Tricia D’Costa had trained in Law, but when her son came along, she decided to re-train initially as a beauty therapist and then as a hair and make-up stylist, so she could be there for him. She has since expanded her skills and knowledge and launched her new company as a Brand and Business Coach for passionate entrepreneurs.
Tell us a bit about you as a mum…
I work from home and retrained from a degree in Law so I could be at home every day for my son after school. I became self-employed as a beauty therapist and worked from home in the evenings when my son was asleep. I made this conscious choice as it was important to me that I raised my son and had the freedom to be able to attend every Christmas play, sports day and when my son received a golden pupil award for his hard work. My son is now 15 and I still work from home, but now run both my Brand and Business Coaching and my hair and make-up styling. It hasn’t been easy as I have raised my son on my own. We are very close and he really is the light in my life.
Tell us about your current job…
I recently started a second business as a Business Coach, focusing on the importance of branding. I had always planned to increase my working hours once my son was of an age where he didn’t rely on me so heavily.
How easy have you found being a working mum?
It has been extremely hard at times financially, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I have collected hundreds of photos of my son through the years and videos of his school plays, and we both enjoy looking at them together and talking about our memories.
How have you found trying to balance being a mum with your current role?
It is extremely difficult as he has been experiencing the challenges of teenage hormones whilst I’m busy trying to build a new business. His step-father works nights, so it’s basically myself, my son and our dog; as it always has been.
What has kept you going throughout your journey so far?
My son drives me, wanting to give him the best life I can and to be a role model for him in showing him what it takes to build a business and be a parent. He knows I do it for him as much as myself, and he also acknowledges how he feels lucky to have me at home with him.
What advice would you offer anyone who is about to return to work after having a child?
I strongly recommend thinking about how you will navigate your role as a mother and parent. The two things are entirely different. I would consider what is important to you, whether you will be able to commit to attending all the school events and participate as a parent in your child’s education. Homework and all that goes with it requires dedication and a full commitment. Not many employers are flexible enough, which is the main reason I chose to retrain and give up full-time work. I knew in the short term, I would never get those vital years back. If you’re able to fit work in around your child and their development, then, brilliant, take the chance. Otherwise, I would consider alternatives. I even worked as a dinner lady at my son’s school while I was studying.
What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you about combining motherhood with a job?
Do what is right for you and your child even if it means changing jobs. You can always find other work but you won’t get the time back with your child.
Anything else you would like our members to know about you?
I suffered severe post-natal depression but didn’t know I had it. I struggled for many years and the one thing I needed and would recommend is to ensure you have family support around you. It’s not enough having your doctor’s support, you need family and friends.
More details about Tricia’s Branding and Business Coaching can be found HERE