A balancing act for Ana Rogers

13 May 2018

Ana Rogers with family celebrating Mother's Day

When Ana Rogers began work at SouthSeas three years ago as a community health worker, she thought she would have the perfect balance between work and family life.

She believed that she would be stimulated with work and still have time to help run the mothers’ coffee group.

“The mothers’ coffee group is an initiative targeting mothers, especially those working full time and first time mothers, to get them together once a week or once a month over coffee as a way to educate them about the services SouthSeas offer,” says Ana.

The West Auckland mother enjoys meeting other mothers and letting them know they are not alone.

“When you talk to other mothers you’ll find that they are all experiencing some of the same challenges and what they are going through. The coffee group allows them to share their struggles and talk about motherhood experiences.”

For many, it means hours of talking and getting a break from the house.

Ana is is married to a half Tongan and she has just given birth to a baby boy.

“I’m pleased to run this group often faced with an uneasy struggle of work and family, with benefits and challenges shared by these women.”

“I grew up in West Auckland and am now settled with my family in South Auckland. I always get asked whether the shift from West to South was a huge change, but I feel like it’s the same.”

“The Pacific population is constantly growing and Pacific mothers needed a platform like the coffee group to discuss their circumstances and share stories,” says Ana.

“As a young mother, working for SouthSeas is self-rewarding. SouthSeas have a strong team culture and staff who have been working with SouthSeas for a long time are always willing to help new staff members. We have a good mix of people working for SouthSeas and everything about SouthSeas revolves around mutual respect.”

Ana says before she got pregnant she didn’t really appreciate the importance of kids being part of the workplace as she does now.”

“Often I thought motherhood is something you kept at home and not part of the workplace. As a working mother, it has opened my eyes to the struggles that other mothers often talk about at coffee group. I can relate to many of their struggles.”

However, there are times Ana feels guilty about her family life because she spends so much time working.

“For me, it’s a hard juggling act between being a mum and a working parent. We are at the stage where we have to think about putting my child into day care while I go to work and it’s hard.”

Her feelings of guilt are shared by many other Pacific women workers.

“Balancing motherhood and work is hard, but there are many Pacific mothers already doing it. I always think to myself that if they can do it, I can too.”

“For me finding a balance is difficult in order to make sure that I make the most of home time, spending a lot of time with my child, and being away at work. There is always this instinct as a mother to spend as much time with your child as you can.”

Ana says most women express guilt associated with trying to be a good parent and a good employee at the same time.

“You have to go to work to earn and to provide and care for your family, but also try to balance that with your time at home. Often mothers miss out on promotions or are unable to advance their careers, or prefer to take up part-time work.”

“It is not easy. I have images of my son on my desk, office walls and on my phone and most working days, I can’t help but think about him. It is my first born so he’s very special.”

Ana’s decision to work full-time was partly driven by financial reasons, but also because she enjoys her job and did not want to give it up completely.

With Mother’s Day looming, she is looking forward to spending the weekend with her son and husband.

“Now that I have a child, work has become my second priority.”

“My family is my first priority and it is really important to me to spend time with them.”

“Having a child makes you to stop and think about life and what’s important and all the sacrifice you have to make, and the challenges you will face. In the end, I am very grateful to have such a wonderful family, for being a mother, and I feel blessed to be working for SouthSeas, which is the perfect environment to be in when you are raising a young family.”

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