06 Aug A mums life: how to keep your head above water, running a business with kids
Image credit – All The Lights Photography
It’s time for me to get real with you.
Being a Mum is hard. Freaking. Work.
I’m not talking #mumlyf hard, I’m talking proper hard. Like, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
But, being a Mum also the best thing I’ve ever had to do and it’s an experience I would never give up, not for anything.
I’m not a Social Sharer. You won’t see my family pics all over Insta or FaceBook but, my beautiful family is my pride and joy and, every single day I remind myself how lucky I am to have them in my life.
The thing is, that beautiful family of mine have also brought with them a whole lot of extra work which sucks up A LOT of my time. It’s something I couldn’t have ever imagined when I jumped head first into motherhood, and I sure as hell wasn’t prepared for it. I’m sure someone, somewhere probably tried to tell me (sorry Mum!) but I just didn’t get it.
You know the other thing that takes up a lot of time? Running a business. Especially when you are in the early years trying to finding your feet. So yeah,trying to do my best for my family and my business at the same time, it’s a juggle. Keeping all those balls in the air is tough, which is why I’ve put together some of my best tips to help you navigate the murky waters of being a working Mum.
Become a efficiency ninja
This was one of the first things I learnt with baby number #1. Most everyday tasks can be done in half the time if you become more efficient, which will free up your time, both at home and at work.
Focus on one thing at a time – turn off those damn socials which suck up too much of everyone’s time, switch off the phone when you have work you need to plough through and try to streamline everything you do. If your working at home don’t let yourself get distracted by the house work or the washing, just focus, and you’ll be amazed what you can get through in a small amount of time.
Share the load
One of the reasons I am still standing upright to this day is because of my wonderful hubby who helps share the parenting load.
From day dot when we decided that we would have kids together, we also agreed that first and foremost we must also be a team. Living in Sydney in 2017 means that we BOTH need to work which means equal responsibility when it comes to our children and home life as well. Apart from breast-feeding, my man does, to the best of his ability (lol) the same things I do around the house as well.
Seeing as we both go to work all day, it means that when we come home we both need to put in the effort to keep our home clean and functioning as well. We both live there, and the kids are both ours so therefore why shouldn’t the workload at home be equally shared? This means as a working mother you don’t have to run around like a crazy chicken and not be able to have the right amount of time to focus on your work and business too.
The art of sharing the load does have it’s moments and you totally need to learn to loosen the reigns a bit when things don’t go your own way. But trust me, lightening your load outside of work means that you won’t lose your sanity in the process and become one of those tired, strung-out, cranky mums.
So the house isn’t as immaculate as it is when you do it, the kids may look like wildlings and the fitted sheets in the linen cupboard… you can just guess no doubt. JUST LET IT GO. Learn to walk away and focus on the bigger things or otherwise you will be stuck in the throws of domesticity for the rest of your life and your business will never thrive.
It doesn’t matter if it is not perfect
Like many, I know I have this immensely annoying habit of everything having to be ‘perfect’. Well I did, prior to running a business with my kids.
Apart from my hair and general demeanour everything else in my life had order, had a place and I prided myself on always doing my work perfectly.
One day however, when I had had NO sleep, no time to myself for what felt like days and had clients asking me to complete work for them a week after giving birth, I had a light bulb moment and realized just how unimportant perfectionism is most of the time.
To climb to great heights (and also just enjoy your life) it’s OK to put your perfectionism in the filing cabinet. It can hold up progress in a BIG way so don‘t kill yourself agonizing over the small details when the bigger picture will normally do just fine. Find the important things to be precious with and put the rest aside to stress about in another time.
Which brings me to my next point…
It‘s ok not to be superwoman
We all know those people on facebook who seem to be able to zoom in like superwoman… Pow Pow Pow and have everything in order and looking marvelous as well as looking immaculate themselves.
Well let them have it, I say. I have decided I would much rather enjoy my life and enjoy my family and stop trying to please everyone else while running myself ragged in the process.
Delegate Delegate Delegate
“You want it done right, you have to do it yourself”… well no actually, you don’t. If you want it done 100% YOUR WAY, well that might be a different story, but I reckon 80% of what we all do on any given day, could in fact also be done just as well by someone else too. The cleaning, the admin at work, accounting, book keeping… get whatever you can off your plate so you can really focus on what really counts – running an awesome business.
Yes, it is hard sometimes to let go, but your business will not grow and make more money if you continuously have your fingers and mind into everything all the time. Learn to let go, trust in your staff and don’t get tooshy if the icing on the cake isn’t the exact shade of purple you wanted. The cake still looks amazing and you will be the only one most likely to ever know it could have been different.
Remember the golden rule of 3 deep breaths
This is my favourite of all and something I return to day in day out to get me through those moments in life. You know the ones where the stress comes at your from every angle. When you feel like a hanging punching bag where everyone you meet through the day socks you one in the gut.
Sometimes it brings on anger, sometimes it brings on fear, worst of all it sometimes shreds you apart to the point of tears. Just remember it’s OK. Remove yourself from the source of stress and take 3 deep, deep breaths.
Never underestimate the simple power breathing has to take the edge off and re-align your core. Walk away from the world, turn off the ‘lights’ and take each one really deep and long and slow. Feel the air travel down your trachea and fill your lungs. Feel the power of the oxygen feeding through your system to re-energise and bring calm and peace throughout every inch of your body.
3 wasn’t enough? Well the beauty here is that you can take another 3, straight away… Keep em coming, keep them on repeat until you feel centered once again and ready to go on.
You’ve got this. Never forget that.
And the last golden rule… Is to ALWAYS remember to be kind to yourself
It’s the most important thing of all. You are an amazing human being, and mum, no doubt too. And the fact you are running a business while also rearing little humans is a very commendable feat.
Be kind to yourself.
Remember to take some time out once in a while and do something that is just for YOU. Don’t worry if you are not performing at 110%, or if you haven’t shifted those last few kilo’s after the pregnancy gain. It doesn’t matter that your shirt is not ironed or that your social media posts are not up-to-date.
You are doing a great job, remind yourself that everyday and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
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