Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi (JAM) is our Career mum of the month, she is an enthusiastic Human Resources practitioner with wealth of experience spanning about ten years of interfacing with the C-Suites, HR Leaders and Hiring Managers on all issues as it concerns the HR function, with Talent Acquisition, Sourcing and Employee Engagement being her core.
Find below our conversation with her:
Motherhoodng: At what age did you start to leave your child as a career mum?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : So I have two adorable kids, and for both of them it was right after maternity leave was over. So they were about 3 months. But my mom was with me and I had a nanny to help as well.
Motherhoodng: What are roles you don’t delegate at home as a working mum?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : Bedroom duties Ooo. Lol. But for food, I do bulk cooking at the weekends, so all my help does during the week is just minor cooking. All other household chores are for my help to sort. We have a roaster that guides this and I check to make sure we keep to it.
Motherhoodng: Do you have a support system as a career mum?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : (Daycare/nanny/others)God has given me such Great Grace to get through every stage of motherhood. I have to acknowledge. My husband is also such a present Dad. And he always covers up for me when I have to travel or be away for work or speaking engagements. My MOM!!!!!! She has helped me greatly in this motherhood journey. My sis-in-law and housemaid too have helped me greatly.
Motherhoodng: If you use a Daycare service, briefly describe your experience?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi: So my kids were at home till they were 2 years old, before going to school at all. So never experienced daycare service.
Motherhoodng: If you engage the service of a Nanny or housemaid, please share your experience briefly?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : Between when I had my first child who will be 5 soon and now, I have had several househelps. Some were so good I didn’t want them to go, some others not so good. But I learnt early on, that no matter how good I was to them they will leave. So now, I have contacts of several agents who I can reach out to if need be. Because they are an integral part of the home dynamics, but I also won’t have them hold me to ransom. Wisdom is profitable to direct. Ecc 10:10b
Motherhoodng: How do you deal with the guilt that comes with not being with your kids all the time as a career mum.Guilt?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : No guilt here. I had a working mom growing up. She succeeded in her career and in raising my brothers and I. So if she could do it, then I can too . If I will juggle the balls life has handed me, I can’t carry a bag of guilt about, that’s a lot of weight really. Instead, I am deliberate about making time for my husband and kids and all the other areas of my life that give me fulfillment.
Motherhoodng: Have you missed a moment in your child’s life that you regret?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi :None at all. If I’m not available, we make sure hubby is. As long as one of us is present.
Motherhoodng: Were you able to do exclusive breastfeeding for your baby?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : For my first child, 5 months. For my daughter, she barely stayed on breast milk for 3 months. And you won’t believe how ‘rugged’ she is. Lol. I believe in exclusive breastfeeding even though I could not achieve it. But I am grateful to God for healthy and sound kids.
Motherhoodng: Do you have dinner with your children all the time?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : Not all the time. I encourage they eat dinner early, so most times I am not home before they eat. Other times, I make it home in time for dinner.
Motherhoodng: What’s your strategy to ensure your involvement in your child’s education?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : As part of my greetings when I get home, I ask ‘‘How was school?’’. So we discuss what happened in school in those first few minutes of getting home. I also get to do homework a times. And during exams, I am involved in our revision.
The school also has a communication book, which they use to carry we parents along with school activities, I make sure either hubby or I have a look and sign every day.
I am also happy that because I resume at work at 9am and my drive to work is about 45mins, I am able to do school runs every morning! While school bus helps with the after-school trip. This I absolutely treasure…
And I make sure to attend school events, like PTA meetings, Open Days etc, so that I can monitor and track our progress in school.
Motherhoodng: In your opinion, what’s the hardest part of being a working mum?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : Hmmmm. It will be juggling all the balls of being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, in-law, friend, colleague, boss, employee, employee etc as the case may be. But hey, God knew what he was doing when he assigned us with these responsibilities. We have many mentors to look up to and God to Grace us for the journey. So playing all these roles may be hard, but we were made for it!
But again, we are not to die under the pressure of playing these roles, reason we need support systems like our husband, mothers, relatives, friends, mentors, colleagues, even our nannies/helps are a support system.
Motherhoodng: Can you give us an insight into what your typical daily routine is like?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : So yea, get the kids ready for school. See to breakfast and that lunch boxes are packed. School runs then off to work. I am a HR Practitioner, so I deal with people issues in different forms. I also have 2 side hustles, that may need my attention in the course of the day, (@workplacewithjam where I write about workplace issues and career coaching & @ainaademetier where we make bespoke throw pillows with 3D Pic, sequin etc) and Ankara crafts). Once I’m done for the day, I go home to my amazing family.
Motherhoodng: How do you achieve a work-family balance?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : By being deliberate. I don’t work when I get home except totally necessary. I also don’t take issues at home to work either. We have family hangouts from time to time. Hubby and I have movie nights and date nights as well. I also have 2 key friends of mine who I make sure to hangout out with regularly, they give me good vibes!
Motherhoodng: What flexibility can employers of labour incorporate to identify with the demands of being a career mum?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : These days a lot of organizations are approving 6 months’ maternity leave for mothers, 1-month paternity leave for Dads, so they can support their wives. Some organizations have crèches, room where moms can express during work hours, options for working from home, etc. All these employee engagement initiatives are the trends these days and they will continue to define how family-friendly organizations are.
Motherhoodng: Has raising a family affected your career growth/progression affected?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi : Positively yes. Having a hubby who loves and supports me is priceless and I am always grateful for that. So that doesn’t make our marriage perfect, but we both know that we are teammates and not opponents. My husband supports me with all my side hustles and when I have school assignments (MBA), he is more than willing to help me. He’s such a bookworm. Lol
So also occasionally while I’m at work, I’ll remember my kids’ mannerisms and I’ll just laugh and that alone motivates me and gets me through the day. Or when I call to check on them while I’m at work, hearing them and talking to them lights me up.
Knowing I have two little humans who depend on me, inspires me to do more. So that I can make them proud and also bring them up to the best of my ability with all the fine things of life, by God’s Grace, Amen.
Motherhoodng: Any advice for the first time career mum?
Jumoke Aleoke-Malachi :
- Be deliberate about wanting success on all fronts, as you juggle all these balls I mentioned earlier.
- Be realistic and don’t ever over burden yourself. Get help where necessary.
- Read ‘’The Pressure Cooker” by Nkiru olumide-Ojo. It has lovely insights for career mums!
- Have a support system – Trusted friends, coach, mentor etc
- TAKE CARE OF YOU – solo trips are okay
- Ditch the guilt!
- Take your career seriously and always maintain a balance with all areas of your life.
- I believe in you and you will do just fine.