Winning Awards & Juggling Motherhood
Posted on June 10 2018
I had been told that Freedom Kids was finalist in two categories of the NZ Retail Awards 2018. We were so excited and honoured to be named! I wasn't going to attend because negotiating the logistics of flying to Auckland with a breastfeeding baby for one night just seemed overwhelming. In a last-minute decision I decided to do it - AND WE WON!
This photo is for all the mums out there juggling life with babies... In this photo I am making a business award acceptance speech with a microphone and a crying baby desperately trying to grab my breast... 😂
I was anxious about taking Timon (13 months) to the awards function, but as it involved a flight and an overnight stay, it was my only option. I gathered my courage and asked the organisers if that would be ok, I was given an enthusiastic "yes!".
When we arrived at the function, Timon was heartily welcomed. He loved the attention and happily played. But of course, seconds before we were announced as the winners of our category, Timon fell over and burst into tears. In a split second decision I decided to take him up on stage with me. Because my kids have been an integral part of the Freedom Kids journey. In my belly Timon accompanied me through many late nights packaging parcels. As a baby he's slept on my chest as I've worked on my laptop, breastfed as I've worked on my phone.
So there I was with my crying baby who just wanted me the hell off that stage for a quiet breastfeed. But I looked at the audience and I just saw a whole lot of empathetic faces, and a few people laughed with me in solidarity. (Timon calmed once I started talking, phew!)
I know there are so many mums just like me, juggling lots of things. We're all "full time" mums, whether you work outside the home or not, whether your labour is paid or not. Being a mum (obviously) doesn't affect our competence. In fact, my kids have taught me flexibility, creativity, focus, and how to be a world-class multi-tasker.
It's tempting to try and hide / separate the worlds of home and business. Indeed, in many environments, children are far from welcome. But I am hoping as a country we are moving beyond this. I'm hoping we'll take another leap forward when we see our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern navigating motherhood alongside running a country. I recognise my privilege in being able to combine parenting and career, and for those of you in this situation or in positions of influence, I really encourage you to help #makemotherhoodvisible. For the organisers of last week's awards, The Register, thank you for making us feel so welcome!