Already my two year old can use a touch screen computer better than I can. My four year old can beat me at tennis. It won’t be long before they can play an instrument, have a stab at learning a language and no doubt spend weekends excelling in some kind of sport or creative activity. With most activities averaging at £100 pounds a term, take an average of 2.4 children with at least two activities each that’s north of £700 per year. Ouch!
And let’s not ignore the investment in time – ferrying and waiting around in church halls, ballet schools, football pitches. Two hours per week per 2.4 children… no, let’s not go there.
But this is because when it comes to our children, many of us lucky enough to have the means will spare little expense or time in investing in the development, potential and opportunities for our children.
So why is it that according to research I undertook recently, mums have such a reluctance to put anything like this level of investment into their own futures?
After all, as a mum looking to return to work after four years, I cannot wait to regain the professional fulfilment and economic reward of a career. However, the scale of the challenge to prepare myself psychologically and practically to dip my toe into the workplace should not be underestimated.
Perhaps the familiar imaginary foe known to all mums – ‘guilt’ – rears its head whenever thoughts of spending money on ourselves surface. Maybe there’s an inability to appreciate the return on the investment as it’s so hard to imagine returning to work when you are out of it. Or is there a reluctance to turn to a professional for help when a successful career was built perfectly well prior to the children.
Some unarguable truths came out of my research. It appears that mums who have taken a significant length of time away from work suffer an erosion of confidence and struggle to articulate their strengths and attributes. It also goes without saying that due to the shift of priorities following starting a family, the challenge for many professional women is finding a new direction or flexible work that provides sufficient financial and personal rewards as well as fitting around their new life as a mum.
Nearly 70% of mums interviewed said that they would be interested in a service that helped to improve how they presented themselves in person and on paper. And when broken down further, respondents showed a keen interest in interview coaching, job search advice and CV writing. All tangible, practical services designed to help mums brave that first step of marketing themselves back into the workforce.
Something that mums definitely do value is ‘me time’. We crave any opportunity for a bit of pampering, getting our hair done, time to ourselves to read a book and in extreme cases of luck, a bit of time in a gym or spa.
This is the idea behind Career Spa. An opportunity for an expert recruiter and writer to listen to you, understand you and promote you. A chance to walk away with the ‘salon treatment’ for your career – choices, materials and techniques delivered in your timeframes, without pressure.
Yes, this does require some financial investment. But in the long term the children will also benefit when mum returns to a rewarding career. They’ll be inspired and encouraged and in any case, let’s be honest, the inevitable main beneficiaries of any addition to the family income!
So I urge those mums who understandably waver on investing in themselves when faced with the lure of endless horizon-expanding, potential-developing, fun-filling opportunities for the children. Take a moment to think about what your future deserves too.
If any of this has struck a chord with you, and you would like a bit more information on how we could help you, please email Elizabeth@career-spa.com