Mother, Business Woman = Anticipate, Organise, React

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This blog was originally written in french by Estelle Chaume, Market Research for French Market @EMS Cognito


When you have a family and work at the same time, you have to be careful not to get overwhelmed.

The solution is not to choose between being a business woman and spending time with family, but manage to reconcile the two (in good humor if possible!). Can I flourish in my professional life and not be frustrated by a lack of time spent with my children?

The children grow up so fast, we want to be able to share with them extra-curricular activities, school feasts, the end-of-year show, Wednesday or weekend games….
Only on the weekends you have the time to put the house in order (if you do not have a housekeeper), prepare again for the following week (school clothes, sports clothes …), “check” the upcoming activities (visit at the school where it will be necessary to plan a picnic, birthday of a classmate: careful consideration of a present ….). To put things in perspective I have not included weekly activities like administration of household, accompanying children to music lessons, sports and not to forget shopping.

Often after 2 or 3 children, we finally decide to take full advantage of an inevitable parental leave.

We leave the active life for a few years thinking that we are going to have a lot of time and in fact we end up working even more because on average our hours are non-stop from 7am to 8pm. (This does not include the possible disturbances during the night … for gastro, indigestion or cold). We thought we’d find time to sort the pictures … .. well no! We thought we were having TV evenings … and well no! We thought to have more time for friends!!! We rarely invite friends who do not have the same number of children as us … because they don’t understand our lives anyway!
Organizing holidays and weekends becomes more and more tiring than the routine because we have to plan everything we will need for the youngest during the stay: easily transportable food, diapers, wipes, blanket, water bottles, a few toys … bags, suitcases … and still bags with DVD players and DS loaded, to have a fairly quiet ride with the eldest. In short, holidays that are supposed to be times of rest, become more tiring than routine. So if we have no mother, stepmother, sisters, babysitter or au pair … Only one solution is left: Anticipate – Organise – Respond and remain in control! This naturally reminds me of a well-known method of negotiation and contracting. The diagnosis that makes it possible to find the right tactic of negotiation (with the children here):






Cleaning: Save as much as possible

Opportunism: Quick wins

Involvement: Staying the Leader in Negotiation

Influence: To convince no matter what
Apart from the rare negotiations where the positions of both parties (parents / children) are perfectly compatible, the leader, the buyer or the mother of the family must consider the typology of the situations she may encounter.

Goal is to identify the tactic best suited to the negotiations that must be conducted. Mobilise only the necessary personal energy.


Characterize the level of stake of the company that is going to lead.

The challenge:

  • What are the consequences if this negotiation fails?
  • The level of stake is high when the consequences are important or serious

The power:

  • Our ability to move the person in front of us from his initial position (the NO that we know well!)
  • Have to estimate its level of power

The zone “Household”: the stake is low, it is better to use its energy on larger negotiations (not serious if the bed is not done but no possible negotiation on homework!). Let your speaker come (here the child) and nothing presses because there is little to gain and to lose. The “Opportunism” zone: the preparation must be very short given the little stake and the maintenance is drum beating as you can enjoy your power.

The “Involvement” area: use your power to lead the debates, use all your leadership to convince for your best interests.

The “Influence” zone: this is the most critical situation in which you have to show a lot of “fingering” and persuasion. It is by adapting little by little to the character of your child that you bring it little by little where you want it (without cry and without gesture that one could regret).


Diagnosis is easy and quick to set up, even when there is little time available. By adopting the right posture immediately, one becomes more serene especially when the situation is not favorable to us.


There is often a discrepancy between the reality of the negotiating context and the perception of it, especially when you are under heavy pressure or are too tired. In addition, pay attention to the fact that the actual or perceived balance of power does not change during maintenance.

Source: La boîte à outils de l’Acheteur. Ed Dunod.


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