WORKING MUMS: – 2 x full-time jobs, 1 x mortal and how MSPA can help.
I have just been reading about the new SJP film ‘I don’t know how she does it’ – based on the novel by Allison Pearson, which is due for imminent release this month. Whilst the movie looks like the usual star-studded Hollywood package of botox, designer clothes and pure fantasy, the subject is increasingly relevant to both our staff and our clients. SJP portrays Kate Reddy, a married mother of two who is frantically trying to be a really good mum, whilst holding down a highly demanding job as a hedge fund manager. Okay, so this is a pretty extreme scenario, but the desire to be brilliant both domestically and professionally is continually pertinent.
At MSPA, we can help creative professionals to juggle these conflicting demands and I truly believe that the best part time PA to a working mum is actually also a working mum.
When I was growing up, my mother – an artist was predominantly at home. She made my sister and I dolls clothes, toy farmyards and gave afternoon teas that were the envy of all the local mums. She was a true domestic goddess; she made jam and fairy cakes, she looked gorgeous and she never seemed to tire of helping us to express our creativity on a big dining table that had endless supply of felt-tips, poster paints (lids-on thanks to her) paper and plasticine. Things are very different now and unless you’re fantastically wealthy or live very simply, it’s rare to find a mum who isn’t juggling childcare and professional commitments.
Today I had lunch with Esme, mother to a gorgeous 2-year-old boy, and one of the MSPA team. Esme had just taken her son to a little girls birthday tea party, given by one of her key clients Ali, a successful fashion accessory designer and a busy mum. Esme was describing the superbly artistic food that Ali had created for the party (pictured below) Teddy bear shaped sandwiches, coloured button biscuits and a rose petal-covered birthday cake that only little girls’ dreams are made of. As we sat there looking at the photos in awe, I could see Esme’s internal cogs a-turning, working out how to deliver something equally spectacular for her son’s birthday party this week. She will probably be awake all night tonight dreaming of cactus shaped birthday cakes, Buzz Light Year cookies and stardust – no really!
Esme is a fantastic mother. She is also very good at her job and I see her continually coordinating the requirements of her personal and professional life, to keep things running smoothly. She makes it look easy but I know it requires meticulous planning, help from close family and a fair bit of caffeine.
I was incredibly touched by the photos I have seen of the beautiful party food that Ali created. Unlike Kate Reddy’ who prods and pokes the odd shop bought the pie to pass them off as homemade, Ali had made the time to lovingly create and cook from scratch. I also realised the great value and benefits that Esme’s ad-hoc PA assistance offers Ali, by allowing her to focus on her daughters needs whilst her business affairs are also being taken care of.
Ultimately as her dedicated PA, Esme knows exactly what Ali has to manage to keep her business and family afloat. Working mum’s understand each others needs better than anyone. This is something to celebrate and from a business perspective this is also a niche that MSPA can truly cultivate for the benefit of all. On this occasion, Ali’ s creative goal was delivering a fabulous birthday tea party for her daughter and Esme’s personal experience and professional support helped her to make that a success.
Featured Client: – Ali Taylor Mapletoft – Age of Reason Scarves
……And here is Esme’s fantastic Cactus cake – complete with Carluccios sugared almond cactus flowers.