Picture above of mum and daughter Yanti and Mary wearing our new mother's day t-shirt. Mother's Day is coming up on May 12 - the following blog is written by Averil, one of our production managers at Nisa, about what it's like being a mum in work, and also supporting mums in work!
Being a mum - it’s the greatest job in the world. The hardest, the most challenging, yet also the most rewarding. Being a mum that commits to working either part or full-time adds yet another dimension altogether. Our current Prime Minister – Jacinda Ardern - shows that with the right attitude, commitment, fortitude, resilience and support, it’s absolutely achievable to balance employment and motherhood.
Here at Nisa, our social mission is to provide employment opportunities to those that would otherwise struggle to find work, with a focus on women from refugee backgrounds. We support our employees to gain confidence and self-esteem, and we show them that they are valued and needed part of society (and yes, sometimes work provides a much needed break from the kids and home).
The hardships that all working mothers must face are significant. Budgets are usually tight, children get sick, school holidays require foresight, the never ending washing pile (especially in winter!) and standard household chores often falls under mums umbrella to delegate or execute. Add to this the joys of raising teenage kids who want and need to test their wings, not realising the additional stress and grey hairs that poor mum endures as their fledgling wings test the air whilst jumping blindly from the nest!
On top of the normal everyday stuff that most mums need to deal with, former refugees have the difficulty of learning a foreign language (English) and adapting to different social norms. To further complicate things, many refugees suffer from PTSD and a great sadness at having left their homeland and wider family. You really begin to see just how much dedication and personal drive it takes for our employees to want to achieve highly and contribute as best they can to a society that is supportive and caring most of the time, but can sometimes be hostile due to misunderstanding and ignorance.
At Nisa we support our staff by providing a safe environment for these beautiful mums to thrive, to vent, to share, to commiserate, to love, and most of all to gain pride in producing a unique product with a social conscience. We are lenient and empathetic when things don’t go to plan - when trains are missed because children are fussy, working hours can be flexible to accommodate the family’s needs and cultural obligations. Most importantly we listen and we really care; we are sensitive to what is going on at home, with their kids, and in their wider communities, and we give as much support as we can muster. We provide advice and guidance when requested, or we can be a sounding board to help put thoughts into perspective, and we can also help them understand our ‘kiwi’ way of life as well.
So on mother’s day, remember your mum, and all that she has done to help you to get where you are today. Support the mums in your community, and reach out when you can to assist those that might be struggling. And finally, be sure to support those business that do their best to ensure their mum employees are looked after, valued and supported.
Love to all this Mother’s day
Averil Manley – Nisa Production Manager