The thing I struggle with most as a business owner with a full-time job and two young children is balance. Whether you’re a mumpreneur, employee or the CEO of your household, you’re most likely juggling tasks on a daily basis and finding balance is an ever-elusive element to conquer.
Some days we’re super-efficient, achieving targets we’ve set for the day and high-fiving ourselves in our glory. But other days it can feel hopeless, the juggling gets out of sync and nothing goes as planned.
It’s so hard to balance the conflicting needs of building a business, working full time and raising happy, fulfilled kids. But as mamas we deserve to feel fulfilled too right? As the old adage goes “happy mum, happy child.”
So, I have given my top five ways to help mums like me strike the perfect work/home balance so you can feel happy and contented even when you’re being pulled in different directions:
- Let go of the mum guilt
This is something that I’ve found so hard and that I know many of us struggle with. We feel guilty that we aren’t home enough with our babies, then feel guilty that we’re not able to work all the hours god sends to grow our business or to meet a deadline in the office. Mum guilt pretty much follows us around everywhere, right? What I’ve learnt is that holding on to this guilt gets us nowhere. Change your mindset, tell yourself often that a woman who is happy, fulfilled in chasing her dreams and achieving success in her own right will not only be a happier mum but will also be teaching her kids to be go getters, that with hard work and dedication they can achieve whatever they set their minds to, just like their amazing mummy. What a valuable example that is to set.
Also, studies show that girls of working mums are actually happier in the long run and for boys there is no change in happiness levels. So lets celebrate our achievements and give ourselves a pat on the back for being such a positive role model.
- Routine, routine, routine
You may feel like you have a workable routine in place especially for the kids, yet you struggle daily with being pulled from pillar to post! Does this sound familiar? If you look closely enough you will find areas of your day that don’t quite flow as they should. Ask yourself; what can be done better? Where can I change things? Don’t be afraid to tweak your routine, even just slightly, to achieve this.
Schedule your tasks, be it work or family related. The needs of your business, job and the family are ever changing so scheduling your activities in advance helps you strike the optimal balance between professional growth and being a fully engaged mama. This also stops you feeling like you’re constantly behind the drag curve and means you’re present in every moment spent with your kids.
- Schedule down time
It’s so important that we give ourselves time to do nothing. And I mean nothing! Even just 30 minutes per day. I schedule 30 minutes every single day to practice mindfulness, which is a great way to reduce stress and really zone out. I lay on my bed with the door closed, I shut off my mind to the outside noise and really think about everything I’m grateful for. Doing this regularly helps get the creative juices flowing too.
If laying in silence isn’t your thing then schedule your downtime in other ways. Do a run to the shops, go grab a coffee, read a book. Whatever works best for you, just don’t compromise on making it your time.
- Stop comparing yourself to others
Yes, it can be hard watching other mums smashing it in the business world. Seeing their businesses going from strength to strength whilst you’re working all hours of the day and night to try and build a future for yourself and your family. On the days where sales are low and you’re feeling disheartened it’s so easy to feel like there’s always someone doing it bigger and better than you are. This feeling of envy is normal but it’ll take you one of two ways; you can either dwell on the feeling of inadequacy or you can take that feeling and use it to spur you ahead to greater success. If they can do it then so can you! That person you aspire to be is one day going to be you!
- Celebrate your wins
When you feel like you’re constantly swimming upstream it’s easy to lose track of your achievements but I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to celebrate your wins, no matter how small or insignificant you think they are. Studies also show that celebrating your successes is the best way to increase your confidence too. Celebrating your wins can be anything from that happy dance when a new sale comes through, to buying yourself a new dress or even just a walk in the park by yourself. It doesn’t have to be extravagant but it’s so important to acknowledge your achievements. It’s easy to get caught up worrying about what isn’t going right that we forgot to remind ourselves regularly what an incredible job we are doing building something amazing for ourselves and our family’s future.