Enjoys work and children

Being a mother and having a successful career in counseling – is it possible at all? To answer that question, we spoke with Bisnez consultants and mothers Astrid Huigen, Annette Kramer, Judith Koetsveld and Sylwia Abbaszadeh. Working mothers are certainly not unique to Bisnez. Almost half of the female consultants are mothers of one or more children. On a cozy terrace in Gouda, while enjoying the sun, the four colleagues talked about change, expectations and keeping all the balls in the air.

The conversation quickly shifts to the practical challenges of motherhood. How should we realize childcare, and what do we do if both parents have activities in the evening? And doubt the effect of working less: If you start working fewer hours a week, can you still do the same cool tasks?

These dilemmas are recognized by all ladies. However, practice turned out to be different than expected. “Full agenda or not, my partner and I always work on the schedule,” Annette says. “Even though every now and then it requires the necessary improvisation skills. Don’t you have? “

Sylwia nods in agreement: “Improvisation is definitely important. I have become much more flexible. I love schedules, structure and schedules. Only when you have a baby can you not always hold on to it. Mila’s arrival has taught me to let go and say no more often. “

Astrid also admits: “I still do very cool tasks. But when you have children, you naturally become more picky, you make better choices and it becomes easier to prioritize. I think you could say that motherhood has enriched my career. ”

“I think the changes are mainly in terms of efficiency,” Judith says. “Before I became a mother, I worked more hours, but now I get to do more in fewer hours than I did then. Despite this, I feel much less time pressure than before. “

The value of time has become much more important to everyone. With a child, you want to spend the precious time you have on things you really enjoy. Everyone is focusing a lot more on that now. At Astrid, the transition to professional with family went very organically. “My starting point was always that I would keep thinking the same about my career and that I would only get one extra role. I was motivated to show that I could combine both roles. ”

Improvisation and choice

Some challenges are recognized by all parents. The school calls that your child is ill and needs to be picked up, a message in the morning that the school has been canceled before you even leave the house, your child’s clothes are already covered in stains, etc. Of course always at a time when it is not convenient, just before you have to give an important presentation or have an appointment. In addition, the childcare or school also plans activities within the hours they are open.

According to Judith, it is about making choices: “You can not do everything at 110%. Of course, it is sometimes complicated, one wants to keep everything and everyone happy. You want your project to run smoothly, and you want the customer to be satisfied at all times. Within Bisnez, there is a very clear priority: work is important, but the home situation comes first. ”

It is important to discuss such challenges with your employer and to indicate it, especially if you need help with this, all four Bisnez consultants believe.

“Sometimes you have to improvise when things are unexpected, but a lot of things can also be planned well,” says Astrid. “For example, performances at the kindergarten in the middle of the day. I’m just there to see my baby shine! It requires agenda management and good coordination with the customer, but it always goes well. ”

“In that regard, it’s very nice to work for an employer who understands what’s important to you,” Annette adds. “The first task after my leave was close to home. I appreciated it so much that they arranged it for me. ‘

The role of the employer

That brings the conversation to the role of employer. “Because I initially had trouble getting the childcare around, I wanted to take parental leave,” Sylwia says. “I was a little hesitant to ask for this so quickly that, after all, I have only just been hired. But there was immediate understanding. “

“Sometimes it’s better not to be there at all than to be halfway,” Judith has learned. “I noticed when Noé was born that I was sometimes protected from myself by Bisnez. It was already indicated in advance that my attendance at a meeting was not required, so I did not have to push in impossible turns. ”

“Within Bisnez, there is a very clear priority: work is important, but the home situation comes first.”

The support of an employer provides peace of mind. The office is also consciously aware of this. It’s not just about asking what employees need, but also how they ultimately experienced it.

According to Astrid, parenting issues work just like any other topic in Bisnez: “Just write what you want or need and we’ll figure it out together. There is no standard list of what is possible, but if I have to sum it up, it is primarily: flexibility and adaptability. ”

Lice Mothers and the Mother Mafia

As the interview draws to a close, the popular comedy series ‘De Luizenmoeder’ comes up for discussion. It is laughed at heartily, because even though it is absurd, it sometimes comes very close to reality. All ladies recognize the situation and behavior of characters from the series. Not only in the schoolyard, but also in childcare.

Astrid: “I have not yet received any ugly comments from the so-called mother mafia. Of course, that does not mean that there are no other ideas about how much you ‘must’ work when you have children. “

Judith has not yet had to deal with such criticism. “But maybe it’s also because I’m really in my own bubble, with a lot of people in the same situation.”

“A comment like ‘Oh, she’s going to daycare for three days, isn’ t that much? ‘ “I’ve had it before,” says Annette. “But you just should not listen to that. Besides, I have no problem with them going to day care, and I do not notice that in my children either.”

Sylwia: “Combining work with kids just suits your family best, doesn’t it?”

Annette agrees: “Exactly!”

Tips from experienced experts

Finally, some tips from the four women to other consultants with a desire to have children and / or children:

  • Start (and continue) talking to your employer and client (s) about your (new) home situation. There are often more options than you think!
  • Ask colleagues how they have arranged the combination of work and children. There are experience experts.
  • Look closely at what you want. Whether you want to continue working full time or consciously want to take some more time for yourself; as long as it suits you it’s fine.
  • Once you have a baby, do not put too much pressure on yourself. You have to do it together.
  • Try to manage your agenda well. Be aware of when you have time off and indicate when people will call you on your day off. Introduce ‘holy hours’. Within that time block of your agenda, it is all about you and your family, and you are not available for (or at) work.
  • Do not forget to enjoy! You started working in counseling because you like this job.
  • And the same, of course, applies to your child. Give yourself time so you can watch them grow up consciously!

Astrid Huigen is project manager and mother of Fedde (4), Romee (3) and Vieve (1). Annette Kramer is a management consultant and is the mother of Fiene (3) and Julia (1). Judith Koetsveld-Kreuzen is project manager and mother of Noé (2 years). She is expecting her second child this fall. Sylwia Abbaszadeh is a management consultant and mother of Mila (9 months).

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