Flexi Mamas: Hayley from Devon Mama


Flexi Mamas / Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Welcome to Flexi Mamas, a series about barriers for working mums.

This week’s Flexi Mama is Hayley, who writes over at Devon Mama. She started blogging when she was pregnant with her son, who was born in 2016. She was on maternity leave from her role as a procurement director and wanted something to keep her focused over the time off – not that having a new baby wasn’t a big enough challenge in itself!

A woman in a grey shirt that says 'Mama' pushing a buggy

She always knew that she wanted to return to work after having children.

“I work for my family company and have been there since I was thirteen and working Saturdays,” says Hayley. “I’ve worked hard to get into my position and prove myself – I was adamant that becoming a mother wasn’t going to stop that.

“We’ve been really fortunate with childcare as my mum has my son one day a week, meaning we only have to pay for childcare for the remaining day and a half. It’s expensive and definitely a factor when we start thinking about expanding our family further.

“I’m fortunate that the wage I bring in covers the cost and more of that care, but I still think it’s a lot. With that in mind, I genuinely don’t mind paying the fees – when I break it down, it come out to less than £5 an hour. That’s for them to pay staff, have a great environment for my son and keep him entertained. It’s cheap really!

“I do believe there are still issues surrounding the government support for working parents. The 30 hours a week is a great incentive, but it’s still only for 3-4 year olds and it pays the nurseries a minimal amount. To me, it doesn’t help encourage people to get back into employment and makes it harder for parents to afford childcare; nurseries have to cover their costs from somewhere when they’re not being funded the full amount for ‘free’ spaces.”

A little boy sitting at a computer desk yelling with a pen in each hand

Hayley currently works two and a half days a week – though in reality, it’s far more.

“My official hours are two full days in the office and then six hours at home on a Monday. When I returned to work I moved positions sideways, relinquishing some elements of my role and increasing the content marketing side that I’d created the year before. It’s allowed me far more flexibility as I can work from home in the evenings, answer emails during the day on my phone and come into the office as and when required.

“There is still a balance to be found – we’re working hard to embrace flexible working, but it’s difficult for those who aren’t working flexible hours to see the work that we do in the same way. They don’t see the half hour I put in before my son wakes, the time during naptimes when I’m proofing and correcting briefs, the organisation that happens each evening or the emails that I answer when I’m meant to be playing with my son. It’s hard trying to get that across and sometimes can be frustrating but we’re getting there! “

So…what’s the biggest thing that could help mothers who want to work?

“Support,” says Hayley.

“I work with a couple of other women who work flexibly whilst their little ones are small. They’re brilliant examples of how flexible working can work. From my experience, you get less ‘face’ time with them but just as much output as a full-time worker due to them being focussed during their time in the office. We need to start supporting mothers who want to return to work, whether that’s full time or part time. A little support really does go a long way to encouraging loyal and ridiculously hard working members of any team.”

You can find out more about Hayley on her social channels:

#ablogginggoodtime

7 Replies to “Flexi Mamas: Hayley from Devon Mama”

  1. it is really tough returning to work after having a child. For us it was going to cost way more than I was earning and I had no on cable to help us. It meant me staying home, which was lovely and a very precious time. I did miss the mental stimulation of work and adult conversation, but I also loved being a stay at home mum. Now I am working part time because the kids are at school, but school holidays are tricky. Money has always been tight, but we do our best. Flexible work and working from home does help us get back into some work which is great. We need to support each other too. Great post and thanks for sharing it with #ablogginggoodtime

  2. It’s so tough. I couldn’t go back to my job and now I’m self employed I struggle with getting work done and childcare. It’s such a juggle. The quote “The obligation for working mothers is a very precise one: the feeling that one ought to work as if one did not have children, while raising one’s children as if one did not have a job” springs to mind.

    #ablogginggoodtime

  3. It’s such a tough call to make, and I never thought it would be. When I had my first I *knew* that i’d go back to my career, and I earned plenty to cover nursery fees. Turns out that it just wasn’t that simple for me. I worked strange hours running a business and often needed childcare support out of regular hours. It wasn’t long before the well dried up and I was left unable to work and feeling like my daughter knew my mum better than she knew me. I always thought I’d be a career girl no matter what, and I hope one day I will be again!! #ablogginggoodtime

  4. Being a stay at home mom adds so much value to the kid(s) and the mom. Bonding is wonderful and a go-to person of trust at all times is great. Getting back in the saddle is no easy task. My Mrs., who gave birth and has been at home since is in the precarious position of re-finding her self. She doesn’t realize how very valuable she will be as a part-time worker. She will be honorable, trusting, loyal, and needs the money for life, not a night out on the town. The culture needs to lose the stigma of the SAHM. They should earn the very most, they are building foundations! #ablogginggoodtime xoxo

  5. I really love the concept of flexi working but it’s still got a long way to go before it can really benefit us mums. Being a SAHM is no easy task and for me I personally feel I need some time away from the kids to be sane. I find part time work easiest at the moment, I can fit my hours around the hours my boyfriend’s not working so someone is with Baby Girl and my son’s at school now which makes things a little easier. Wishing Devon Mama all the best in hoping flexi working works out a little better for her. #ablogginggoodtime

  6. I returned to work full time after my first child but knew I wouldn’t want to do that after my second was born because it wouldn’t make financial sense and more importantly because i wanted to spend more time with them. I was a teacher and my head teacher made it really clear she wouldn’t let me return part time. Luckily I didn’t have to return at all because we decided to move abroad and I could stay home with the children. It’s a really tough call. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassymama

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