Balancing Work Life + Motherhood
Being a mum keeps you busy. Running a business also keeps you busy! Doing both at the same time? Well… let’s just say it can definitely increase your coffee consumption. By a lot.
I personally find both motherhood and owning a business incredibly satisfying and fulfilling; but it still takes a lot of effort to keep going in both of them. It can take me by surprise when I start feeling overwhelmed or exhausted - after all, I chose this, right? So why is it so hard?
The thing is, there is a huge mental workload on top of the physical workload - in both areas of my life. Then as well as that, I’m trying to spend time with my husband (also a busy business owner), eat well (ish), get enough sleep (ha), have some semblance of a social life (aka. attempting to align my busy schedule with other people’s busy schedules) and spend time just filling my own cup. It’s a lot! When you have so many wheels turning, it can be hard to see how they all fit together. It feels like when you’re spending time in one area, you’re letting down someone in another area.
For example: when I’m working on my business, I feel like I’m neglecting my kids. And when I’m hanging out with my kids, I worry that I’m forgetting something in my business. When I’m spending time with my husband, with friends, or by myself (helloooo wine and Netflix), I feel like I’m neglecting both my kids and my business (even though when it’s just me and hubby, we often end up talking about both at great length!). It feels like there’s always a compromise happening somewhere, and I detest the feeling of letting someone - or something - down.
So… how do I make it work? Why do I keep living - happily - in this total chaos?
I bet you think I’m going to say planning + time management, right? Well honestly? This is a concept I’m still working on. Although I’m a bit of a control freak and perfectionist in some areas, I’m also a messy, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants creative in other areas (yeah, I know, it’s hard for me to get my head around too). So while I know that being super organised and scheduled helps - and I’m trying to implement those strategies so that I can be more productive and free up some time - that’s not my main survival tactic.
Here’s my secret: passion and prioritising.
The main thing is, you have to be passionate about what you’re doing. You need that fire burning within you, that excitement, that motivation, your “why”. This is the part of you that bursts with pride when your children do something amazing, this is the bit that does a happy dance when you make a sale or get good feedback on your products. This is the stuff that gets you up in the morning, even when you’ve had 4 hours of broken sleep because your baby is teething and your brain couldn’t switch off from thinking about business ideas. It’s your driving force; without it, everything else feels a million times harder.
Secondly, you have to prioritise; what is most important right now, and what can wait? For example, if the kids need feeding, or cuddles, or want to show you a trick they’ve learned because they’re super proud of themselves, then work can probably wait for ten minutes. If you absolutely need to get something packaged in time for the courier to pick up, then YouTube can babysit for a little while. I get that sometimes it doesn’t quite work this way in reality, and sometimes it can feel like EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW, but it’s a good rule of thumb to get you through most situations. Then, once you’re more organised than me and have a solid schedule in place, hopefully those really tricky situations don’t pop up quite as often.
I’m also really fortunate to be able to work from my phone a lot, so I’m able to fire off quick messages while the kids are playing - but I’m trying to work on separating the two a bit more, so that when I’m with my children, I’m fully with them; and when I’m working, I’m being as productive as possible.
It’s definitely a juggle, and some days run smoother than others. But passion and prioritising - and coffee - get me through.
Bunny is a coffee-drinking, plant-and-crystal-loving, chaos-surviving mum of 3 boys. She loves getting out in nature, cooking, blogging about the ups and downs of parenting and running her online shop. She runs a successful business under https://www.clarityco.co.nz/ and a popular blog over at https://www.facebook.com/glowmamablog