How to Change the World and Still Be Home for Dinner With the Kids

How to Change the World and Still Be Home for Dinner With the Kids

Think back to when you were in your 20s. If you were anything like me you had a

BIG VISION to change the world and become the next Oprah Winfrey - more to

the point, you knew you could do it and nobody would stop you!

THINK AGAIN... TICK TOCK TICK TOCK your maternal clock kicks in and

before you know it, you have a couple of kids and a gorgeous husband at home,

and life is no longer your own. The vision you once nurtured now appears

compromised by the 'WORK/LIFE balancing act' that nobody prepared you for.

The question is can you change the world and still be home for dinner with the

kids? If Sheryl Sandberg can do it, so can the rest of us.

It's all very well kicking it at work, but feeling miserable when you miss your kids'

parent evenings can leave you feeling flat about the day's achievements. So in

the end you have to ask who wins?

However, fear not, because if you really want to change the world and still be

home for the kids, I believe there is a formula. Implementing an invisible weighing

scale that measures out the balance of your week will help to make sure that you

are levelled out on both sides of your work and life balance.

Whether you are the owner of the business or working for someone else, there

must be ground rules in place so that everyone knows how you measure out your


Here are some golden rules for working mums who still crave the work life

balance you always dreamed of...

1. Putting work in your life's balance

Know what balances you need in your life - if it is four days a week and Fridays

off plus being home for 6pm to put the kids to bed then acknowledge that, and

own it. Most working parents I know take their laptops home and on the odd night

work a late shift from 8pm until late to clear the day's incomplete workload. What

if it is not about the hours at your desk, but rather it is about the projects being

completed. How you make that happen should be on your own clock as opposed

to the one that hangs in the office.

2. Friends in the right places

It always helps having a friend at the school gate who's always clued up on

all the dates for the school activities are, and then make sure you put them

in your diary so that everyone in the office can see them - Memo in Google

drive: 'Leaving work at 4pm in 6 weeks time' gives everyone plenty of notice. My

friend Fiona is a school 'must-have' for any working mum!

3. Brain Holiday

Holidays are a must in the diary and a #brainholiday is a necessity for any

woman who requires space for creative thinking, as well as quality time with the

kids. The world continues to spin when I take the month of August off, so ensure

parameters are in place, which mean if you leave your business for any period of

time, it will stay standing. Make yourself available mornings and evenings so that

you can make your calls and clear the decks. That way your mind can be on the

kids and creative planning for the rest of the day.

4. Partnerships unite

Having a partner at home and good co-worker to have your back creates

space for you to be both a working mum and a parent. There needs to be an

understanding, both at work and at home so that when the weighing scale tips

more one way, or the other, both your partner and co-worker will support you in

your quest for success.

5. Live out your Passion

In my little book of rules, I have always said that when work starts to feel like

a job it is time to get out. I ask myself a question to help keep myself in check

when I start to moan, "WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?" How am I going

to change it? Being a mother of two, I feel that if I am going to be away from

my kids for any period of time, then I should be working on something that I am

passionate about. That way, as they grow up, they get to see me happy and

passionate about the work I do, doing what I love and be a part of that side of my


Whether you are working for someone else or running your own business, it is

most important to stake a claim on the life you want to lead and to stay focussed

to make it happen. It is no good living a life you don't want to live, since I find

that the only person who loses out is normally you. It is always hard to juggle - I

can't imagine that any man or woman find it an easy task, but I will say that the

sooner you find a way to be content both at work and home, the easier it will be

to change the world and enjoy your kids as well.


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