Mum at Work #8 : Fabienne.
Today, we meet Fabienne, a 40 years-old Parisian mum who deals with several professional projects and her work as a mum.
Fabienne is both a professional coach and a PR manager for the the French Arcs Festival of Euuropean Cinema. She’s also the mum of 3 kids : 10, 8 and 6.
She tells us all about her career, her projects and her daily organisation.
Can you explain us your professional path ? I started working as a parliamentary secretary, then I worked as lobbyist in a big French firm. At a point, there were big tensions in the firm (takeover bid). Then I got pregnant of my first child. I didn’t have at all in mind to stop working, but this birth was such an amazing event that I decided to leave my job.
None the less, I didn’t stop working! I started studying management during my second pregnancy (just a few months after my first child). I also had the project to create my own business and I gave lessons at the University.
When my third child was born, 6 years ago, I started working for the Arcs French Festival of European Cinema and I still do it now. I’m in charge of PR : a full time job from September to January, which becomes more punctual during the rest of the year. Concurrently, I was studying coaching for about two years and now, I’m starting my career as a professional coach.
What do you like in your jobs? In my job at the Festival, I like to work as a team and to constantly have new projects. In my job as a coach, the human dimension and the supportive action are very important to me. Indeed, both jobs are intertwined : my job as a coach helps me to improve my work relationships at the Festival, my PR job helps me to improve my job as a coach.
I also enjoy being independent because this organisation allows me to deal more easily with work and family.
What are the drawbacks of your job? Working alone at home : it’s sometimes hard no to talk with colleagues!
The fronteer between work and family is porous : I can remember some funny situations such as when I had to stay locked in the bathroom to give a call to an important sponsor : kids were screaming outside and I was just prentending to be calm and focused on what the guy was saying! Sometimes we’re not so far from a total implosion 😉 …
What are your professional projects ? I’d like to continue developing both activities : PR and coaching. Concerning my job as a coach, I’d like to more focus on female managers to help them to succeed in their career the more serenely as possible.
What is your daily organisation to deal with both work and family ?
I usually work between 9 am and 5.30 pm. Then I go and take back my children from leisure activities. A baby-sitter helps me every Wednesday and every Friday for three hours. During the Festival, my baby-sitter looks after the kids till 7.30 pm as I work a lot!
What would you advise a mum who’d like to start a new job?
- Learn how to rank things and how to make some choices : the danger of being flexible is to think that we can do everything.
- Ask for some help and don’t feel guilty for that : you may look after each family’s member and forget to take care of yourself! Take a baby-sitter to look after the kids when it’s necessary and take time for yourself! l
- Then, try to choose children’s leisure activities not too far from home : an essential point in order not to be exhausted!
Can you give us some tips to deal with children ? At home, we love rituals such as our ‘Cine-Soup‘ at 6.30 pm on Sunday : we watch a film on TV with the kids and make them discover classic pictures, such as Demy’s or Chaplin’s movies… We also have a special dinner once a year, just before the Rentrée : kids choose the menu and we can eat anything, from chocolate with waffles to sausages!
More generally, to deal with kids, I use positive educational methods, such as the one developed by Faber and Mazlish. We’ve got at home a chart about emotions and needs which helps the kids to formulate their feelings.
Thank you very much to Fabienne for this very sincère interview which gives us lots of tips! You can find the positive educational workshops Fabienne talked about on http://www.itinerairedeparents.com.
See you soon for a scrumptious and easy recipe !
Mum at Work #8 : Fabienne.