Fulfilled mom at work – Interview with Mother Therapist

Fulfilled mom at work – is it possible? Do I need to choose between my career and my baby? Aleksandra Silenska is a psychologist, psychotherapist and blogger known as  Mother Therapist.  She actively works with children, adults and pairs supporting also moms who are struggling to combine their family life with career. KPI Life has asked her how to be a fulfilled mom at work.

Becoming a mom – when it is the right moment?

Unfortunately, there is no right answer to this question as it is a very personal matter. I often hear “there is no right time for becoming a mom”, but I do not fully agree with it.  In psychology there is a concept of “family life cycle” that as a theory gives only an insight of how family life can evolve. Each relation between people enters different stages and needs. One of those is a need to have a baby.  In my opinion if both partners feel that need, we can speak of the right moment. In this situation it is more likely that both of them will be willing to participate in changes when a baby will be born. It would be natural for women to consider how their career may be impacted. Still, it is worth considering how you would like to spend your pregnancy. What you can do for yourself when your child is born? I strongly encourage this to women who are active. They might be worried about changes when becoming a mom as they perceive it as serious restriction of their self – development.

It is not easy to come back to work after maternity leave.  Any tips you would give to your moms returning to their jobs?

In my practice I recommend to use the method of baby steps. When introducing changes into your life you should proceed very slowly. Return to work for many moms can be pretty stressful due to different reasons. I would suggest to take some time and identify what are the stressing factors. Is it connected to the work atmosphere or organizational chaos that can appear after your return to work? I am a huge fan of writing down those thoughts in order to embrace what seems difficult and complicated, but also to see the problems from a different perspective. Then you need to identify what needs to be done in order to prevent the stress they cause. It can be solved by slow introduction or just connect with people you can trust and rely on. It’s also very helpful to visualize the situations we fear and think ahead about our actions.

What are the skills I have gained as a young mom, which can be mentioned during a job interview?

Definitely organizational skills. It is said that most moms after their babies are born are masters in planning their day during which they try to combine fulfillment of their household, professional and self-development tasks. Communicational skill are indispensible when it goes for planning daily activities with a baby. Motherhood stimulates development and every mom should think about the benefits it gives and competencies it develops. Answer to those questions help to become more self-aware and a mom you can mention these advantages during job interview.


How to cope with the fear of separation from your baby after your return to work?

First and foremost plan how to take care of your baby after your return. If your baby will go to nursery start thinking about it in advance. I can remember how stressful it can be when you visit a nursery with your baby for a first time. My advice is to take your time and plan such emotional experiences in time. Do not be afraid to speak up about your problems with trusted people e.g. other experienced mothers. Very often it may turn out that our fears are natural and a separation with your child after return to work is a next stage in its development.  I also speak a lot to my daughter who will go to nursery soon about the routines she might expect etc. Sometimes I feel like it calms me more than her. Calm mother means calm baby.

How employers can motivate young moms to develop their professional skills and competences?

There are many external incentives like promotions, pay rise, which are very pleasant and necessary. Still if an employer is willing to keep a young mother, who is a great employee, it is worth investing in her internal motivation for work. How this can be done? For example by showing her trust in her competencies and understanding when something comes up unexpectedly e.g. let her work remotely from work when her child is ill.  These small gestures are very important for mothers as they show comprehension and confidence, which can positively impact their need for further development making them better assets for a company.

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