Emma G Hutchins (Manwaring)
How many children do you have?
One 22 month old son.
What town/County do you live in?
St Neots, Cambridgeshire.
What’s your career background?
Catering, then office administration as a PA and Office Manager. I also I am a trained actor and I spent money years writing and performing my own plays at various fringe festivals. Right now I am a stay at home mum and novelist.
How did your career change after having children?
Well, I had intended to go back to work as an office manager at a property firm in Soho but I struggled to find childcare that I felt was sufficient for my son at that time. I decided to then leave my job and live on savings until he was two years old and able to begin pre-school. I also realised it was a good opportunity to get creative again, as I hadn’t had the time to write or act for a few years.
What are you doing career wise now?
My son is not due to start pre-school until September so I am still at home with him, doing classes, soft play and having all the highs and lows of being with a toddler all day everyday . I have also written a novel. It was written last year in his nap times and evenings and was a real challenge when feeling exhausted most of the time (my son likes to wake anytime from 4.30am to 5.30). However once I began I knew it was essential and important to snatch those moments to write and feel there was still a little bit of myself left in amongst being a full time mother.
What’s are some of the biggest professional hurdles you have faced?
I don’t feel I have faced any yet. I could have gone back to work but it would have felt like I was really sacrificing my time with my son for no real monitary gain, especially as I could afford to stay with him if I budgeted ahead. The plan now is to go back to work by the end of the year, (unless my novels become best sellers of course!). I will have to find a new role then though so that will be a challenge in itself I’m sure, especially as I don’t want to work more than four days a week and need to squeeze around pre-schools hours of 9am-3pm.
Professionally what is your proudest moment/biggest moment of success so far?
The first was when I was acting and performing, I received quite a lot of good reviews but one, for my last play, Out Damned Spot, received an absolutely amazing review which complimented both my acting and writing and really made all the effort (and still losing money) worthwhile. The second was being told by my replacement in my last job that she had been told by my old boss that I was ‘the best office manager they ever had’. That made me feel good.
How has being a mum helped you deal with career highs and lows?
I felt an amazing sense of satisfaction when I finished the first draft of my novel just before my son’s first birthday. I think I felt if I could do that, whilst raising him i could anything.
What, if anything, is holding you back professionally at the moment?
Not being a mum! Its so hard to be a success as an actor or writer, being a stay at home mum actually enabled me to get back to being creative after a four year break so I am grateful for that.
Why is work so important to you?
Even writing a book for an hour a day is a mental break from being a mum, focusing solely on that story and those characters means I have more energy and feel fresher to deal with my son even during a long day.
Who inspires you?
JK Rowling – she did it, she was a mum and became a successful writer, even after tons of rejection.
How do you balance your career and family?
I have to take nap times and night times so it can be quite tiring sometimes to find the energy to write or promote my work. My biggest fear is that I won’t have any energy or time to write when I do have to go back to work, but hopefully that won’t happen. As my son gets older I hope to find more time to write – when he is playing in garden or his room….this could well be a pipe dream however as my son is VERY energetic.
What are you aspirations for the future?
To be successful enough to be able to afford to write full time.
What are your three top pieces of advice for mums thinking about making a career change after having children?
Gosh, I’ve only got one really – Life is very short and your time is now very precious, so try to do what makes you happy. If that means changing career then you must go for it if you can. Happy you = happy child (unless they are teething…then you will all be miserable! 😉 )
If you would like to check out Emma’s novels you can find them on Amazon