Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Mothers in hospitality, more than a full-time job

Published:Sunday | May 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence ï Staff Reporter
Saran Hutchinson and her beautiful daughter Amira.
Cecile Reynolds out on the town with her daughter Chauntal.
Marian Burke-Bailey (left) enjoys being a mother of three to Akelia McIntosh (back right), Darian and Gemelia Bailey.
Celia Steele in the fabulous Penthouse.
Celia Steele sits in her favourite room to show at Penthouse one bedroom at The Courtleigh Hotel and Suites.
Saran Hutchinson in one of the Knutsford Court Hotel Townhouses that is great if you want to feel a home away from home.
Prudence Simpson in her comfort zone and where all the work happens at her desk at the Pegasus Hotel.
Bartender Marian Burke- Bailey serves up a smooth cocktail.
Prudence Simpson mother of three and Director of Sales at the Pegasus Hotel.
Prudence Simpson surrounded by her family (from left) husband Donovan and sons Jordan, Jason and Jermaine.
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Motherhood is a full-time job on its own, but women tend to make it work – like superwoman dressed up for the nine-to-five and putting on that cape – while still managing to be the superhero for their children. Outlook highlights five mothers working in the hospitality sector, who are not only great at what they do, but manages to be there for there little children.

 

Celia Steele, sales manager, The Courtleigh Hotel and Suites

 

Celia Steele, who has a four year old son, always dreamt of being in this field, while many around her wanted to become doctors, lawyers or teachers. In fact, she played hotel at home. She thinks this revelation was due to the fact that her brother worked in the industry and seeing the pleasure in the eyes of the employees fuelled her passion.

Just working at the Courtleigh Hotel Group, is fulfilling for Steele. The group is home for her and having customers being pleased with the service that she offers, fills her with exceeding joy and it pushes her to go above and beyond.

With all this passion for the job, Celia still has another full-time job at home and admittedly, there is not a day that she isn't tired.

She mentions that balancing her job and being a mother, is still a work in progress. However, when she has a hectic day and picks up her son Jaleel from school, the smile and 'big bear' hug she receives, lights up her entire world. That is all the motivation she needs to balance the two and keep going.

 

1. What has motherhood taught you about yourself?

 

Patience. Motherhood proves that I am right there with Job. My four year-old (going on 40) is extremely active and very strong-willed. So if he says he is not eating X for breakfast, it requires patience and prayer.

 

2. How has motherhood influenced your career and vice versa?

 

Structure for sure. Children require structured routine in order to function and actually so does my career. Both worlds are very diverse, so to get the best result, I now utilise the good 'ole' priority matrix to keep on top of my game.

 

3. Best advice on motherhood you ever received?

 

I look to the Bible for advice and Proverbs 22: 6 tells me to 'train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.'

 

4. One bit of advice you would give new career mothers.

 

BALANCE! It is not an easy road. So I cannot express how important this is. Learn to balance your time to give your career your best and your child your all. Never be too busy to give your time, affection and love to your little ones. What you do today, affects their tomorrow.

 

Cecile Hyatt-Reynolds, operations manager, The Courtleigh Hotel and Suites

 

Hospitality chose Cecile Hyatt-Reynolds, and it really became her passion to serve. Some 33 years ago, she started her journey as a HEART trainee and never looked back, working in every department except maintenance.

As operations manager, Cecile Hyatt-Reynolds, mother of one and Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association 'Manager of The Year 2009', thrives on the joy of her customers. It is their joy that makes the job worthwhile.

Her daughter, is now an adult, so striking a balance is easier, but when she was younger, she ensured that despite the long hours, adequate quality time was spent. She admits that the support of her husband and other family members, also helped her along the way. To date, quality time with her daughter is still crucial to their relationship.

 

1. What has motherhood taught you about yourself?

 

Motherhood has taught me how strong I am as an individual, as it propelled me to achieve even more than expected, because someone was depending on me.

 

2. How has motherhood influenced your career and vice versa?

 

Motherhood has aided in my career, as it strengthened my nurturing, listening and problem-solving skills, which are all critical to management as well as the field of hospitality. I have also been able to teach my daughter about work ethics and prepare her for the world of work from my career experiences.

 

3. Best advice on motherhood you ever received?

 

Create a bond with your child from early, as this will last a lifetime. Spend quality time with your children and ensure there is an open and honest relationship. I have enjoyed each phase and stage of life with my daughter, growing together.

 

4. One bit of advice you would give new career mothers.

 

Motherhood does not stop you from fulfilling your dreams, rather, it drives you towards them. Ensure [that you] strike the right balance between career and motherhood while living life to the fullest.

 

Marian Burke-Bailey, bartender, The Knutsford Court Hotel

 

Bartender and employee of the month (November 2017), Marian Burke-Bailey, is a mother of three, who realised that her 'people pleasing' personality was something that would be great for this field. It is always thrilling for her to get that pleasing reaction from customers. When it comes to balancing her home schedule and family, she admits that there are times that it proves difficult, but she makes it work.

 

1. What has motherhood taught you about yourself?

 

I have learnt that as mothers, we need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our children.

 

2. How has motherhood influenced your career and vice versa?

 

Motherhood has taught me humility and how to keep calm in difficult situations and work had showed me a passion for cooking I never knew.

 

3. Best advice on motherhood you ever received?

 

Never approach your child or children in anger.

 

4. One bit of advice you would give new career mothers.

 

Be patient because having a job and family may get overwhelming at times, but try to find some 'me' time.

 

Saran Hutchinson, operations manager, The Knutsford Court Hotel

 

Saran Hutchinson, needed a career that offered her diversity, and an aptitude test pointed her in the direction of hospitality and interior designing. Hospitality was her perfect fit. The work that goes into getting it just right for the customer and then getting their stamp of approval, never gets old for Hutchinson. Finding the balance between work and motherhood, however, can become very tricky. While this might be the case, Hutchinson, ensures that she maintains an open line of communication with her daughter and while the demands of work may pile up, she does her best to structure herself so that she is efficient.

 

1. What has motherhood taught you about yourself?

 

Motherhood has taught me to dig deep - deeper than I knew I was capable of. Everything that I do, I do with my daughter's well-being in mind. So, perhaps before I was a mother, I may have met obstacles that I thought were too large and may have given up. Now, quitting is not an option.

 

2. How has motherhood influenced your career and vice versa?

 

Motherhood, I think, has had a positive impact on my career. I have learned to be more compassionate and understanding as a mother and I think that has made me a better service provider and better able to relate with my team. My career has influenced mothering by making me organised in my home life.

 

3. Best advice on motherhood you ever received?

 

I was told early, that I should be prepared to be tired all the time. It's absolutely true.

 

4. One bit of advice you would give new career mothers.

 

In everything, balance is crucial. While working hard, don't forget why you are working hard and try to savour all the wonderful family moments.

 

Prudence Simpson, director of sales, The Jamaica Pegasus hotel

 

Prudence Simpson, loves the fact that she gets to explore and play with her expertise in business administration in her post. Getting the opportunity to bid for events and then winning, puts the icing on the cake. But what adds that fine wine to the mix, is the fact that she gets to meet different heads of state and public figures, that you would only dream of meeting, and getting the opportunity to do so, is an experience in itself. All this experience, has helped to influence her parenting three boys. Children need structure and her job needed organisation skills, and both has helped the other.

 

1. What has motherhood taught you about yourself?

 

Motherhood taught me that I was a lot stronger than I thought. I manage to find solutions for things I never imagined I would. Women are strong, resilient and great time managers.

 

2. How has motherhood influenced your career and vice versa?

 

My career has taught me structure and vice versa.

 

3. Best advice on motherhood you ever received?

 

Each child is unique and treat them like individuals. Each expresses themselves differently and I have seen that with my sons.

 

4. One bit of advice you would give new career mothers.

 

It is important to have priorities and make your children that. Careers come and go, but the role of motherhood is the greatest role you could ever have.