Richmond Unwind Supper Club with Steph Douglas and Deborah James

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Take some time for yourself! Join us for our first supper club in the glamourous surroundings of The Gate Restaurant, Richmond Harbour Hotel. for an evening of delicious food, brilliant company and wonderful conversation. You will enjoy a welcome cocktail or G&T from Marussa’s Porters Tropical Gin and a delicious three course meal, followed by conversation with Steph Douglas and Deborah James about how they make time to unwind, whilst balancing family, work and everything else.

Find out more here

TW: Zoë de Pass aka Dress Like a Mum and Annie Ridout visit Twickenham

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So many women find their careers and sense of style change when they become a mother. 

In the last decade, 70% more mums have chosen to go freelance. Journalist and founder of The Early Hour Annie Ridout, who has written for the likes of The Guardian, Stylist, Red Magazine and Metro was one of them. In her new book, she shares the tips and tricks that helped her build a better working life for her and her family alongside advice from other Mums who make it work including Cherry Healey, The Scummy Mummies, Sali Hughes, Steph Douglas, Zoë de Pass and Holly Tucker MBE.  

Thousands of us have followed Zoë de Pass as 'Dress Like A Mum' on Instagram, on her mission to prove there is no such thing as 'dressing like a mum'. With over eight years experience working within trend, branding, digital and creative agencies, Zoë set up the Dress Like A Mum campaign and has worked with brands such as Elizabeth Arden, H&M, M&S, ITV and Topshop along the way. 

Come and join us as Annie and Zoë discuss all things freelancing, work, childcare, fashion and confidence.

Flexible Working and why it means so much to me, by Lydia Rogers in Twickenham

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I am super excited about speaking with Mother Pukka and her #flexappeal campaign when she comes to Twickenham next week. I first saw Anna in one of her posts when she created a ‘flashmob’ ‘Lets Talk about Flex Baby’, in the centre of London.

Since becoming a Mum I’ve spoken to many local Mums about their experiences of work and parenting, and how the two things combine. There are very few parents who are able to continue with exactly the same jobs after having children; some change or flexibility is required to allow us to spend time with the children and make it back to the nursery/childminder/family member/nanny on time.  I have lost count of the times which I have literally sprinted through a busy street to make the train on time, so that I’m not late for pick up!

Personally I have tried out many different working arrangements. After taking a years maternity leave with each of my children, I’ve worked tried working four days, full-time and then ended up burning out and taking six months out to concentrate on being a Mum. I now have the perfect balance of a three day a week role. I have a job share partner (or job pairing as Mother Pukka likes to call it). I know that everybody has different demands and wants different things from work/life/parenting, but personally it took me nearly FIVE YEARS of parenting to find this opportunity and create some balance.

There are also many who have been inspired by the ‘ juggle struggle’ to seize on an idea and create their own businesses. We wouldn’t be here, without Emma @wegotthissometimes who started this after the birth of her second child, when she realised that she would not be able to return to her previous job. The ‘insta-famous’ bloggers who have attended our events @hurrahforgin @unmumsymum and @manvsbaby all started blogging after having children.

However nearly everybody I speak to has or knows somebody who has experienced pregnancy, maternity and paternity discrimination; some have been asked to leave their jobs when pregnant, been refused a return to their previous role, ‘offered’ a demotion on their return to work or refused any type of flexible working. This shouldn’t all be about the Mum’s either, Dads and partners also need flexible working so that they can play a full part in sharing the load, being able to help with homework or take the children to dancing/art club/scouts/karate. That is where ‘Papa Pukka’ comes into play.

Surely we have to demand that work places offer more flexible opportunities and move away from the 9-5 bums on seats mentality. Mother Pukka is keen to point out that this is not just about parents, it is about everybody in the work-force who wants the opportunity to work flexibly, there are those who are care for older/sick relatives or have other interests they want to pursue.

We haven’t even started on the ideas around affordable childcare. I think that has to be a post for a whole other day……. But in the meantime a big shout out to all the Grandparents and family childcarers who make it possible for others to work. Also thinking of those who have sadly lost their parents, are without family support or simply live too far away xxxx