Ashley is one of our co-creators from the 2013/14 Star Track Programme. We caught up with her to find out how she finds the balance between work, her aspirations for a career in media and motherhood.
You have a lovely little boy! What helped you make the decision to go back into full time work?
I am a working mother because I have always had quite strong ambitions to get into the media.
Have there been any sacrifices along the way?
My work has always fluctuated hours wise, and recently I have been working a lot, which has come to mean spending less time during the week with my son and I can feel his resentment to this.
People may feel it is hard to balance work and life, but when your life is your dependents then it is a lot tougher. It all depends though, I am only working a lot harder as it is career building and if I don’t do it now, then I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to again. I hope that in a few years everything will be a lot more stable, with my son in school and I will get to have more quality time with him that isn’t just the weekend.
What keeps you going?
My son is my motivation to succeed and when I get home and get my big cuddle before bath and bed time, it makes me miss him more but I know I’m doing the right thing.
Do you feel that your child is missing out on anything because you work outside the home?
He isn’t missing out in my opinion as he is spending more time with children his own age and getting more family time, it does mean less mummy time though and I am not able to have my eyes on him all the time.
How do you think your relationship with your child would differ if you stayed at home?
I think we normally have a strong bond and since working full time it has affected this in the sense that he is slowly becoming a daddy’s boy instead of mummy’s; I am not always first to get a cuddle! However, this is also a good thing.
What would be your ideal work situation?
Ideally, I would work part time and closer to home, so I could look after my own child rather than rely on other people to help me throughout this period, but the industry I strive to be in calls for long hours and hard work and I want this, more so to show my son if I can do it, then he can do anything.
What advice would you give to a young parent who is struggling with the decision of whether to work outside the home?
I say go for it if you want to work, I had more time at home when my son was a baby and in his earliest stages of development so I never missed out on the big stuff and in all honesty I don’t plan on missing out on anything else. I work hard for him and I will continue to work hard for him.