Having it all sounds like a bit of a dream. Sure - if you've got an army of nannies and PA's, you might just be able to juggle your business and your family - but for the rest of us working mums? Pah! Forget about it.
Well, listen up, working mums. It isn't easy - but if you really want to have it all - it can be done!
I run my own events business from the home I share with my husband, and three young children, aged 7, 4 and 1...so I know first-hand the challenges of trying to run a business from home, with three energetic young children!
I've pulled together some great tips to help you get the best of both worlds.
Be specific about your goals
Having it all doesn't literally mean you can have everything.
This might sound a bit depressing at first - but bear with me. It totally makes sense.
Sure, in an ideal universe, you'd like to have perfectly polite and polished kids, an editorial worthy home, a business empire spread all over the world, and maybe restore world peace while you're at it.
But....but we know that's not going to happen! The bottomless washing basket and piles of dishes in the kitchen are always going to be there.
So be specific. Set out what you want to achieve realistically, and what you will need to do to get there. This will take off the pressure of having to do "everything", once you realise that some of those things aren't really that important to you!
Have clear work and family time periods
It's essential to set a clear and established work routine. You might not follow the nine to five drill - and for mums dealing with breakfast, school runs and homework in the day, it might not be realistic.
No problem. Work with the time that you do have. Think about when you're most productive - some women find that getting up an hour or two earlier gives them a blissful period to work without any interruption. Or you might be a bit of a night owl - whichever works for you!
But be sure to set clear family times too. By doing this, both you and your family will get to enjoy proper time together, without either side feeling like you've had to make a compromise.
If possible try and avoid phone calls when the kids are about
Despite me asking them not to, mine talk to me constantly when I'm on the phone. However they seem to have developed the knack of ignoring me when I'm not.
I was once on a call with the Head of PR for a large national baby brand with whom I was desperate to work with, when my four-year-old son announced loudly that he had done the "perfect poo" and would I wipe his bottom! Fortunately my now client found this all very amusing, but I do now to try and schedule important work calls when I have childcare.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
If you've got stacks of work to do and are feeling overwhelmed - relax. There is help out there - you've just got to ask!
Almost anything can be outsourced - from having someone to help with the cleaning, to getting an assistant to manage paperwork or data entry for you. Delegating tasks to others can be tough - especially if you think that you've got to do everything yourself - but it really will help you to be more productive, and focus on more important tasks.
Remind yourself why you're doing it
If I'm up working late into the night, because it's the only time I can get anything done sans kids. I remind myself that I work for myself from home so that I can enjoy the time with my children as this time is precious.
Don't compare yourself with everyone else
It can be really easy to get disappointed and frustrated when you see other business owning Mums reaching their goals, particularly as everyone is promoting themselves on social networks. But you need to remember that everyone's circumstances are different, and if your own business is progressing at a slower rate, then so be it. Enjoy the time with your kids while they're small, and grow your business at a pace that suits you and your circumstances, rather than trying to compete with everyone else.
I love my kids dearly...they are my life, but I am also passionate about my business, and it can be hard to find a happy medium between the two, but it is doable!Suggest a correction