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FAQ with a single working mother

Happy belated mother's day to all the mothers out there!

I wanted to try something a little different today.

Instead of writing about mother’s day myself, or about all the hardships working mother’s face, I decided to actually get an expert on the topic.

We’ve got a mother in our team here at Careerists who not only does an exceptionally good job at work, but works just as hard to be an exceptional mother.

Tara has taken some time to answer a handful of questions which I think would be an interesting read, regardless of if you’re a mother or not.

Can you give us a bit of summary of your current situation?

I became a single mum at 22, which was at a point in my life where I didn’t really know what I wanted to do…

So after feeling my way through a university degree that ultimately wasn’t a good fit for me, I found Media and Communications, and realised that I could actually major in social media.

From there I started looking for internships, because I realised that in order to get a job in this field, I needed to start putting myself out there more than I ever have before.

Has being a mother changed the way you see things?


The biggest way being a mum has changed me is that everything I do is for my son.

There’s this little person that’s fully dependent on me, and my actions have a sort of ripple effect all the way down to him, and I need to consider that. Everything I do is working towards a future with him, so I can’t afford to have the selfish viewpoint of a 20-something year old.

I can’t just be like “oh I’ll do this and not worry and I’ll figure it out later”. 

I need to have everything together so my son feels secure and he can grow up and be happy and know that he can trust and explore the world around him.

How has working impacted you?

I don’t think it’s really had a negative impact not being there 100% of the time. 

My family has always been really close, and they’re my safety net. I’m grateful for that because even when I’m not here, my son has a family around. Of course, I’m envious of other parents that get to be home with their child all of the time, but I’ve had to accept that the small sacrifices I have to make will be worth it in the long-run. 

I’m still there in the morning when he wakes up, we get ready, I get to drop him off at school, I get to say goodbye to him, I get to come home to him, we get to have dinner together, and I get to put him to bed. 

So it hasn’t had a negative impact, and over the past few years I’ve realised that I don’t have to be there 24/7 to be a good parent.

How have you been able to balance your career with parenthood?

I don’t think anyone can ever have a perfect balance of work or parenthood – I’ve kind of just taken it week by week, or even day by day. 

There might be a day where you have to leave early because your kid has a concert at school and you HAVE to go to those things because those are memories that you’ll cherish forever. 

So it’s a bit of a balancing act – some days I don’t get it right, while other days are perfect.
It’s just finding your balance and what you’re comfortable with. After 6 years I think I’ve mostly figured it out.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other young working mothers?

Just go for it. 

Lots of people will think that you can’t do it – there’ll even be days where you’ll think you can’t do it, but you just have take that leap.

There’s also this guilt that start building up when you even start thinking of yourself for a second, but you need to look out for yourself as well. At the end of the day, what’s good for you is usually good for your children too, so don’t be afraid to put yourself first every now and then – It’ll pay off in the end. 

So just rock it. Stop caring so much about what other people think, and just do you.

Where do you want to be in the next 2-4 years?

I would love to be in a leadership role, or working towards an executive role with a small team under me. 

I really enjoy strategic planning and it’s what I’m good at, and I think I can really add a lot of value to startups and small companies. I think it’s cool kind of watching a company be built from scratch and taking off, so that’s definitely where I see myself.

Thanks Tara!

I hope you all enjoyed that and found it insightful.

Talking about Mother’s day is actually quite meaningful to me as well.
My own mum worked really hard raising my siblings and me, and my sister is just returning back into the workforce after having a baby, so it’s definitely a day I have a lot of respect for.

With that, I wanted to say Happy Mother’s day again, and I hope you all enjoyed the day.

Until next time,
Thai Ngo.

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