Just over a year ago I wrote about the challenges facing working moms for the Jozikids’ blog. I’ve been working for myself for nearly three years now and at the same time raising a fabulous, precocious four year old daughter and I’ve learned a lot about managing some of the challenges.
A better way of working
I spent the first year and a half working incredibly hard, mostly to prove to myself and others that I could still be a positive driving force in business and at the same time be a great mom and wife. While I didn’t miss a deadline in that time, I put myself and my family through a lot of stress and frustration. I knew there had to be a better way to handle work and my family life.
Over the past year I’ve learned a lot in the pursuit of happiness and balance, particularly;
- I’ve learned not to promise the impossible or accept the unreasonable (most of the time). This is one of the biggest challenges of running any business – one tends to take on everything that comes your way, especially in the beginning. This can lead to many late nights and a stressed family environment.
- I’ve learned to be upfront with my clients about the fact that while they are a priority for me, I am a mother and sometimes we’re both going to have to be flexible. This means sometimes having a Skype chat with a client at 9pm because they weren’t available during the day and I am not available between 5pm and 9pm when I’m putting Ciara to bed. As long as this doesn’t happen more than two or three times a month, I can live with it.
- I work from a home office and my daughter is currently looked after by a fulltime nanny. In order to create that distinction between me being available for play or working, I made a clock for Ciara and she knows at 10am, lunchtime and 3pm I will come out for 15 minutes when possible and spend some time with her. After two weeks she learned that when I’m in the office, I’m working and it’s not playtime.
- Deliver on what you promised – the rest doesn’t matter. Your client won’t mind if you’re working a late shift as long as you get the job done
- Your support circle is critical – my nanny Mirriam is Ciara’s second mom and an integral, indispensable part of our family. My wonderful husband steps in when needed too. My mother and mother-in-law are also absolute blessings and help out whenever they can and I am so grateful for their love and support.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
My house isn’t always spotless, but my stress levels and those of my family are down. I found my sense of humour again and I’m producing an even better quality of work. Win-win all round.
Copyright © Lindsay Grubb 2012
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