Running a business and being a mum really is a juggling act! I’ve spent the day writing social media plans for next month, whilst I’ve got a roast in the oven and washing on the line.
For many years my business was my baby, I put my heart and soul into it. It was my life. But, since I became a mum (and step mum) things have changed. I now have two babies to look after! Most days I manage to do some form of work, but I’m often checking emails whilst building a jigsaw or reading a book to my little girl.
However, despite it being a juggling act I actually get the best of both worlds. I can be at home and have precious time with my daughter, but then run a successful business as well. So, how do I do it…
- Be organised
My biggest tip is being organised. There is no way I could do what I do if I was not super organised. I have lists for each client and what we need to do, plans for social media, plans for advertising, plans for future plans. I then have a weekly list of everything I need to get done that week with priorities, I even then have a notepad, where I write down what I need to do each day. I know it sounds a lot, but when you’re juggling ten or so clients at a time, you need to write everything down and plan everything.
I also then have lists at home, shopping lists and lists of what we’re going to eat each day for tea. I have a work calendar and also a family calendar, so everyone knows what they are doing and when. My little one is only two and a half, so I think this planning is only going to stand me in good stead when she starts school!
It is also really important to communicate well. Not only does it help you to be organised, but it ensures my clients (and family) are happy. I have a rule that I will always answer emails in 24 hours, or even just acknowledge people if I can’t give them an answer right away. I also pick up the phone. We often fire out emails when we’re busy and I’m guilty of that, but if I have something tricky to explain about a piece of work, or if I need a question answering urgently I use the good old telephone to sort things out – an art, which seems to be getting lost these days!
Probably the key to my success is the support I have from family – particularly my Mam and mother in law. Between us, we share the childcare. If I have an important meeting to attend, I know one of these great women will jump into action, swap shifts and be there to help. April goes to Pre-school in November, so I will have even more time to get things done!
- Give yourself a break
I recently let things get on top of me. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going and felt like I was doing a million and one jobs all the time with no respite. It seemed like I put everyone at the top of the list apart from me! I discovered a book called The Self Care revolution, which is fantastic and really gives you a handle on how to manage things, coping mechanisms, stress and how to ‘give yourself a break’. I think we’re all too hard on ourselves to be perfect at everything whether that is work, motherhood, looks, ageing, weight loss and some times, we just need to take a step back and realise that actually we’re good at what we do. We may not be perfect at everything, but we’re doing our best!
I now make sure I take some time out for me, cinema, spa days and a daily dose of Yoga. Have a read…it could help you too!
- Enjoy it
The biggest thing is that I love my job. I enjoy meeting clients, forming relationships, doing marketing and seeing projects come to fruition. I also love being a Mummy (as most mothers do) and although I say I’m juggling, it’s not really juggling as it’s just life! It’s what I do and I love it. I get the best of both words, being a Mum whilst running a successful business.
If you are thinking of starting your own business and you’re a mum, I’d say go for it. Yes, it will be hard, yes, there will be times when you want to go back to 9-5, but the rewards far outweigh the negatives. There is no looking back!