Skip to main content

Making it work

How I ‘make it work’ as a part-time mum working in M&A

I’m often asked how I ‘make it work’ being a part-time working mum in M&A. In all honesty, I have no idea, wake up, put one foot in front of the other and keep moving, but the important point is ‘I do make it work’. It's hard work virtually every day, juggling the competing demands of clients, the guilt of not spending enough quality time with my children, as well as being on top of their social and school calendars. But after 16 years, eight of those with children, I’m still working in Transaction Services at Deloitte, so I guess something is working! And perhaps the more important question to answer is ‘why’ do I make it work and ‘why’ at Deloitte. It’s simple really, what other role would give me this support, daily challenge and reward?

I have always enjoyed ‘playing’ with numbers and I still get great satisfaction from rectifying issues, finding value for my clients and triangulating data to solve a problem. I also love talking and connecting with people, and there is no better way to truly understand the message behind the numbers than by looking into the whites of someone’s eyes. Add to this a magnificent team, an abundance of variety and perhaps you can begin to understand why I get such pleasure from my job. I’m not sure what else would give me this buzz and the feeling that my skills have made a real difference.

I am 90% FTE so I do have some ‘presence’ at the school gate three times a week, and can almost always fit school assemblies, sports days, parent’s evenings and nativities into my diary even if means working a little later that night – which is not a luxury some of my friends have. Deloitte encourages me to flex my working hours so it works for me, and the new ways of hybrid working introduced since the pandemic – being able to work from home, flexing bank holidays and my diary all help me make this work for my family. I can work very long hours and that wouldn’t suit everyone but as with everything it’s all about finding the right balance for you – and military organisation!

There are other benefits. My job means we are fortunate enough to have a lovely family holiday each year - I use the term ‘lovely’ loosely – it’s not always, but at least it’s warm! The benefits we all get as part of our employment package are really good and from this I choose to buy two additional weeks of holiday and take an additional two weeks of unpaid leave over the summer to spend time with my ‘darlings’. As a well known credit card ad would say – ‘priceless’. And it is, it helps me allay some of the mum guilt.

I’m not joking when I say making all this work takes military precision, there is an enormous amount of planning but also it takes teamwork – my husband and the children’s grandparents have roles and responsibilities – and apart from the ever-increasing number of weeks my Mum and Dad go on holiday each year, it all seems to work. And yes, I could write a whole other blog on how I ‘manage’ not having to manage everything. Communication is paramount, with not only my ‘home team’ but colleagues too, all assisted by Deloitte’s focus on supporting working parents.

I’m really lucky to work for a company like Deloitte as the firm believes it's important for everyone to balance their career with other priorities like family, friends, travel and hobbies, which it does by providing an agile, flexible working environment which I do take advantage of. There are lots of benefits available such as annualised days, which means you can have an irregular working pattern, Time Out which is four week’s unpaid leave once a year and a multitude of other family friendly and carers policies. Although I definitely missed out on the recent change to maternity leave to increase to 26 weeks of full pay, it’s still not quite enough to persuade me to go back to the baby stage…

But in answer to my original question, how do I ‘make it work’? Above all I’ve learnt acceptance, I can’t do everything, and I don’t, and won’t get it all right, plus my career is a few years behind where I wanted, but that’s OK. Secondly, allyship and promotion of others, I find it hard to shout about my successes but really easy to encourage and support others, find opportunities to help my team grow and give them the reward and recognition they deserve. But what really keeps me putting one foot in front of the other is that I am doing a job I really enjoy and constantly challenges me to be better and learn more. I hope I’m a good role model for other working women, and I’m proving to my girls that women can do anything they want in life. This, along with an internal drive to make moments count - especially the precious time just for me - along with a daily Berocca to fight off the kids germs, significant amounts of tea during the week to stay awake, and copious amounts of fizz on a Friday, or ‘Fizz Friday’ as I like to call it, to celebrate surviving another week, all help me reset and have the conviction to start again on Monday!