Ria has made a very deliberate choices allowing her work to fit around her family, alongside unearthing that she gets bored of doing the same job everyday, Ria Butler a total polymath, she does things her way and in a real variety of ways with a varied career. She has a plethora of skills under her belt including; massage therapy, wellbeing events production, teaching and facilitating. Having been a actor for over 10yrs, Ria was constantly doing different jobs and thus built up a broad diversity of skills; from sales to support work, from bartending to blogging.
Mother to Isaac (12) and Leila (10), she realised a decade down the line that no parent is perfect and her dream is to live somewhere hot by the sea and have my grandchildren come visit and make me tea and have a moan about their parents!!
3 words to describe how you feel about your job. Rewarding Flexible Creative
How do you feel about being a 'working mother'? I definitely CHOOSE to work. It is so important for me to have a sense of self and purpose outside of parenting. I like to feel I am having a wider impact on my community and my world. Hopefully in turn that teaches my kids to do the same with their passions. I am pretty bad at having an empty schedule, I may moan at times but I actually love being busy and wearing different hats, I guess that comes from the acting, it keeps me sane, allows me to constantly interact with new people and gives me a sense of my purpose.
Do you think there is pressure to go back to work / be a stay at home mum - either way? There is financial pressure to work. I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world and deal with the realities of mortgages, impending university fees (it'll come around before I know it!) and my annual need for a beach holiday!! But I'd still work even if I didn't have that pressure.
do you think working mothers are as good at their jobs as women with no kids in the work force? Absolutely!! I have worked with many amazing mothers, and mothers are constantly developing organisations skills, emotional intelligence, resilience, time management etc...all the things that make great leaders and collaborators.
do you feel differently about your work now you are a mum or are you still as driven? I guess I'm not wildly driven, as in, if I'm generally home when the kids get in from school and I can pay for all the extra curricular stuff that they want to do, then that gives me great joy and satisfaction. I like to be my own boss. I don't enjoy working on dead end projects or things that are not up to standard. Doing a really good job is massively important to me, so I'd say I'm driven in that way. I'm hugely fortunate to have a really supportive husband who encourages me to work in the ways that I like to.
do you feel guilty going to work? Not at all. I think it's great for all of the family to see you working. When my kids were really little, going to work was like having a mini holiday which was good for all of us!
how do you manage your stress? Prosecco with friends!
3 words to describe being a mother. Wondrous Surprising Overwhelming!
whats the hardest thing about being a working mum? Time tabling! I manage three people's schedules and the dogs. It can get confusing at times.
whats the most rewarding? Spoiling your kids and yourself.
how do you feel about messages that are out there to mothers, juggling everything and trying to look good too? It can go too far. I would like people to remember that looking good is about looking happy, having an individual sense of style, being well cared for, having love in your heart and 'letting go'. These things make anyone beautiful. On the other hand, we all have an internal standard of how we want to look and feel. It's important to strive for that for your own self esteem. So 'no' to poster girl but yes to someone who takes care of themselves, gets regular massage, exercises, eats yummy food and does things that make you smile! It has to be YOUR standard not the medias. If you baby is under 5, focus on that, not on your six pack. There is a lot of narcissism about and all of that makes me uncomfortable. I think people often get all that stuff completely wrong.
how do you maintain a sense of wellbeing whilst devoting your time to your kids? We do stuff that we all enjoy. I am grateful when we are all happy and well. I try to deal with things as they arise. We do things together but also do things one to one as sometimes four people's input can be an overload of stimulus. Remember to pick your battles wisely and try not to shout!
biggest lesson learnt Turn things down. Don't try to take every opportunity that's offered. Learn to say 'no'. I'm still learning that one actually!
has becoming a mother changed you? Can't really remember not being a mother now. I guess the obvious thing to say if that you party less. But I still find time to party. It obviously gives you more dimensions to your perspective. It's amazing! Sometimes I enjoy just getting lost gazing into my children's faces, they are constantly a wonder to me.
what do you hope for your kids? I hope my kids follow their passions. Right now, Isaac wants to be a zoologist and Leila a dancer. I am excited to see how those aspirations evolves. I hope that they surround themselves with people that support them in doing whatever it is they want to do. That's it really. Needless to say they both fiercely defend equality.
any pearls of wisdom for other new mums or working mums out there? Do things your way.