top of page

SAHM / Working Mum Series: Introducing Jen

About Jen.

“My name is Jen, I am 28 years-old and I have a 9-year-old daughter called Kourtney. We currently live in Croydon, Surrey and have done so for the last 7 years. I love to read, cook and recently I have become a fan of watching movies. Before I became a working mum, I was trying to adjust to becoming a mum at the age of 19. The first 18 months of my daughter’s life was dark and difficult time as I suffered from postnatal depression.”

1. When did you decide to return to work after having Kourtney?

"After quitting my job when I was 4 months pregnant, I decided to go back to a new job when Kourtney was 13 months old."

2. How did you find appropriate childcare for Kourtney?

"I was only 20 years old when I started to look for childcare, but I was very choosey, I visited a number of nurseries as I have always preferred that setting as oppose to childminders. I didn’t just go by what was said by the staff, I also spoke to a number of parents to have a review from their aspect, read reviews online and lastly; I would call up a few times pretending to be someone different each time to question their values, methods and policies."

3. Was it difficult for you to leave Kourtney and return to work?

"Unfortunately it wasn’t if I’m honest, I was still with her father at the time and was suffering from postnatal depression so work was my escapism at the time. Although, looking back it wasn’t a sensible time to return to work!"

4. I understand that previously you have been working full-time as a business development executive, is this something you have always wanted to do?

“I am still in this role, but my job role did change, 6 months into this role as I was previously a Business Development Manager. I am now part-time and no, it isn’t my chosen career, but I do enjoy what I do. The role kind of fell into my lap as I applied for another role in the council and was unfortunately rejected, however, my current department reached out for an interview – here I am a year later.”

5. How have your aspirations changed since becoming a mother?

“My aspirations have definitely changed since I became a mother as I wanted to be a social worker. I have witnessed a few others in this role and seen how they take work home and I guess I don’t want that level of stress added to my home life or interfering with Kourtney. Now, don’t get me wrong I do sometimes switch on my laptop and work over the weekend (rare but it happens) but it isn’t emotional, intense or stressful.”

6. What has motivated you over the years?

“My biggest motivation has and will always be Kourtney, there has been many times, I have wanted to give up, but I just never have or could. Being a single parent, I am adamant that I will be the best role model and always lead by example.”

7. What are the negatives of being a working mum?

“It can be difficult at times as not everyone understands or is sympathetic to my situation, especially as I’m a working single parent. I do struggle at times or get anxious to tell my manager when she’s ill and I have to miss an important meeting because in my opinion male managers never really understand. My colleagues/ managers are genuinely nice people but there are just some moments where they don’t get that things can suddenly change for me because I have a child i.e. inset days, sickness, and school concerts.”

8. What are the positives of being a working mum?

“There are many positives to being a working mum, I get to be me without a child in tow. I get to socialise with other adults and enjoy adult conversations, not to mention making money whilst I’m doing this. I have the option to work from home but I do love going into the office as I more productive and as I mentioned, it is nice to be around my colleagues. Being a working mum works for me because it provides balance for me and I enjoy making a consistent living.”

9. How did you find being an independent mother whilst doing your Sociology degree?

“I did find it extremely difficult at times as I had strict deadlines to meet which would contribute to my final grade. I went to university when I was 21 years old and my daughter was two years old, so I started with Kourtney being in nursery and finishing when she was in school. It was very tiring, more so than working in my opinion as you had essays, lectures, exams, seminars and trips! I was also working whilst I was studying so I was juggling it ALL on my own – I did it though!

It was very challenging at times as I was trying to meet Kourtney’s needs when I had done all-nighters to complete essays or I was rushing to get her to nursery or school in order to be on time for my exam or lecture. It would have been so much easier if I had a partner to share it with, so it ran more smoothly and less stressful.”

10. When you did your sociology degree what sustained you and kept you going?

“Again, it was Kourtney as I firstly, at the time I had hoped she would want to attend university (which she does now) and it is very important for me to lead by example. Secondly, I have always wanted a degree and I just kept the finish line always at the forefront of my mind.”

11. During your university years, did you feel that there is an adequate amount of support for mothers in education?

"Put it this way, if there was – nobody told me!"

12. Do you feel that there is an adequate amount of support for mothers in education?

"Not really, I found my tutors unsympathetic to my situation if I arrived late or had to leave early due to childcare issues. I also found government service providers, quite poor and I feel like there isn’t enough support, services and information provided."

13. What support would you like to see in place for working mothers?

"I would like more flexibility, policies and alternatives for example better/ more options for when our children are ill. To be more specific, I would like to see more support from the government and in the workplace. I think there should be more affordable, beneficial and supportive services available to us and I also think that there needs to be policies in place, where you’re not penalised, judged or effected by decisions you have to make for the sake of your child."

14. In regards to your future goals, where do you hope to see yourself and Kourtney in five years time?

"I hope Kourtney achieves her goals and is settled in an independent or private school setting. I hope that I am able to be full-time blogging, own a home and maybe even find love BUT most importantly, I hope we both have our health and happiness, cliché but the truth!"

15. What are your thoughts on flexible working?

"Absolutely brilliant, I think it should be available to anyone who needs/wants it. It creates the perfect work/life balance."

16. What influenced your decision to reduce your full-time working hours to part-time?

"My mental health and preparing for Kourtney’ secondary schooling was the main influences, for my decision to reduce my hours. I was often feeling overwhelmed, anxious and tired from working a full day and then having to come home and tend to Kourtney’s needs. I was also not getting home until 6.30/7pm and then I would be rushing to do it all to ensure Kourtney was in bed at 8pm. There is now NO rushing – we can spend more quality time together and do more home learning to achieve our secondary schooling aims."

17. What is your favourite thing to do after a long day at work?

"Once Kourtney is bed… I like to either read, watch a movie, have a nice long uninterrupted soak or have WINE!!!!"

18. What does a typical day in your shoes look like?

"Busy but organised, my average days starts at 6/6.30am and doesn’t finish until about 8/9pm, anything after is usually me-time. I work hard and I try to maintain in routine as much as possible to allow my day to flow as stress-free as possible."

19. If you could do a different job for a day, what would you do and why?

"I would have my own business and it would be a cheap but chic salon which was child-friendly and this wouldn’t be a few games or books. It would have a proper game room for children to have fun whilst the mamas relaxed and got pampered. If only!!!"

20. What advice would you give to mothers who are considering reducing their working hours?

"If any mother is considering to reduce their working hours, I would first advise them to triple check that it will financially work for your household. Ultimately, I will always say go for it if it is effecting your well-being, happiness or mental health but if it doesn’t financially work it could make your original problems worst. Weigh up your options, speak to others, explore the services available to you and follow your gut!"

21. Please tell us more about your website 'Life-Milk'?

"The name Life-Milk came about over a year ago and I basically just thought I wanted to pour all my experiences into a blog, specifically learning, loves and lifestyles. My reason why I started to blog was to demonstrate that it really doesn’t matter where you come from, all that matters is where you want to go. I want to be a pillar of strength and inspire others to break the cycle and to keep going. I am at the beginning but there is so much more to come – stay tuned!"

22. What is next for Jen, Kourtney and Life-Milk?

"I want to continue working hard, hopefully get a pay rise and develop Life-Milk to the point I can hopefully leave my job! I just want Kourtney to be happy, healthy and continue to love education."

23. Finally, please tell us where we can find you on the internet?




Jen, honestly you are a very inspiring young woman! Even reading through your blog had me captivated for ages because with all that you have endured, you are still here, fighting and striving for the very best for yourself and Kourtney. I truly admire your fighter spirit and I have loved interviewing you. You have so much to give and I pray that God continues to use you for His glory because in all of this you still come out on top! I pray that every single venture of yours shall go to plan and that you will always look onwards to the future. Your future is very bright, so is Kourtney's - never forget that!

I love to read everyone’s comments and stories about their own first-hand experiences with motherhood. I feel that as mothers we have so much to share to help others because you would be so surprised at how your story could help to inspire or encourage mothers. I am excited to see how the different topics planned shall unfold and of course to meet so many remarkable and diverse mothers. If you would like to be a part of my series please feel free to contact me at;

With Love,

Roxanne-Sasha x

bottom of page