How a working mum makes time for family
13 May 2018
Meet Irata Passi, a nurse team leader at SouthSeas Healthcare.
Irata is married with six children, with a stillborn son who she always acknowledges when people ask her how many children she has.
“As a mother you always count all your children, including those who have passed,” says Irata.
Irata’s two eldest children were born in Samoa and the rest were born in New Zealand.
“I am a full-time working mother. My husband is self-employed so we can be flexible in our schedule for our kids, and I’m reliant on him to do most of the household duties, including caring for our children by picking them up and dropping them off to school.”
“I’ve always been a working mother. I’ve been employed with SouthSeas for about 11 years now,” smiles Irata.
“I love the working environment and working alongside other Pacific staff in serving and helping our community in South Auckland.”
“I’m blessed that I don’t do shift work, so I work during the day and I can spend time in the evenings and weekends with my children.”
Irata also acknowledges the challenges of being a Pacific working mother.
“I found it really difficult when my husband and I were both in full time employment.”
“I was struggling to juggle work and caring for my children. It was stressful for me because we had to take turns to pick up the kids and I ended up always leaving work at about 3pm to get to the kids at school.”
“My new role as a team leader came with responsibility. We had to make a decision about which one of us was not going to work full time. I had to commit myself fully, so we agreed I’d take on a full time role, and we changed our working schedules.”
“Even though its hard balancing work with family, the successes I see in my new role helping patients and supporting my team are very rewarding. At home I have the support of my husband, which allows me to concentrate and do the best I can in my role.”
Irata’s husband supports her fully as a full time employee.
“My husband is very supportive of me and my career. He understands how important my role is at SouthSeas and he can see the passion in me to help people.”
“I encourage the mothers coming in as patients to take on further education or look for stable jobs to support their children and family. It’s more to it than just caring and providing health advice. As a mother, you can’t help but to encourage other mothers by motivating them to look after themselves and their family and support their kids.”
“It’s in our DNA as mothers to provide wraparound services to other mothers which are not limited to health care.”
With Mother’s Day looming, Irata is looking forward to spending time with her family.
“I am waiting to see what my kids will surprise me with. I said to my son recently, remember its Mother’s Day soon and he said ‘OK mum I know’. So I’m hopefully in for something special,” smiles Irata.
The last two years, Irata spent Mother’s Day with her aunty, who is now residing in Samoa.
Irata is also looking forward to what her husband will buy her on Mother’s Day and she has a suspicious idea that it will be another white dress for church on Sunday, as Irata will deliver a testimonial at the service to encourage and motivate other mothers.
“As a working mother, I love what I do. We always try and keep up with our motherly duties either with the children or activities to help ourselves like exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”
“We pray and believe in our faith and always ask the powers that be to look out for our children.”
“I try and maintain an active lifestyle, hoping to live longer to spend more time with my family.”
“As a working mother, I always try and have quality time with my children and my family. That is what success looks like to me.”
“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.”
South Seas Healthcare
Physical address: 14 Fair Mall, Auckland 2023
Phone: 09 273 9017
Clinic opening hours
Monday – Friday: 8 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 1 pm
Public Holidays: CLOSED
For After Hours Weekend and Holidays:
East Tamaki Healthcare, 160 Bairds Road, Otara
Phone: 09 274 3414
and East Care Health, 260 Botany Road, Botany
Phone: 09 277 1516