THE JUGGLE IS REAL
185 emails. 6 antlers. A gazillion poms. A few sneaky orders. A couple o' blog posts. Ok. A lot o' blog posts. Serious amounts of admin. And a partridge in a pear tree.
That’s my to do list. Just my work to do list. Heck.
Don’t even get me started on the housework-groceries-cooking-washing-floor-cleaning-because-we-have-a-crawler-and-a-eat-food-off-the-floor-er. Both babes are stage five cling ons. Mini wants to play non stop. Frey wants to cuddle non stop. I'm dang tired. My head is going errywhere. I have no idea where to start. Or how to start. And I am freakin’ out. Just a bit. Yup.
Business and Babes. Working from home with kids. Wow-sers. I honestly did not think it would be this tough. Heck no. I thought it would be a little easier. Work when I want. No interruptions. Long lunches. Business meetings with lattes. Post office runs without tasty worms. Um. No. The juggle is real. The struggle is real. Uh huh.
I always struggled. Even when it was just Mini. I could not find a happy medium. So I closed. I didn’t want to neglect my small business. And I didn’t want to neglect my babes. Or Mr Perfect.
But I am still kind-of-sort-of working. Blogging. Thats work right? And sneaky orders. Collaborations. Plus limited edition releases for worthy causes. Oops. Dang.
Why? Cause I got bills. I gots to pay. So I gots to work work work erryday.
So. I've been trying to find the ever elusive 'happy medium'. To juggle like a boss. Like a mama-with-two-kids-working-from-home boss. Sigh. Here are just a few things I have tried. And failed at.
Rule. No emails between 9-5 unless babes are asleep.
Reality. HA. Whatevs. Our babes. Do. Not. Sleep. So I broke the email rule on day one.
Revised Rule. I now have what I call the Email Power Hour. I used to check my emails like every five minutes. Ridic. Now. I sit down for an hour during the day... normally when both babes have been fed and are happy to watch a bit of pep-da-pig and play with Duplo for a bit. And always on the laptop or desktop. No phoney phoney for emails.
Rule. Weekends are for family.
Reality. Yes. They are. And they should be. But they are also the only time I have help with the babes from the Mr. So. Sometimes. It is the BEST time for me to power through work.
Revised Rule. Family first. But if everyone is happy. And entertained. Some sneaky work is acceptable. Small Business life is 24-7. Technically there are no weekends. Dang.
Rule. No more making.
Reality. I am shit at being 'shut'. Super shit.
Revised Rule. Limited numbers. Pre-made... during magic-making-moments. Which only happens when I have wrestled both babes into bed for the night. I prep all ma' felt-poms-antlers-arrow bits. Usually over two nights. Then the next few nights…. I'm like MacGyver. Totally focused. Totally wishing I had that mullet. Totally surrounded with useless bits. But when they all come together. Winning.
Rule. Administration Daily.
Reality. Yup. It doesn’t happen. It has never happened.
Revised Rule. Um. Still hasn't happened. Oops. Admin be sitting there all like heeeyyy-remember-me-hello-hello-can-you-hear-me. No. Bugger off.
Rule. Complete Daily 'To Do' List.
Reality. My lists got holy-heck-balls-far too long. I became overwhelmed. And did not do one thing on the dang list. I was setting myself up to fail by putting too many things on the list. So unrealistic. So unachievable. So stoopid.
Revised Rule. Simple. Make smaller lists. Realistic lists. Achievable lists. And make it weekly. And if everything on the list doesn’t happen. Its ok. Relax. Breath. And just bloody add it on to next weeks list.
Ok. Obviously I am still trying to juggle the struggle. And I totally haven't found that happy medium. But I really need to. I don’t need to be Wonder Woman... but I do need to find a way to make it all work. So these are my tips... and my new revised-revised rules.
Prioritise. It is a must on Small business. Whether is be orders. Emails. Family. Work. Each day. Or week. Keep it simple and priorites.
Slow it down. If you are feeling overwhelmed with orders… there is no problem with 'closing' for a little bit to catch up. Heck.
Work life vs Famliy life. Do your best to keep them separate. Don’t check emails or orders when out and about enjoying family time. Leave it. And if possible, have a dedicated workspace. I have an office. It helps me focus. And makes me feel all fancy pants grown up business like. Plus its one of the only doors in the house that stays shut. And keeps little babes out. Until they start banging. Because pep-da-pig has finished. Oops.
Working Days. If you are lucky enough to have your babes in daycare or a nanny or an au pair or family to look after them…. then no brainer. They should probably be your set working days. For Mama's like me who have one or both babes all day everyday… try and pick a few days a week where you do absolutely NO WORK. Generally that’s Tuesday’s and Friday’s for us. It is ‘us’ time. And sometimes we no-work Sundays. They rock.
Outsource. If you do get overwhelmed, and have the to option to outsource elements. Then do it. If you can hire staff. Then do it. All good. The same goes with your accounts. Marketing. PR. Outsource if and where you can. It will help free up your time and let the experts do the best for you and your business.
Socialise. Chat to other working Mama’s. Small Business working Mama’s. Sometimes just chatting about your goals, your struggles, your hopes, your ideas. It helps.
And if all else fails. Drink wine. Eat chocolate. Savoir the serenity. Surround yourself with rocking gal pals. Have a laugh. Rock out with the chaos. And enjoy the ride.
At the end of the day... if a little person needs a cuddle. A refill of make believe tea. A book read. An ouchy kissed. A baby chino date. An outside adventure. I'm happy to shut up shop. Shut down the emails. Switch off ‘work-mode’. And do the most important job of all.... be the best Mama I can be to my hilarious-full-on-brave-kind-beautiful little babes.
COMING SOON. I have chatted to some of my favourite Mama movers makers and shakers in the business world and found out how they manage the work-life mama-life balance. Some great advice. Some pearls of wisdom. Heck yes.