CEO of Adore Beauty and mum to five year-old Anna, Kate Morris is a pioneer in the Australian beauty industry, revolutionising the way women shop for their cosmetic essentials by founding Australia’s first beauty e-commerce site in 1999 when she was just 21 years old. She has since transformed Adore Beauty into the nation’s biggest online beauty website, a $15 million dollar business with more than 140 signed brands, and attracting millions of visitors to the site each year.
Last month Adore Beauty celebrated its sweet sixteenth birthday with its expansion into China, an important step in the company’s growth to become the dominant online beauty destination across the Asia Pacific region, whilst providing China with a solution for consumers seeking ethical and natural beauty products that haven’t been tested on animals.
All the while, Kate has juggled the responsibilities of being a boss, mother to five year-old Anna and due to have her second baby in June 2016. Kate is no stranger to juggling career with family and has some valuable advice.
1. Be prepared to get nothing done.
The newborn stage was a shock to the system. I’d assumed that, as newborn babies don’t do much, in those first few weeks I’d still be somewhat productive after the initial recovery of giving birth. So as you can imagine, it was a rude shock when I realised I’d be lucky to shower and get out of my pjs by 4pm! This time around I’m ready, and I’ve accepted that those first few weeks will be a write off when it comes to work. Be prepared to get nothing done and if possible, organise the necessities well in advance.
2. Don’t fall under the pressures of other’s expectations – do what works for you.
My first child was born with a cleft palate, and having been drilled with the “breastmilk is best” message, I took it upon myself to feed her exclusively by expressing. This was a huge demand on my time; I worked out that it took an extra 20 hours a week to do all of the expressing, and this was over and above the actual feeding time! I was so exhausted from doing what I thought was “best for my baby” that I made myself miserable, and really didn’t enjoy those early months of motherhood. What I know now is that what’s even more important for your baby is your own sanity and mental health. Sometimes you have to make decisions that are best for your entire family, and that includes yourself. Don’t fall under the pressures of what everyone else expects – do what works for your family as a whole, and your children will inevitably benefit.
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3. Balance the load.
For any woman who is looking to maintain or go back to a career after having a child, it’s important to ensure that the parenting responsibilities don’t fall entirely on you from the get-go (if you have a partner that is – I take my hat off to single mums, you are superheroes!). The only things I can do that my partner can’t are gestation and lactation. For everything else, there’s no reason why we can’t split it 50/50. He understands that he’s not “babysitting” or “helping” – parenting is his job too. For me it would be impossible to do my job without an equal partner to share the load.