If there are three women who know the intricacies of juggling startup life with raising children, it’s those from Australian wedding blog Ivory Tribe, (pictured left to right) writer Natalie Drum, photographer Stefani Driscoll, and wedding celebrant Jo Betz. They recently came to us with more than a handful of tips for giving your attention where it’s needed, and being a little gentler on yourself when things inevitably run off script.
Do some pulse checks
Time is of the essence for any mum and not all processes will be perfect within your business. Set aside time every six months to do a pulse check of the processes within your business. Are the current processes working? Can they be quicker/streamlined/outsourced? If they work, great! If they don’t, map out new ways to fix them and save yourself precious time by doing so.
Be in the moment
If you’ve dedicated some hours to work, then work; if you’re headed to the park with the kids, put the phone away and be at the park; if you’re having a glass of red with friends, enjoy the glass of wine! Whatever you’re doing, be in that moment. You have many different roles, but only wear one hat at any one time.
Set your hours (and stick to them)
Having your own business will allow you wonderful flexibility. However, if you fail to set structured hours, you’ll soon find yourself working around the clock, which is not fair on anyone, especially you. If you can structure time around naps or working in the evenings, great; if you need help with childcare, enrol your little one; if grandparents can help out on a certain day for a few hours, even better! Set your hours and, most important, stick to them.
There’s nothing quite like a sick child that can send you thudding back to reality as you stress about missing a meeting or not attending to an overflowing inbox. The reality is, it’s family first and nothing is more important than nurturing children, especially when they really need it. The inbox can wait, the meeting can be rescheduled, or ask someone to fill in. Be with your child and attend to their needs – work can usually wait.
Sharing is caring
If you work on your business alone, seeking out a co-working space that sees you escape the house (and your tracksuit pants) and create structure, can be of great benefit. Many shared office spaces promote and nurture a positive work environment and will further allow you to separate work and home time, building balance and productivity.
From the guilt of choosing to work, to feeling guilty for taking time out, the pressure we place on ourselves won’t do anybody any good. Remind yourself that you are working to contribute financially to your family and stimulate your own creativity and drive – your family will reap the rewards, even when at times it feels overwhelming and you consider giving in. So go easier on you, you’re doing great!