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Christine Armstrong is a writer, speaker and adviser to business leaders on the future of work. She is a contributing editor of Management Today, has three daughters and is, against her own advice, an active member of the PTA. christinearmstrong.com
It's time for a different conversation about working and parenting. As our working days get ever longer and our phones keep so many of us glued to work, the needs of our children and the world of school and childcare has not changed at all. School summer holidays are still longer than our annual leave. Working mothers everywhere are tearing themselves apart, trying to meet the needs of their children, their relationships and their careers and too often feeling like they are failing. So is there a solution? When Christine Armstrong became a mother, it never occurred to her that she would want to give up her job. But the truth is, combining work and small kids is hard, and when Christine tried it, she found herself desolate with misery. Determined to find a way forward, she looked for answers by interviewing other working mums and found that she wasn't alone. The Mother of All Jobs brings together the wisdom of the women who opened up about everything (and we mean everything) into a manifesto for happy professional families. Ignoring the glossy lives presented on social media, this book shows that, while it's not always pretty, working parents can thrive if they have the knowledge others learnt the hard way.
Have you ever looked at the lengthy school holiday dates and silently screamed in desperation? Have you gone part time yet are still doing a full-time workload? Have you ever been too afraid to ask about maternity benefits or flexible working? Do you constantly feel guilty about missing school events and secretly envious of other mums at the school gates who seem to be doing it all better than you? If any (or all) of the above rings true for you, you are NOT alone. While the demands of work are increasing with longer working hours and more pressure to remain 'switched on' to our phones and computers, the needs of our children and the world of school and childcare have stayed the same. Something has got to change before we all reach breaking point. The Mother of All Jobs brings together the wisdom of women who opened up about their experiences into a manifesto to help working parents thrive.