“I missed my son’s first steps”

As a young mum with four kids, Melesia Adderley knows better than most the challenges of balancing career ambitions with family life.
She has worked for some of the most recognisable employers in Cayman, including Sol Petroleum, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and Dart Enterprises.
But it wasn’t until she went out on her own, setting up three family businesses with her husband, that she found the work-life balance she needed.
Adderley recalls travelling to Bermuda on a business trip when she was nine months pregnant with her second child.
“I had to get my mum to come with me because I wasn’t medically able to travel by myself. My son was 1 year old and he had to come with me as well, so that was a whole experience,” she said.
In all her jobs, she says she reached managerial level and was paid well, but balancing a demanding job with her responsibilities as a mum proved difficult.
“I missed my son’s first steps because I was at work. I missed a lot of the important milestones in my kids’ lives.”
Living in Beach Bay meant an early start for the morning commute and she was sometimes not home until well after six after battling traffic.
She believes businesses in Cayman would benefit from offering longer maternity leave and more flexible scheduling for working mums.
“If you are responsible enough to get your work done there is no reason you need to sit at a desk from 9 to 5 every day.”
Eventually, after missing her daughter’s first sports day – an important event for a mum who had been inter-primary track-and-field champion as a child – she decided she needed more flexibility.
Now she runs three businesses along with her husband – software development company Kingpin Apps, food and drink delivery company Island Grub, and Women’s Haven, an organic feminine care product business.
“I could be a lot further in my career, yes, but I had to find a solution to being able to be there for my children and still have an income somehow,” she said.
“We have a lot of flexibility now where we are able to be there for our children any time they need us, with no need to put in a vacation day, or request for extended lunch, and are still able to run three businesses and be a spouse. If we and so many others are doing this, why can’t workplaces consider remote work and be more accommodating to families?”

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