Razor Insights

Balance, boundaries and choices… What do mums really need?

Written by Katy Hinton
Published on
Can you do it all? In the lead up to International Women’s Day, there’s been a lot of talk about ‘if you can do it all’ as a working mum. It seems to be society’s holy grail, a never ending quest to fulfill our perfect vision of ‘motherhood'.

Introducing Katy

MBA student, Chief of Staff and co-owner of Razor, Mother of a 9 and 12 year old, netball fanatic, social runner and gym goer… Did we forget anything? Probably – this is Katy Hinton afterall, and she’s an all round Razor Rockstar. It’s International Women’s Day so who better to hand the mic over to? Take it away Katy!

Can you really do it all?

Before we get started, could we just talk about the term ‘working mum’ for a second? The choice to work and to be a mum is exactly that: a choice. I don’t think parenthood is any easier for a mother who chooses not to work, or indeed, who cannot work. At least, that’s how I see it.

So, back to the question at hand – ‘can you do it all?’

The short answer; no, I don’t think so. But it very much depends on what ‘it all’ means to you.

The longer answer; I’m not so sure! I certainly can’t – and that’s okay. But I think that I do enough. I work hard to balance my professional life with being a parent and simply living for myself too.

Take sports for example. It’s a passion of mine and my kids’ – when they do sport, I do it too. Lots of running, lots of netball, which it turns out ticks two of my boxes – exercise and socialising. I’ve made a lot of friends through netball! So for me, that aspect is pretty easy to balance.

Working is a slightly different story – as the co-owner of Razor it’s pretty hard to come home and shut the door on your own business. There might be fires to put out and sometimes that has to come out of my own time. Again, we chose to build a business, and to continue doing so is a choice we make daily. That’s why it's important for me to champion ‘work-life’ balance practices within the team and the business. That balance is the key to Razor’s success.

And it’s only through leading by example that we make it work. We have a great hybrid working policy, which offers flexibility for everyone, whether they are caregivers or not – we need to acknowledge that everyone has various needs to prioritise. I am incredibly privileged to benefit from this; with my four day working week and daily school runs I hope it sends a clear message to our employees that we encourage them and want them to make full use of the policy.

A content team is a successful team so we always strive to give them a greater sense of agency and autonomy in the way they balance life and work. We want everyone to feel like they have the opportunity to tend to their priorities as needed and in return, we expect great quality work (from myself included!) You get out what you put in.

I feel really grateful in that regard. Having children has made me really conscious of what’s important to me. Right now, that’s spending lots of time with them which I’m able to do because of the hours I work. I still bring my best to Razor, because it’s also incredibly important to me, but that’s my prerogative – others may have different ideas!

Big caveat here though; my situation allows for this flexibility and we so often see this as a big area of struggle and concern for parents, and mothers often more so… If they’ve not got the support of employers or partners, then they don’t have access to the same choices. We’ve all still got a way to go in that regard.

All that is to say there’s no one way to be a great mum – if you’re able, you get to determine your own priorities. And if not, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re doing all that you can with the time, support and resources you have access to. It’s hard work regardless – let’s shake the parental guilt, please.

So, no I don’t think you can do it all. I certainly can’t. And you know what? That’s okay. I have the privilege to make choices which allow me to spend my time in the areas I feel most drawn to: quality time with my kids, working, being active, seeing friends and learning new things. But that’s not the same for every parent. And I want to acknowledge and respect that – we’re our own people, and if we’re lucky enough to make our own choices, we choose what’s best for us. We choose to ‘make it work’ well enough.

So, on this International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate women, in all the ways you work and for all the strength you show – you are doing enough.