We love mamas who put their family first. Allie has made some hard decisions about when to return and we loved hearing about the impact her decision to stay at home had on her career and kids. Allie has two children (two and four years old) and currently works as a marketing manager for a large digital company.
Can you tell us about your career journey?
After graduating with a Bachelor of Business (Hons), I joined an organisation in Sydney where I worked in corporate sales in the digital media industry. A few years later, after relocating to Melbourne I joined a large publisher in the digital advertising team (which was an interesting time as the print side of the business was rapidly declining in 2010) and it was in this role that I discovered my passion for consumer advertising, media consumption habits and in particular, the changing digital landscape. This is what led me to a marketing role with my current company, who I’ve been with for five years.
Did your career change after becoming a mother? Were you more or less ambitious?
My career has changed slowly since returning to work after having two children in terms of wanting to take on extra responsibility and proving that I’m capable of doing it. After my first child, I was probably a little less ambitious and felt a strong pull to be at home with my then one-year- old. I was content with going to work three days a week and then switching off at home. After returning to work the second time around, my ambition kicked in and I wanted to progress my career and further develop my skills. I’m always a mum first but after having time out with two children, I also value my career and enjoy making a difference at work.
What do you most love about being a working mama?
The big smiles and excitement when I pick up my boys after being at work. I also like that it keeps me grounded and appreciative of the time we do spend together as a family.
What was the most challenging part of returning to work after your first child?
Fear of missing out on milestones—the ‘firsts’. Turns out though, that I didn’t really need to worry about that. I was there for everything.
What advice would you give to others who are preparing to take parental leave for the first time?
I learnt to widen my network in the company and have more structured discussions about what I wanted to return to and how I see my career developing. It’s easy to be so excited about everything ahead of you on a personal level but thinking about and setting expectations for your return is important. It’s also great to keep in touch with your team and manager—socially and to keep updated on business changes.
You also took some additional leave after you returned to work after your second child. Why was that?
I had been back at work for six months when I decided to take another 10 months leave—my second child wasn’t adapting to the routine and I felt I was needed at home to help nurture him and be a full-time mum. After I took the extra time off, my second child is now well adapted to our routine. With him being older now, it’s easier for him to understand and he also enjoys the social aspects of childcare.
We love that you put your family first. Was it a hard decision?
Not at all. I’m grateful that my company was supportive of this and I learnt that it’s okay to take time out and be a mum—if you or your child aren’t ready, don’t force it.
Tell us about your daily routine.
On the days I’m in the office, I’m usually up around 5.15AM and drive into the city where I work out at the gym or go for a run before work. My husband will drop off the boys at childcare or their grandparents. I’m at my desk around 8AM and then I’ll leave anywhere between 4.30 and 5.30PM to pick up the boys. Or if it’s a childcare day, we head home for a quick, easy (and hopefully healthy) dinner. My husband and I try to have some together after dinner and then it’s bath, books and in bed around 8PM. I usually then get things ready for the next day and try to get to bed fairly early.
Lastly, at the end of a busy week, how do you positively re-energise?
Time as a family, exercise and an afternoon nap when I can sneak one in!
- Favourite time of the day is … morning.
- Instagram sites that inspire you … I just love seeing pics from friends and family.
- I’m happiest when … we have quality family time and everyone is happy.
- I’m addicted to … chocolate and trashy TV in my downtime.
- Favourite wardrobe staple for work … black jeans.
- Favourite wardrobe staple for weekend … blue jeans.
- My role model is … my Grandma (she was the first women in her family to leave the family farm to train to become a registered nurse—she set the standard for women in our family to be independent and value education.)
- Heels or flats? … heels for work, flats for weekend.
Allie works as a Marketing Manager for a digital company and is mum to Sam (4 years old) and William (2 years old)