I remember sitting at my desk 5 years ago and thinking how busy life was. My husband and I were building our first home, raising our two dogs and kick-starting my husband’s building company. Now, forward to today where we are building home number 3, growing my husband’s business, added 2 beautiful children to our life and more recently buying Mynder (babysitting business). Busy is an understatement in our household but I would not have it any other way.
Here are my top tips for juggling motherhood/business juggle:
Find quality child care arrangements for your kids
Once you have found out a trustworthy and reliable childcare arrangement then it will define your work hours for the week. You can stay connected to your kids even when you are at work through photos and updates that your child care provider gives you. There is nothing better than receiving a photo of your kids smiling from ear to ear at the park. I find it motivates me to work harder because I can see that they are safe and happy.
Find support for your partner or family
You cannot do it all. Everyone on Instagram just makes it look like it’s a walk in the park but the reality is it’s not! The sooner you realize, the sooner you can lean on people around you to help you better juggle and manage your time. If you can get your hubby to pick up your children one day a week will give you an extra hour to two hours at work!
It’s ok to say no
I know its natural instinct for most of us to say yes to everyone all the time. I’ve learned that time is important and limited when you’re running your own business. So I commit one day a week to having time with my kids and I let it known to everyone around me what day that is. I will say no to everything that day unless it’s got to do with my kids. One of the reasons why running a small business appealed to me was so I could have flexibility in my work days.
Plan out your week on Sunday nights
The big things that I plan for every week are dinners, groceries for the week and what’s on for the week ahead. Check that list every night and make sure you’ve got all the bags packed and placed at the front door, so you don’t forget anything in the morning on your rush out the door.
Take time out for yourself and your partner
I think as women, we take this one for granted. We often think our self-care and needs become a low priority when we have kids. It should be higher on the priority list as I see myself as the glue that keeps my family together. I need to also look after myself to make sure I’m in the best mental mind frame to juggle work and being a mum. Spending time with my partner is one of the best parts of my life. I’ve never regretted coming home from date night with him, he inspires me and supports me and loves me. It’s such a great mental booster to know someone has your back.
Stop with the guilt
There will be some weeks where you’ll be working morning, noon and night and everything at home will fall to the side. Oh well!!! You smashed it at work so give yourself the time to be happy with that instead of feeling guilty that the laundry didn’t get done. The upside of working for yourself is that you will then also have low weeks when not as much is happening at work and you can pick up the kids little earlier for a quick stop at the park.
My final tip is to surround yourselves with other working mums similar to you. As working mums, it’s so important to support each other through the highs and lows. And most importantly to celebrate the achievements. So cheers to you for juggling it all!
By Jenny Vanderhoek, CEO of Mynder