to be made between allowing the demands of family and work life to be draining or energising. You might feel stressed that you don’t have enough time to spend with family, but don’t let that overwhelm and waste the time you do get with them. Stop and actively choose to enjoy those precious moments, drinking in every smile your little one gives you.

Find flexibility

Of course for some working mothers achieving a strong work / life balance takes a little more than just a change of perspective. The economy hasn’t been kind recently, leaving many new mothers with no choice but to fit their family life around their career, rather than being able to find a happy compromise between the two. With affordable day care difficult to find, work balance choices are often unfortunately made by the head rather than the heart. However, in attempts to create balance for themselves, an increasing number of women are seeking jobs that allow them a degree of flexibility, or can be done from home.

Proof that it can be done


Adrienne Rowsome is an incredible example of a do-it-all mother who just happens to be a professional online poker player: she’s created a life for herself in which work and family can fit seamlessly around each other. This might seem like an unconventional employment situation compared to most other working mothers, but as we’ve been learning, more and more women do seek out jobs that are more flexible.

Rowsome didn’t seek out playing online poker as a profession as part of the plan for having a family, rather, her plan was to incorporate having a family with her life as a Team Pro player with PokerStars. Those not familiar with playing poker as a profession might not think the job is hugely demanding. They would be mistaken. Playing online poker successfully takes up large chunks of time and a great deal of focus. All mothers know how demanding a new baby can be, so they’ll appreciate that focusing on any one thing for a long period of time with a new-born in the house is nearly impossible! Fortunately for Rowsome, the job allows flexibility and freedom, plus she’s lucky enough to have a great deal of support from her husband!

The job flexibility allowed her to prioritise her time after the birth, and adapt all her activities around the baby. While the roles between her and her husband weren’t specifically delineated, (she was of course responsible for breastfeeding!) her husband assisted with dressing, bathing, feeding support, and nappy changes. During the first three months of the baby’s life she made time with the newborn her number one priority. She was able to do this by planning ahead and putting in extra volume playing online poker before the birth and by setting clear financial goals.

After about four months she was able to get back in to a more static routine, allowing her to go back to work on a more consistent basis, with her husband providing the primary child care while she was occupied. Rowsome and her husband were able to maintain a healthy social life by focusing activities around the home, with lots of dinner parties, watching movies, and playing games. She was also able to keep up her blogging and social media presence (Twitter and Facebook) – the latter during feeds or short down times – since the nature of the tasks was relatively brief.

While Rowsome did allow her own personal health to fall by the way side a bit initially (it was, understandably, not of the highest priority), she took up walking the baby in a stroller as her main physical activity, with plans to begin yoga at home via smart TV, as well as using her exercise bike. Her entire work balance was a matter of planning, choosing values and priorities, and having the support of her husband and family to help when needed.

The responsibility that came from being a parent superseded everything else in Rowsome’s life. She’d built a strong foundation prior to the birth, and transitioned through the various phases maintaining the perspective that the baby was an addition that complimented her life, not one that had taken it over!


Like many mothers, Sheila Lirio Marcelo found it difficult to find quality, affordable childcare when she became a mother. As mum to two small children, she was sure there had to be a simpler way of finding fantastic childcare than rifling through a phone book or asking friends, family and neighbours for recommendations. A natural problem solver, Sheila used this experience to found in 2006, which has since gone on to become the largest online care destination in the world.

Achieving a work / life balance has gone further than just being a successful mother and entrepreneur herself, as Lirio Marcelo now also provides mentorship and support for women at every stage of their lives and careers through her company Indeed, there are numerous mothers / entrepreneurs (or mumpreneurs!) like Sheila, who’ve developed their own businesses from a desire to have more control over their own lives and careers. They’ve cleverly found themselves a way to create a healthy work / life balance by choosing a career that allows them complete flexibility to work around their often unpredictable, crazy, but wonderful family lives.

Anouszka Tate

Anouszka is a print journalist and radio & TV presenter with a penchant for sarcasm and tongue in cheek wit. Most importantly she’s YCB’s Features Editor. When she's not busy being all career driven she'll be baking, working out or making lists. Sometimes she wishes she had been born a decade earlier, and male, so that she could have been in a 90s boy band. Follow her on twitter and instagram @anouszkatate for vital updates on the above things summarised in 140 characters / in photo form.