When you are both a working woman and mother to your beloved children, every second counts. Whether it’s taking your little one for an evening walk in their stroller, or a nighttime reading session like Tracey and her son have, quality time spent together is of the utmost importance! Read on to see how she manages her time between her work as a recruiter, being a mummy and also having her own personal blog!
Name: Tracey Montgomery
Tell us a bit about yourself and your child/children….
I’m Tracey and I am a 46 year old mother, wife, daughter and sister. Family is very important to me and I can’t imagine my life without my son, Charlie, who is turning four this August. I write, blog, and I work part time in the business my husband and I own together. I have a ridiculous obsession with Kikki K stationery. My all time favourite song is Just Like Heaven by The Cure, it is my without fail, go to, feel good, song. My son Charlie was born in 2013 after a number of expensive and exhausting years on IVF and yet I would do it all over again. He is many shades of wonderful but he is a small and clever child who is stubborn and hard work. He really beats to his own drum. There was a long time when I feared I would never have him. He is sweet and sensitive and loads of fun.
What is the name of your business/blog and what does your work entail?
Professionally, I am a Recruiter and my husband and I own and operate our own Recruitment Agency in Brisbane which is Pure Source Recruitment. I am predominantly responsible for day to day recruitment activity for some of our key clients within the private and not for profit sector. Much of what I do is about taking care of my candidates and ensuring I am looking at the best possible career opportunities for them. This could be either temporary, contract or permanent work. I spend my workdays meeting with candidates and my clients and this is the part I enjoy the most. We have a small team of consultants who are fabulous to work with and I also work closely with them in relation to their own professional career development and training.
Not so professionally, I am a blogger and I have a personal, niche blog which is Champagne Days. This is my personal story and something I am proud to share. It is about my experience with infertility, IVF and now, very fortunately, with motherhood.
What made you decide to be both a mum and a career woman?
I didn’t really have it all planned out in a strategic kind of way. Life happened and I was fortunate in my mid 20’s to start in the recruitment industry. From the very beginning it was a job that just resonated with me. I have been lucky to find a career that has provided me with a lot of opportunities and the people I have met would by far be the biggest reward. I have some extraordinary connections that I have made as a result of my work. Becoming a mother was far more difficult. By the time I wanted to have a child we had a very established business so I was never concerned about how I would manage the two, the problem I had was falling pregnant in the first place.
What challenges do you face balancing both roles and how do you overcome them?
For me I find it difficult managing my own expectations of everything being orderly and calm and in control. There are many days when I am anything but and I have had to learn (and I still am) that being in control is not always realistic and this lack of control has been a bit challenge for me. I get anxious easily and I don’t like to feel like I am letting anyone down. My friends, my family, my son, my husband, my staff, my clients and my candidates. Like most working parents there is also the challenge of being present and “in the moment”. Balance is a moving beast and in my case it tends to swing a bit like a pendulum depending on where I am needed most at any given time. I don’t always get it right. Then there is of course the guilt associated with all of this. I don’t tend to feel guilty about being at work when I “should” be at home with my son. Being a working mother is what works for my family. My guilt kicks in when I am doing something more self indulgent – blogging, running, getting a facial.
What is one tip you have for unwinding after a stressful day?
A glass of wine and a book.
What is one fun weekend activity that your family enjoys together?
We maintain that Sunday is family day and this generally will involve taking Charlie out on his scooter, having a family lunch out, day trips, catching up with friends.
What is one time-saving parenting tip you can recommend?
Nothing ground-breaking, but I meal plan a week ahead. I am also very lucky to be able to get a cleaner in once a fortnight. Let us just say I am not domestically blessed.
What benefits do you think there are to being a career mum?
So this will sound so much like a cliché but it is genuinely the case for myself and my personal circumstances. I am a better mother to Charlie when I have both my work and my personal blog. My work has provided my family with financial security and I am acutely aware of how lucky this makes me but equally so it has provided me with the chance to make a difference to other people. I value the contribution that I make to others when I help them secure work in their chosen field. I consider this quite a privilege and it something I take quite seriously. I have also forged some amazing friendships as a direct result of my work and for this I will be forever grateful. I would like to think Charlie will grow up and see the value in these things. As for my blog, between work and family, this is my own personal and creative space that is a bit like balm for the soul.
Lastly, what do you do to ensure you maintain a strong bond with your child/children, despite having numerous responsibilities?
The three of us will sit together on Charlie’s bed and read books together as part of his night time routine. I grew up with a love of reading and I hope Charlie does as well. Regardless of what I need to cook, clean, write or work on, reading to Charlie at night is a non negotiable.
So maybe take a leaf out of Tracey’s book and no matter what set a little time aside for mother-child bonding at the end of the day - no matter how busy you are! There’s nothing like sitting down in well furnished, comfy kids room with a great book and your loved ones!