I stared my Women at Work series as a place to feature various inspiring women. I wanted it to be a space where I could encourage women in the world of work. Be it young women looking for career ideas or moms who find themselves heading back to the work place afer a break or those looking to make a career change but feeling unsure of what they want to do. My aim is to feature women, especially those who are moms themselves, across a variety of positions.
Today’s Women at Work interview is one I’m particularly excited about…. an interview with Meg Faure. Now if you’re a mom you’ll recognise her name. She is the author of Baby Sense and all the subsequent books in the series as well as being the founder of the Baby Sense company. Meg also happens to be a trained Occupational Therapist and mom of 3, but you can read on to find out more about her…
Tell me more about yourself and what you currently do?
I am the mom of three amazing human beings and an Occupational Therapist by training. My passion for parenting, communicating ‘sense’ and innovating solutions for moms, have lead me down the wonderful path of being an author (of Baby Sense, Sleep Sense, Feeding Sense and Your Sensory Baby) as well as the founder of the baby product company, Baby Sense.
At present a lot of my time is taken up with my kids (my husband recently took a job that requires a lot of travel). In addition, I have started a new company, which will launch later in the year and hopefully bring new and amazing solutions to moms of little ones.
When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
As far back as I can remember I wanted to work with little babies. By the time I was 16 when I knew I would study Occupational Therapy as a route to work with them. Funnily enough, I have ended up working more with moms and have realised my passion is for helping women to carry out the most important and most difficult role of their lives with greater ease.
What did you study – was it in this field or something different?
My initial degree was OT but over the years, I have done many courses on babies. The writing and innovation part of my work I never studied – that has been a case of learning as I have gone along.
What was your first job in the industry? and what path has your career taken since?
I worked at a paediatric rehab hospital in New York and then went straight to private practise working with babies. I have always been a speaker and teacher at a professional level and to moms. I wrote Baby Sense after the birth of my second baby and the rest as they say is history…
What have been the highlights?
I have been so blessed to use my talents, to do my life’s work. The highlights have been numerous!
• Learning from the best in the world at conferences in Washington, Chicago and Edinburgh.
• Creating a much loved baby brand – ‘Baby Sense’ was an incredible journey.
• Teaching doctors in Chicago and London about the new-born’s sensory world.
• Accolades for our first best seller Baby Sense.
Although these have been some of my work highlights, at the end of the day, being very much in love with the father of my children and watching them blossom into amazing adults is my daily highlight.
What’s the best part of your job?
It is impossible to say but I guess hearing that my books, therapy or products have changed someone’s life or made the mothering journey easier – that would be the best part.
What is the most challenging part?
Like most moms, I suffer with maternal guilt and wonder daily if I am a ‘Good Enough mom’ – juggling the balls and frequently dropping one is hard.
What is your typical day, or maybe week if days are very different?
I wake at 6am and wake three kids. I make them eggs (if time allows) and do the school lunches. I then take them to school and am at my desk by 8am. I work without looking up for the morning – writing on Mondays, meetings on Tuesdays, baby therapy on Wednesdays, new business development on Thursdays and Fridays is for household admin. I try to exercise three times a week and usually fit that in after a morning’s work at around 1:30pm. From 2:30 to 5pm its lifts and homework. I make dinner and we always eat together as a family – even if Philip is away.
What are the “secrets” to your success?
I am energised by my work and new ideas and am always open to new opportunities. I am excited by my work and am not lazy. I am deeply supported by my family, which makes it work. So my secrets for success would be – to do do what you love and surround yourself with supportive people.
As a mom how do you get the balance between your family and career life right? Your tips and tricks?
Gosh, I am not sure I have the balance ‘right’ – does one ever? Each day is out of balance – some days I neglect my work and other days I feel like my kids don’t get enough. But if I had to look for tips and tricks (they are advice as much for me as anyone)
1. Have a structure to your week and for each day.
2. Create a work priority daily to help focus you.
3. Do not be overwhelmed by instant email responses – it can consume you.
4. Do not open a laptop or smartphone when your kids are the priority – the lack of focus is not productive.
5. Remember you are human and try to get the balance but give yourself a break when you don’t.
What do you do for fun in your down time?
We go to Hermanus and I relax reading and supping (Stand Up Paddling) and chilling with my special friends over a glass of wonderful South African wine
What do you still want to achieve?
In the short term, I do want to develop another brand – it was great fun creating Baby Sense. In time I will probably get my Masters and maybe PHd one day. And in the coming years I also want to travel more with my husband.
Thanks Meg for taking part in my interview series. It’s so lovely to share my space with you!
Images: Meg Faure