Love what you do to make being a working mom easier
For working moms, balancing family life and a career is a juggling act. Shifting between two worlds daily – the working one and the one at home – they walk a tightrope of duties and routines every day. Having a career also requires some sacrifices, such as missing school sports events, and with this comes some guilt. In the hospitality industry, where hours are long and by no means nine-to-five, keeping work and home life in balance is even trickier.
For Christine Mabokela, a busy mom and the in room dining supervisor at The Maslow Sandton, focusing on quality time is key to keeping her family life sound.
‘Like most working moms, I sometimes don’t get to spend enough time with my children, and sometimes I miss school meetings and other important events because I have to be at work. When I work late, it means that I don’t get to see my children for a whole day. Working in an industry that is ‘always on’, I don’t always get to spend the holidays with my children.
‘But my career is important to me. I have worked hard to get where I am today. To overcome the challenge of lack of time with my kids, I focus on making the time I do have with my children quality time. To make sure that I am always up to speed with how they are doing at school, I make a point of meeting with the teachers when I can. I do get a little bit of support from family while working and I do appreciate this support greatly.
‘In this day and age, many moms are required to work to support their families. This means sacrificing family time yes. However, it also means that we can generate income for our families and contribute to the economy, while having the opportunity to grow and achieve our own career aspirations,’ says Mabokela.
She comes from humble beginnings in Limpopo where she lived until the age of 14. She then moved to Lenasia where she completed high school. She found herself in the hospitality industry out of necessity.
‘I didn’t really plan to work in hospitality but I got a job as a waitress at a restaurant in 2007 because I needed work. I had no experience but I thought I should give it a try and see what would come of it. I quickly began to enjoy working with people, and meeting new people. Since then I haven’t looked back.’
Within a year, she was working as the assistant manager at a restaurant in Melville. She moved to The Maslow in 2012 when it opened, taking the position of hostess. Shortly after that, she was promoted to the position of in room dining supervisor. During her time with Sun International, she has had the opportunity to complete her Food and Beverage Service Learnership through the International Hotel School (IHS) and has a Hospitality Supervisor certificate (IHS).
She is inspired by her work, about meeting new people, and learning about other cultures and traditions from around the world. She has aspirations of working her way up to a Food and Beverage manager position, or perhaps front office manager.
‘Of course, loving what you do makes it easier to be a working mom. I tell my children that they can choose any career they like as long as they love what they do. I believe that you perform better and grow faster in your career if you love what you do.’