All of us work-at-home-mums (WAHMs) know the reality is not sitting down working away merrily, while your children colour in and fetch themselves a snack.
The juggle is real and it is not for the faint hearted.
Answering emails in between preparing bowls of food and cups of water that are delivered in the WRONG COLOUR.
Taking important phone calls in the bathroom, death-staring a toddler and jiggling a baby.
Asking your good friend Peppa Pig to babysit for 10 minutes, while you print a document on the world's slowest printer, only to later find that piece of paper has been attacked, ripped or scribbled on.
Finally sitting down at your desk at 9.30pm, to start your “working day” and then hearing that dreaded cry - one’s awake already. Beavering away into the wee hours of the morning, knowing full well you're up in a few hours to start it all over again.
Of course I am #blessed, #grateful and #wouldnthaveitanyotherway LOL.
I AM lucky, as I get to do what I love and I work around my kids.
I get to be there for all the important bits and there’s no hurrying back to a 9-5 role in the city*.
But there are days where I am ridiculously overwhelmed, anxious and full of guilt.
Am I present enough?
Am I on my phone too much?
Did I take to long to reply to that email?
Are we having Uber eats, again?
Have I missed an opportunity because I didn't return that call?
Do the kindy staff think I am a complete airhead?
There’s always something playing on my mind. There’s always a million somethings!
My 'To Do' list is NEXT LEVEL.
Lately, I have been getting asked from a lot of other small business mums for tips on growing a home based business.
This blows my mind a little, cause:
A/ I do not have it all together enough to answer that (see above)
B/ I am still very much figuring it out (also see above)
C/ I must be giving the impression that A & B are the opposite!
But if you do want to learn from my mistakes, I can tell you a few home truths:
- Try to do only ONE thing at a time only. If you're with your kids, focus on them as much as you can. Once they are in bed or in childcare – go hard
- Be kind to yourself, you're wearing a lot of hats and if one falls off, that’s OK
- Unless you have older children, let's not get them involved too much hey? Yes its great for them to see you working and all that jazz, but I know from too many nightmare experiences that: small kids + products/paperwork/laptops = not a good combination
- "As soon as you can, as much as you can" This is still a work in progress for me because #controlfreak
- Be honest. I am pretty transparent to my customers and my suppliers that I only work a few hours a day at the moment and mostly at night. Sometimes I forget to reply to emails. Just re-send it to me pleeaasse. I probably accidentally deleted while I was re-cutting the apple I cut into the wrong size cubes
- It is A-OK to breastfeed a baby and be emailing / working on your phone. If I've got that wrong, someone call the police as I am guilty AF (just another thing to add to the guilt list). But if you baby loves a feed like mine does, well that’s just called multitasking
- Don’t compare. Some small home-based businesses are larger than yours OR smaller than yours OR have fancy offices OR multiple staff members. Some started 5 years ago, some 5 minutes ago. Only pay attention to your business and your goals
To all the WORKING mums out there, be you working from home OR externally OR working FOR your family being home with your kids, you are amazing and no matter what your situation is, juggling family and life is hard. There is no right or wrong way, so I encourage you to simply do what feels right for you and your family at all times!
*I am also not saying working out of the home is any easier, as I know full well it's equally as hard with a new set of challenges.
[ Images via Fran Jorgensen Photography @1frankjorgensen1 ]