Work/Life Balance (it’s not a myth, honest!)
It’s something that every business Mum strives to achieve - the elusive work/life balance! This means different things to different people, for example I am now at the stage where I want to work more where as some Mums are wanting to spend more time with their children. So there is no right or wrong here, we are all looking for different things from life. One thing often pops up as a barrier to achieving more though, and that is time! We could all do with a few more hours in the day right?!
I’m here to share my top tips, along with those from some fellow Mums in business. So grab a cuppa and enjoy!
Planning your time (however much or little of it that you have!) will mean that you make a more efficient use of it. Spending an hour on a Sunday evening time blocking your week will mean that you’ll know exactly what you’re doing and when (this was a total game changer for me!)
I don’t know about you but trying to work when I’m ‘Mumming’ just doesn’t work for me. I feed the kids and think ‘Oh i’ll just do a quick Instagram post while they’re eating’ and boom! A two year old comes at me from no-where wanting my attention. I get frustrated because I haven’t been able to finish my post and he gets cross because I’m not wanting to play - there is no winner in this situation. So for me, I have to keep my time separate - time for work and time for the kids. By time blocking, I am able to plan everything in that I need to do knowing that I have dedicated time scheduled to spend with my kids (as annoying as they are!).
Following on from that, planning in general always makes things easier. Being organised isn’t something that comes naturally to me, but I do find that I am able to be more productive when I’ve got myself into a routine. Outsourcing tasks that don’t absolutely have to be done by you is another way of saving a few hours every week.
“Outsource cleaning and ironing if you can, do a weekly meal plan and order a weekly shop online and get it delivered. Put a load of washing on every morning. Declutter your house as much as possible to kids can find their own socks, underwear etc. Mine are 6 and 8 so can do a lot themselves. Use any family help that is offered”
Samantha, Jonsam Events
This is something that is so easily forgotten when we’re constantly rushing around, and we’re pretty much BFF’s with the local take-away as we visit so often! Planning out your weekly menu and shopping for that will save you time dashing around trying to think of something to cook. Batch cooking is another way to save time, money and energy worrying about what to feed the kids.
“My family's nutrition is particularly important to me, so I like to make sure we eat healthy meals (nearly) every evening. To make sure this happens I plan out tomorrow's dinner the night before which has two benefits:
- I don't decide what we're going to eat when I'm hungry because I know that's going to mean choosing the wrong things
- It's one less decision to make during the day when I'm trying to keep my head above water”
Anna, VA Zoom
Make Use of Every God Damn Minute
I bloody love a good podcast and make the most of idle time by listening to them and learning - when I’m driving, preparing dinner, doing the washing, doing the food shop, walking home from the School run etc.
Take time out
We are so used to being constantly on the go, juggling all of the balls, all of the time. It is really important to take time out, and give your mind and body a chance to relax and recover. I am the worst one for working myself into the ground, but when I do take planned breaks I find that is when I have most of my lightbulb moments! As well as spending quality time with your kids, partner, friends and family make sure that you carve some time out for you. Go shopping, hit the spa, watch a film - anything that will give you some respite from the day to day hustle. Be selfish for a day - it feels amazing!
“Your work is important but to your kids its a pain. As I work from my mobile a lot my children see me using my phone as work so between 4 and 7 my phone is away. My husband and I put our phones into jail to make sure we spend quality time with our children every day”
Rosie, Social World
I really hope that this has helped you work towards creating the perfect work/life balance for you. Running a business and being a Mum can be a bit of a shit show at times, and is certainly not for the faint hearted! With a few simple tweaks to the way that we work it can be made easier, and working together we are always stronger. If you’re ever struggling with the weight of it all, come and have a chat/rant in my free Facebook group. With lots of lovely fellow Mamas running their own businesses, its a really helpful and happy place to hang out.
Let me know how you get on with these tips and please do share any of your own in the comments below!