Trying to find a work life balance as a busy business mum
So this is something we all want to get right, but it’s so difficult to achieve.
I think there is more pressure than ever to be a good mum (or dad), great partner, run a beautiful home, keep on top of the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, hobbies (the kids not mine!), shopping and the list goes on. And that’s before we have even thought about the actual business we run or job we do.
How you decide to manage all of this, can have a huge impact on your life and those in your immediate family.
There is no right or wrong answer, it’s really about what works for you and your family. Work life balance is something most parents really crave. Recent surveys reveal that many parents are eager to make changes so they can work more flexibly, even if it affects their pay, because they know that having time with their children is important.
I remember when my children were little and people used to say to me all the time ‘enjoy them whilst they are little’ ‘it goes too quick’ and all the usual clichés. But it’s so true, in the blink of an eye my eldest is approaching double numbers this year and my baby will be 8 this year. I have no idea where those years have gone!
For me, personally, I’ve been lucky enough that I have always been self-employed since having my children, and part of the reason my husband and I decided this, was so that I could be home for my children. In the early years we owned and run a guest house. Now I’m not saying that I didn’t work full time hours, we worked like crazy, 7 days a week, never switching off, but it allowed me to be there for our children.
When they were in nursery age and we had sold the guesthouse I started an e-commerce business, that again worked around the children, I would pack and post the orders in my couple of hours a day that my children were at nursery. When the business grew, they had started school and that enabled me to work during school hours and during the evenings when they were in bed.
But this soon took over and I couldn’t switch off from it either, working way more than a set full time job. I’m now in a lucky position with this business that I can again work during school hours and evenings if I like, but at weekends I switch off, and enjoy the time with my family (well, as any parent will tell you, half enjoy, half counting down the minutes until the kids are back in school!).
According to a recent study, over the next 5 years, we will see 1 in 5 mums turn mumpreneur and become their own boss. This can give you the flexibility to manage your work and home life balance. It’s not for everyone but for many it seems the perfect solution.
If you are already a business woman or it’s something you are wanting to become in the near future or a busy mum that works full time and you are finding the stresses of finding that perfect work life balance too much, take a look at the tips below.
- Put time aside for yourself, partner and children.
It’s important to spend time with your partner or children where you put the laptop (yes and the phone) down and spend quality time together. My husband and I always eat together at the weekends with all the kids and we make sure it’s a phone free zone so everyone just enjoys our time together and actually talks!
- Schedule time to relax
If you struggle to actually take time away from work, then build it into your schedule. Whether this is time with family & friends or time for you to enjoy doing something for yourself- pop it in your diary and make it part of the plan. Make it a small aim, even once a week, can make this more achievable than aiming big to start with!
- Stop the things that drain your time or energy.
Many people spend time on activities that are draining or we are wasting time on. If you get no value out of something that is taking up your time, then stop doing it.
What tasks or jobs can you outsource? This is a big one, you can claim back some of your time when you outsource. You can outsource things like your social media management for your business, emails, admin or any other business tasks that are eating into your time or that you don’t enjoy. Get in touch today to see how I can help.
Are there household jobs that you can outsource to free up some time? Ironing, cleaning, shopping online, grass cutting etc. Even if you have a tight budget, you may find that these jobs are worth it to you, because they give you some of your valuable time back.
- Keep active.
It can be difficult to keep active and moving when you feel you don’t have time to exercise. But exercising can give you more energy and help you concentrate, allowing you to be more efficient.
- Set Boundaries.
You have to be able to say no at times. So set boundaries, don’t accept work calls late at night and don’t be tempted to reply to every email as it pops in your inbox. You need to have times when you are available and times when you aren’t.
- Limit your work hours
When you run a business, the list of jobs to do is never ending. You could literally work 24hrs a day and still not be finished, because there is always something to do. But knowing when to say enough is enough for today, so you can switch off and rest, allowing you to wake up refreshed is important to you and those around you.
I’m sure there are plenty more tips to help you get your perfect work-life balance.
If you have any tips you’d like to share, pop them below.