How to juggle a tech career with being a Mum

Balancing motherhood with a career can come with many challenges, leading many women to delay starting a family, especially in fast-paced tech environments. Many women have concerns revolving around potential career setbacks, such as the fear of losing a senior position or facing reduced pay after maternity leave or career breaks for childcare. In the UK, up to 40% of working mothers have turned down promotions due to childcare struggles. On the other hand, maintaining a busy and thriving tech career can leave mums feeling conflicted about dividing time between work and their children, highlighting the importance of achieving a healthy work-life balance. Despite these challenges, countless women go on to have successful careers with a fulfilling home life, it’s just about learning about balance and working for a company that will support you.

How can I juggle my career with my family?

There are some skills that you may already have acquired that will make it easier to juggle a tech career and have a family. We have listed some below and how they will help you reach your full potential, without it leading to burnout.

Organisation/Time management:

Being organised is a key skill to being able to juggle both home and work life. Making lists and prioritising tasks is a good way to keep on track and helps you avoid missing any responsibilities. Flexible working hours can also be beneficial when balancing work and home life. If it works for your role and team, consider allocating blocks of time in your calendar to focus on each one. Some women choose to start work earlier or later to accommodate childcare responsibilities, and work into the evening.


Having effective communication with colleagues, friends and family is essential to being able to juggle being a mum and having a tech career. Part of having good communication with colleagues is giving realistic time frames of when you will complete tasks as this ill avoid having people chasing you, causing stress for both you and them. If you are unable to complete a task or the workload is getting too much, it is important you communicate this with your peers at work and/or a manager, otherwise it can lead to burnout or work falling behind. However, it is equally as important to have good communication with your friends and family to build a support system whom you can ask for advice from and lean on if you are struggling.

Setting boundaries:

Although it can be difficult to, it’s hugely important to remain firm with the boundaries you set with work and home life. This includes avoiding bringing work home with you, not working outside of outside of your normal work hours working hours, and making sure you take regular breaks the other hand, depending on the age of your child and if there’s anyone else at home who can look after them, it would be good to let your family know some set times where you’ll be working and unavailable. If you have a baby or there is no one else in the house this might not be possible, so keeping open communication with colleagues is important.

Setting up good habits for yourself such as going on walks to break up your day or practicing mindfulness will help you navigate stress and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed. If you are unable to get enough time to go on a walk, even doing simple deep breathing exercises for a few minutes per day can help to lower resting blood pressure and reduce stress and anxiety. There are lots of apps that guide you in breathing exercises and mindfulness, here are just a few.

How do I get back into my tech career after having children?

If you have already taken a career break after having children and want to return to tech, there are many ways you can achieve this. For example, if you don’t want to work full-time, job sharing could be an option for you. This is a flexible working arrangement that allows two employees to do part-time work that is equal to one person’s full-time job. This allows for a better work-life balance, and reduces childcare costs, whilst keeping your foot in the tech door. It can also be a good opportunity to brush up on your tech skills without having to work a full-time job which could cause burnout. It is important to put measures in place before reaching a stage of burnout – particularly for women in the tech industry – as 2 in 5 IT professionals are at high risk of burnout with 42% of women being consistently burnout out at work, compared to 35% of men.

However, not all companies offer job sharing, so another option would be working in an organisation that allows flexible working. Flexible working involves the ability to customise your start and end times, albeit within specified ‘core’ hours, such as 11am to 3pm.

Preparation is key when returning to work after a career break, so consider spending some time brushing up on your skills. This doesn’t have to cost a lot either, there are plenty of free resources such as freeCodeCamp or Code First Girls offering training for women in tech. or you can find other useful resources here. Doing these will help boost your confidence and stand you in good stead for getting back into tech.

After your maternity leave is up, it can be a big lifestyle shift when you’re faced with returning to work. It’s common for many mums to experience guilt for not paying enough attention to both work and home life. However, it’s hugely important to ask your employer to support you through the process and consider flexible working arrangements to help make the transition easier.

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