Jacquie Niemand – Web Designer and Manager

by Claire Minnaar

Tell us a bit about YOU and your family (where you are based, single / married, number of kids, etc)

I am extremely blessed to be the mom of four wonderful children. I am 37 years old.

Tristan is my eldest son and will be turning 13 on 3 July. He is a very bright and hard-working kid, who excels in his school work.

Connor is 8 years old and has been diagnosed with both ADHD and SIDs (Sensory Integration Disorder).

Trey, my youngest son, is 6 and will be starting Grade 1 next year. He is soccer crazy and thanks to him I am a soccer mom on a Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

My daughter, Sarah-Kate has just turned 2. She is our miracle IVF baby and is the cutest little girl.

I am married to Paul. He is my best friend and we met when I was 21 years old. Since then we have both been married (to other people and divorced) and eventually ended up together years later and married on 21 June 2008.

We live in Edenvale, Johannesburg. I have lived in Edenvale my entire life, resulting in my kids attending the same schools I went to. Paul is originally from Cape Town.

Tell us a bit about what you do?

My job title is Web Designer and Manager. Sometimes I wonder if I even “fit into” that title :). I work for a large financial services company in Sandton, Johannesburg. My key responsibilities include maintaining the intranet site for our division on SharePoint as well as assisting with all the day to day tasks and admin related issues for the Training & Development Department.

I work half-day in the office and make up the other hours while I am at home (before I leave in the mornings and during the afternoons).

What inspired you to get into this particular industry / business?

I was originally a Healthcare Consultant and later found myself back in a secretarial position for an insurance company; which allowed me to focus more on my kids and family. When my boss left that company, I followed and I have been at my current employer since January 2006. My job has changed since then and I enjoy what I do. I enjoy the people interaction and learning as much as possible about SharePoint.

What are the challenges you face or have faced being a working Mom and how have you overcome them?

Trying to balance my job and be available for my kids is extremely difficult, especially when they are sick and / or need me to be at home with them or attend a school function etc. I have a very understanding boss that understands these pressures and allows me to work from home when needed or apply for leave if necessary, even on short notice. I still feel guilty though when I do ask for the time off or to work from home. I think that is just in my personality though. My kids come first though – always.

What is the hardest part or have been some of your struggles of being a working Mom?

There are times when I feel that I have sacrificed my career for time I get to spend with my children. Maybe sacrifice is not the best word, as I have no regrets, but I often wonder where my career could have taken me if I was able to work the longer hours and focus more on my career. I sometimes feel like I am over-looked when promotions come about as I always have kids to take care of and need to leave the office by 12h30 each day; which is really not ideal when working in a large corporate company.

How do you balance your business and your family?

I try not to work after hours unless it is extremely urgent. Weekend work is a big no for me and I seldom attend to emails etc over a weekend. Weekends are for family time. I am able t manage my day to ensure that there is time for work and family.

What or whom has been the greatest support for you and your career?

My mom. I think she understands best what it is like to try and raise kids and work at the same time. There are days when I phone her in complete frustration and even in tears when it all just seems too much. She has the ability to pick me up again.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would love to have my own business where I could focus on things I love doing i.e. party planning and event coordinating. I would still work or do something though as I think I need the adult “stimulation” during the day.

I would not trade being to spend my afternoons with the kids though. It is so important for them (and me) to have me around to help them with homework, fetch and carry to and from school, OT, soccer, doctors etc and just be there for them. They won’t be young forever and I won’t get this time back with them.

What advice can you give other Moms out there who are starting a new business or choosing to go back into the business world?

Make sure you have a good routine going for both yourself and your kids. I find that if we deviate from our routine, then our days are a complete mess. It’s all about the routine.

If other Moms would like to keep in touch, how can they contact you?

Twitter: @JaxNiemand
Email: jacquieniemand (at) live.co.za
Blog: http://jaxieniemand.wordpress.com/

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1 comment

Jaxie June 28, 2011 - 8:07 am

Thanks for publishing this 🙂

So strange to read about myself.


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