Bexley mother publishes book on the struggles of motherhood and work
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:45 12 September 2018
A woman from Bexley has published a book about the struggles of balancing motherhood and work.
Folakemi Sebiotimo wrote Not Just a Mum: The Practical Guide to Juggling Motherhood, Work and Life, spurred on by her passion for empowering mums to live purpose-driven lives.
The Bexleyheath mother of two has worked as a business analyst at Deutsche Bank for 10 years, and started a lifestyle blog after becoming a mother in 2013, which soon attracted more than 16,000 readers.
“I started writing the book a little over a year ago,” Folakemi said.
“At the time my husband was working away in Paris, hence I spent most evenings writing after the kids were in bed. It took me 11 months to complete the process.”
Folakemi was inspired to write the book after finding the transition from working lady to working mother a struggle when she returned from maternity leave.
She said: “When I started working in London in 2009, my goal was to become a vice president before the age of 32.
“I was a top performer at work - the sky definitely seemed just like a starting point at the time. When I had my first baby in 2013, suddenly my priorities changed and I didn’t know what I was doing anymore, despite how much I prepared for the new arrival, so I just winged it.”
Folakemi, who moved to the UK from Nigeria as an international student before starting work in London, explained that her confidence took a hit after the birth of her first child, and how she found herself barely able to speak up in meetings.
“I second-guessed most of my work deliveries because I didn’t feel confident anymore.
“I recall a few occasions where I would go to the office bathroom to have a cry. I felt very lonely and isolated - besides I didn’t know much about what it takes to be a career mum in these changing times, especially when you have limited local support because you migrated away from your country of origin.”
Folakemi soon began to read any book or article she could find relating to parenting and work-life balance.
“I reached out and connected with several working mums in the organisation where I worked.
“I found a good career mentor. It was very clear that I was not alone in my struggles. I then started my mummy lifestyle blog and created a Facebook group called ‘Notjustamum’ for working mums in similar situations.
“It was very clear from the various interactions that many mums struggle a lot with balancing work and family life.
“I hope to inspire other working mums by sharing experiences and insights from others about what worked or didn’t work.
“In the book, I hope to provide useful and practical tips to make the lives of new working mum easier and to ensure a regular mum out there can realise they are never alone with their struggles.”
When asked why she believes the topic isn’t something that’s more widely explored, Folakemi said: “Unfortunately the stories are more often being told by the super successful working mums - those with huge pay checks who have probably paid off their mortgage and can easily afford two full-time nannies and a cleaner.
“We hardly get to hear the stories that make the majority of real working mums like me that fall within the junior-middle management career level feel less alone and realise that the struggles and failures is part of the journey.
“This also means we don’t get to share solutions that might actually help ambitious mums with their career progression whilst still striving for a work-life balance.
“If anything is to shift, we have to start telling the truth not only about the joys of modern motherhood but also the failures and setback. The truth has to come from regular mums like me and some of the women I interviewed in the book.”
Not Just a Mum is now available on Amazon and on Kindle.