If you ever wanted to know the meaning of juggling ask a Mum. Whether you are a Mum who works, doesn't work or owns your own business / freelances, you juggle. You can't get away from it. Children, especially the smaller kind have daily demands which change constantly with no predictability.
So I wanted to talk a little about my journey of being a Mum and running my own business. I am a Mum to two children, Neve (three) and Jude (one). Neve does two days a week at nursery and Jude spends one day a week with a childminder and will follow Neve up to nursery at the end of this year, one day at first and two days from later on next year. So yes, I am left with one day a week childless to run this business. Might I just add, for the first year of Neve and Judes life I was running it on no free days.
I am not saying any of this for praise or to say look how great I am doing. Woman everywhere have this kind of set up. Finding a balance between motherhood at work / having an income is a challenge.
Some days it's great and I get time with my children and I get a little time for me. Other times it's late nights or working at the weekends. Which in all honesty I don't mind. I am lucky that my job is also my passion but it isn't always easy.
I do feel frustrated sometimes. I wonder how much further ahead would my business be if I had more time for it. However I know my children will only be small once and the business can wait. But we still have to sacrifice time and growth for this, which can be really hard.
So what are my tips for finding balance? I am most definitely still working on it myself and learning everyday, but somethings I have found useful are -
- If you are offered support or help from your partner, family or friends, it's ok to take some help. It's great to have time to focus and children love spending time with other loved ones. It's really great for their independence.
- Use naps to work on blocked out projects but try and keep some (at least one a week) for you. It will make you more productive. Use the time well, exercise or take some rest. Working yourself into the ground isn't good for anyone.
- If you can afford to, get a set day where you can have a childfree day that allows you to get through the bulk of your work and planning. Don't worry if you can't yet as support also comes from the government when they turn 3, so if you can't yet, know that soon you can.
- Be the most organised you've ever been. Plan your social posts, schedule your emails, the more organised you are, the easier this will be. Once you get into the rhythm of it, it can really work well.
- Find ways to bring the children into some of the duties. For example I use the Royal Mail 'Drop and Go' service to send my parcels. It's always worked really well for me. My children love to come on the post runs, they learn about the post office and how it works and we visit the ducks on the way back.
- You may have noticed I do Mama Mondays. This is because on Mondays it’s all about Neve and Jude. I don’t share anything jewellery related and other than to share one, maybe two snaps of what we are up to, I do nothing related to the business. It’s healthy to take a total break one day a week. I find I think of my best ideas on Mondays.
- Try not to be too hard on yourself. Sometimes things might not go to plan and that is ok. You are human and sometimes you do have to let things go.
I hope some of these tips, or even one might help you to find things a little easier. It can be tough doing the juggling but you can do this! Just keep at it and take every day, one by one. You. Have. Got. This.
- Jessica x