Ok. Here we go again. I do love a ramble. I also do love the “support” and compliments I get from my fellow mums. I am regularly asked “how do you fit it all in – not just one child, but a baby and then your business?!!”. Ah yes, let me bask in it a little loner, before I reveal “all”!
Ok, enough now. Well, there is no real secret to it. But this is how I manage:
1) Firstly MOTIVATION – without motivation, there is no way you will fit it all in. If you are motivated, then things do come much easier. This is what motivates me:
- For starters, I only “do what I love” – i.e. I frequently refer to my business as a “hobby business” – i.e. it is a hobby for me and I enjoy what I do. If I didn’t enjoy it, then there would be little motivation…
- Personally, I need something other than “just” the kids. I love my kids to bits, but come on – playing puzzles all day or dealing with another tantrum gets you so far. Baking cakes is fun, but someone has to eat them all, and I really do not want to go up 2 dress sizes
- At work you regularly get “feedback” – being at home with the kids, you don’t really – you don’t get a project review or an annual review, you don’t get a buzz from a presentation well done etc. No one says – wow, you did ALL that washing this week! or well done for cooking all those meals or 10 tantrums today? good on you…. Every time I sell something, it is like getting a little pat on my back – well done me!
2) And of course there is TIME MANAGEMENT:
- There is a lot to be said for “do it now” – today I had a choice: nap, or write this post. I chose to write the post
- Lists – write lists/ diary notes of what needs to get done – always look at the whole list and reprioritise – that way you a) don’t forget anything and b) you soon discover what is important – some things have been on my list for months – I see them and I don’t do them, as I have other things to do first
- Cause and effect/ timelines – think ahead – e.g. my alphabet book – I want it done by Christmas, so that Red Ted can start reading it before he is 3 (Feb 2011), working back it means I need to do xx now and then yy etc OR e.g. If I don’t make that call to the cardshop today, it will be another week before I can go and see them and then another 2 weeks before I can make a delivery etc etc
- Routine – for us a VERY important factor -my children know that I need half an hour or so at the computer in the morning, they also both (still) nap at lunchtime – giving me 1-2 hours of me time. Red Ted is also in nursery one day a week and dedicate this to Red Ted Art and Pip Squeak (who still naps 3 times a day), I avoid doing “mummy” things like playdates, as it is work time!
- Neglect the housework (much to my husbands dismay – tough luck I say)
3) Set realistic EXPECTATIONS/ ADAPT to the time you have
- Now that Pip Squeak is here (she is 3.5 mths old) I have lowered my expectations as to what I can achieve as she needs more cuddles and holding than Red Ted needs at 2 yrs old.
- E.g. I have shifted my focus from going out and visiting shops to sell my cards/ paintings for me, t networking online – which you can do when you have 5 min here or there. When Pip Squeak is older, I will shift my focus again to something else!
- Painting is limited to a little in the evenings (I can’t paint when it is too dark) and the weekends – so I currently sell less.
I was recently asked “do I ever sleep” – you know what – I do! And I sleep more than my peers, almost 8-9 hours a night (with interruptions of course from the baby) and I do read too – probably one book a week. So the above, does work. Honest.
The key is probably – FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE and the rest will follow naturally.