Kasia Olszko, Mother to her toddler, Jasper is starting out a new venture as a Mindfulness Coach. After leaving her career in TV and Film production, she is excited and feels a real sense of purpose. I can see this and her passion to be in the workforce jumping out of her new website, which is rather beautiful I must add! Kasia is very driven and has a personal desire to make this world a better place.
have you always worked? I have worked since I was 14 years old, I am a grafter... before I had Jasper I worked full time as a TV & video producer. I took maternity leave for 5 months and after returning to work I realised that I didn’t want to work full time. I soon learnt that part time in TV production didn't really work for me, this was when I decided to retrain and start a new chapter in my life, it was a perfect time and a move I had been thinking about it for a long time. It seemed like now or never.
how do you feel about your job? Very excited, I feel a sense of purpose; I really want to reach as many people as possible.
do you think there is social pressure to be a working mother? In my opinion, pressure if it is external – ignore it, do what it is best for you. We are all different and on a different journey, no point compering anything. If the pressure is internal, have a closer look. Where is this pressure coming from? Maybe there is a deeper need, maybe it is an expectation, maybe something else but it is key to work out what it truly is, so you can take care of yourself.
How do you juggle everything? It is hard work, you have to be really organised to make time for everything and not loose your mind. It is also about prioritising, asking yourself what is more important to in each moment. Often I just don't have time to do everything I want, so I need to make sure I make honest choices.
has becoming a mother changed you? Massively! I much prefer my 'newer self', it also proves my long time belief that love is the answer.
3 words to describe being a mother. Mind-blowing, emotionally challenging, fun.
how do you manage on the really tough days? I’d like to say I ask for help but it is not true! I am definitely learning to ask for it more and more. I take a deep breath, accept that this day is going to be hard and try to take it slower, be kind to myself and I will admit, I cry if it makes me feel better.
do you feel differently about your work now you are a mum? I am still as driven if not more but very much focused on flexibility and purpose. Days are too short and I have no interest in wasting time on things that do not serve me. Working mothers are really great at multitasking, planning, maximising opportunities and time, this can be very valuable in the work place, as well as at home ;)
do you feel guilty going to work? I feel ok as long as my boyfriend and I are sharing responsibilities. It's important for me to know that Jasper is spending time with him as well as the childminder. If I had to leave him somewhere for a whole week I would definitely have a problem with it.
whats the hardest thing about being a working mum? Finding time and energy to shave my legs! Hehehe :)
whats the most rewarding? Connection, sense of belonging, experience of pure unconditional love, lots of opportunities to be silly, kissing the softest skin there is, watching him sleep, hearing the word “mama” over and over. Feeling more powerful than ever.
how do you maintain a sense of wellbeing? I make time for myself. This might mean going out with girlfriends or having a bath. I practice yoga and meditation, this keeps me grounded and balanced but also helps my body stretched and relax. Physically I more tired then I have ever been. I eat well. I practice gratitude and mindfulness every day. I also make sure we take every opportunity we get to go out with my boyfriend. My relationship is very important to me.
how do you manage your stress? Mindfulness, Yoga & Self Compassion practice.
Do you have a vision of what you wish for your kids regarding work and home life balance and the roles of men and women in the work force? I would like parents to have a choice, this to me is the ultimate freedom. Where man can choose to take time out for as long as woman are able to. Where people have a real freedom to share responsibilities, when they are not forced into a situation by their work place. Where employers trust that people can work in a way that suits them personally and be as effective. I also like the idea of a 4 day week. 3 days for your passions, family, self-development and 4 days at work. When you do come to work though you are fully present, you are working hard and really giving it your all. I am sure we can achieve more in 4 days with this approach than we do in 5, spending 30% of your time thinking or doing other things.
biggest lesson learnt? Every baby is an individual, a separate human being, so there are no rules, good or wrong ways to do stuff. One advise will work for one child but not work for another. There is no golden rule. Do what works for you, listen to your intuition, you know everything you need to know and it is OK to make mistakes.
what are your dreams? I would love to reach a point when I am truly financially independent. When I can choose how much I work and what I want to commit my time to. I dream to introduce mindfulness and self-acceptance to as many people as possible. I dream that I can one day find the strength to have one more baby and travel, travel, travel.
pearls of wisdom? Allow your partners and family to help, involve them as much as possible. Drop this believe that you will do it best. I know it is hard but it is worth it. Getting involved makes everyone happy and gives you some very needed space. No matter what, you will always be their mum and by opening up to other points of view you might even learn something useful