Business Education

How to Balance a Hairdressing Career with Motherhood

May 03, 2024

Continuing her exclusive series, Natasha Grossman, CEO of HOB Salons, shares her practical business expertise with you. This month, Natasha discusses the balancing act between having a career and motherhood.

Having recently been promoted to CEO of HOB Salons, I have spent some time reflecting on my 19-year journey. I’ve thought about what it’s taken to get to this point, whilst having my two beautiful children, Megan and Max, along the way.

My friends often ask me, ‘how do you do it?! ’ and by ‘it’ they mean having a career that holds me responsible for some 350+ team members, whilst finding the delicate balance between being a good enough mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend… and the list goes on! But what I’ve come to realise over the years is that this juggling act is more of a nuanced dance than a precise science and, at times, it can even feel like a challenging tightrope walk.

However, embracing the imperfections of this balancing act has been key to my journey. I’ll never forget the words my mother said to me many years ago that have stayed with me every day since, “you don’t have to be the best mother or the best anything, you just have to be good enough.” And she was right.

The demands of leading a successful company and fulfilling the responsibilities of motherhood are undeniably overwhelming at times, but acknowledging that I CAN do both has brought a sense of acceptance and resilience that I feel proud of – particularly as a woman.

My own thoughts and feelings towards having a career and juggling motherhood at the same time really has influenced my approach as a leader within the company. It’s enabled me to have empathy towards the challenges mothers are faced with within the workplace, and it has shaped a culture at HOB that values flexibility and opportunities for all. Understanding the diverse needs of our teams has allowed me to create an environment where individuals can thrive both professionally and personally.

Over the last decade, there have been so many barriers that have prevented women from returning to the workplace after having their children. For one, childcare is extortionate and often makes returning to work seem pointless when the majority of our salary is being spent on someone else looking after our children. Then there’s the worry that when our kids do eventually go to nursery or school, you receive the phone call that your child isn’t well and you have to keep them at home for 48 hours – letting your co-workers or clients down.

However, even with all these worries, I did return to work after three months with my first child and six months with my second, and it was the best decision I ever made. I loved the warm cup of tea I got to drink without interruptions when I first got into the office, and for people to call me by my actual name, rather than ‘Megan’s mum’! I loved challenging myself again in a different way, outside of getting my children to sleep through the night or to drop a bottle. I also had so much gratitude towards Akin, Clive and Paul for allowing me to transition back into work at a pace that felt right for me and my children. I didn’t lose my confidence being out of the work environment for too long, and because I had my identity back, it enabled me to really appreciate the time I had with my family, making me feel like a better mother to my kids.

My eldest, Megan, is going to be 12 next month, and the last decade has just flown by in a flash! I’m striving to be a role model for my children and consciously teaching them about resilience, ambition and the pursuit of passion, in the same way my parents did with me. It is possible to be a good enough mother and to have a career at the same time, whether that’s being a part-time or full-time stylist, colourist, front of house, salon owner or CEO.

The company you’re a part of will make all the difference in achieving a work/life balance; having the HOB family surrounding me has been exactly what I needed for work to become an extension of my home.

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