Annalisa lives in Italy with her husband and son. She works in the fashion industry and recently sat down with Every Mother Knows to tell us her story.
How old was your child when you returned to work?
My son was 2 years old at the time. At first I worked part-time. I picked up only a few tasks and duties. My original work with Marketing, Sales and PR was much larger! When my child turned 3 and started at preschool, I decided to work full time.
Which type of childcare did you arrange?
I wanted to be there when my son was at home. So I I ensured my work was done during the school hours.
Here’s my typical day:
Wake up early in the morning
light exercise and prepare breakfast
get my son ready for school
then drop him off at school
work during the school hours
pick my son up in the afternoon
spend some quality time with him or take him to some sport classes
return home, prepare dinner and eat together as a family.
prepare my son for bed
catch up on the day with my husband
then to bed in the late evening
You know, normally your parents help take care of your children, just in case you are busy. But my parents live in another city. So my husband and I share the responsibility of looking after our son..
This was also a reason why I slowed down my work commitments when my child was little. As a result my career growth at the beginning was also slow.
What was your motivation to return back to work?
My main motivation was my ambition. To be a good mum, a woman has to feel good about herself. Personally I feel better as a working mom than a stay-at-home mum.
What was your biggest challenge in returning back to work?
My biggest challenge was entering the business arena again and proving to myself that I was capable, I wanted to show that I could do it, together with family commitments and responsibilities. I wanted to prove that I could be a good mother without giving up my career.
I understand that you have a special friendship with someone who shares your passion for fashion, and that this has recently changed your career. Can you tell us a bit more?
Through my network I met a special friend with whom I started an extraordinary journey last year. She is the founder of a fashion blog. I began collaborating with her as an editor and PR Officer. This new adventure gave me the opportunity to travel. Sometimes I was away from home for a few days. Family matters though and I’m glad my husband was supportive. My son is also 6 years old now, so it made the situation manageable. He understands that sometimes I’m away for work but that I would always come back to him… with lots more motivation and energy than before! (laughs)
For a business, well – it’s a winning formula when a solid friendship meets a shared passion, like fashion, in our case. Last November another friend joined our venture and as a result, a new brand was born: Breis. We specialise in women’s bags which are handmade by artisans from Florence, Italy. Personally, being an entrepreneur and working together with partners who share the same vision is fulfilling and rewarding. Breis is a great milestone in my career history – I dare say the greatest one this far. I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment. Managing a business with my 2 best friends is a joy and pleasure. And rewarding too. We each have different skills, personalities and backgrounds. This mix and synergy makes our business fly.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to mothers who are thinking about starting back at work again?
Hmm, tough question. The only advice that pops to mind is this: don’t feel guilty. If you desire returning to work, no matter what the motivation, do it. And do it especially if this is something that makes you feel good. You can still be a present and caring mother – sometimes even more. Juggling is a tough act but mums do it all the time. Children grow up but our career stops if we don’t move.
Fulfilment and self-development – even before any professional growth. My motto? “Stay hungry, Stay foolish” by Steve Jobs. I believe one should always be a bit foolish and hungry to live every day with enthusiasm and positivity.
And with this great energy and passion we ask Annalisa: what’s next?
What next? (laughs) Yes, more projects and new adventures are still to come and I’m getting ready for them! To be continued…
Connect and learn more
Annalisa De Angelis is a high achieving working mum with several years of experience in Marketing, Sales, PR and Communication. She lives in Italy with her husband and son.
Annalisa works as fashion blogger at www.carpediemfashion.net