Handling it Like a Boss by Marianna Boguslavsky
‘’Would you be able to handle this project and a baby?’’
‘’How will you manage doing this work being a new mom?’’
‘’Will it not be too challenging balancing work and a baby?’’
In most of my business meetings with men (never with women) these are the questions I am asked almost always. I resist the urge to reply with ‘’would you ask a man this?’’ - because I know the answer, they wouldn’t.
Welcome to my reality as a new mom running her own business.
I am someone who has always been driven, ambitious, hardworking, and determined to succeed. I hustled on a daily basis because that is what it took to run my digital agency and sign clients. I worked right through my pregnancy (even labour!) along with managing to handle both a newborn and existing work projects. It wasn’t easy but I could not let down my clients so I made it work. I vividly remember a Skype meeting with a design industry client about one week postpartum when the baby blues were in full swing - I cried for half an hour before the meeting, aced the Skype call, and then cried again. So, yes, the first few weeks were tough.
Six month later though I was ready to start hustling again. I was ready for business meetings. I was ready to do quality work. What I was not ready for was the discrimination I ended up facing as a working mom. My work ethic, drive, determination and ambition were all still there yet most men I has business meeting with could not see past the fact that I now had a baby to add to that mix.
The irony is that most mothers tend to develop the most phenomenal multi-tasking skills - we are efficient. We are effective. We work smarter not harder (although, damn, do we work hard).
A wise person (my sister) told me that instead of becoming frustrated, or angry, instead to think of them as people who are not fortunate enough to have been enlightened yet, and who are limited in their own lives because their views are so limited. As Gary Zukav says, If you make anyone else a villain, you make yourself a victim.
So for all other new moms that might be facing this very same challenge right now - let’s speak our truth. Let’s stand up for ourselves. Let’s not stand for discrimination. Let’s keep persevering.
Marianna Boguslavsky is a digital strategy & marketing specialist with a decade of experience working with companies across Dubai, London, and Cape Town. She founded and runs her own digital strategy agency helping SMEs, startups, and indie films with digital strategy and marketing. When she is not busy workin, she is running after her soon to be toddler (and wondering if terrible twos can start at 11 months!).