As a working mum, sometimes it really does feel like the only way you are going to get through your day is by investing in a time machine. No matter how hard you try, there is always something you think you should be doing better or faster. Enter… mother guilt.
Studies confirm this near-universal phenomenon of mother guilt, with surveys consistently finding that employed mothers are the most time-pressured group in society. As a mother of two and business owner, I know all too well the chaos of trying to balance the competing priorities of caring for a family and meeting your work obligations.
For me, the relentless pressure of running a business from home along with caring for two young children resulted in a severe bout of postnatal depression (PND) – an experience I got through with a lot of grit and a huge amount of support from family and friends. Ultimately, it was PND that gave me the wake-up call to live life differently and totally revamp my patterns of working.
Now, I am focused on providing a roadmap for other mums to enjoy the same flexibility and business success as I do. It all starts with these four key things.
Get on-board the automation train
I always ask clients about their ultimate goal, before we get started. The answers are always of a similar thread: they want to spend more time with their children, they want flexibility, they want fulfilment, they want to have the laptop lifestyle and travel, they are tired of working for someone else and selling their life for 8 hours a day or they are a stay-at-home mum and need something just for them.
You can’t enjoy the end goal if you are bogged down in admin and process. Outsourcing, automation and systemisation is EVERYTHING.
Automating, outsourcing and systemising doesn’t mean there is no hard work involved – nothing is achieved without energy, dedication and grit – but the key difference is once the automating, outsourcing and systemising investment kicks in, you can reinvest the time you have saved into living your ‘why’. That’s the reason we are all here, right?
Swap ‘balance’ for ‘harmony’
We put so much pressure on ourselves to get the right work-life balance; it often ends up causing more stress than it should. Why give yourself another reason to feel guilty?
I swapped the quest for ‘work-life balance’ to ‘work-life harmony’, which means I now work towards achieving harmony between family and business – that doesn’t always mean spending equal time on both, but recognising that it’s a constant state of flux!
Keep sight of your ‘why’
Find the things that make you tick and make them an integral part of your business.
For me, it was empowering other mums to jumpstart their dreams of running a profitable online business, without succumbing to some of the stressors and common pitfalls that can accompany the ‘working from home’ dream.
Having this overarching framework gives you the passion and motivation to stay on course.
Get selfish about self-care
Time is a vital resource in keeping your mental and physical health on point, and for time-poor working mamas, self-care is the first thing to go.
The times I experience the most ‘mother guilt’ are invariably when I have decided to do something for myself with my free time instead of the kids, but let’s face it – if you can’t look after you, then nothing else is going to be cared for when you eventually snap.
Make time for that walk on the beach, massage or yoga session – your kids will reap the rewards of a healthier, happier you.