Every day someone will ask me, at least 5 times, ‘how do you do it?’ or ‘you must be Superwoman!’.
As a full time working mother of 3 children (4, 5 & 19), creating the ideal work-life balance is constantly a challenge and is based around juggling my precious time. But getting the balance right between work and motherhood is only half the challenge. I find that it is just as important to adjust my brain to put a separation between the two equally crazy worlds. Too much overlap between work and being a mum not only has a tendency to cause chaos mentally, where I end up with to-do lists on every white board and coming out of my ears, but it also makes it harder to give 100% attention to my kids when I’m with them.
I try desperately to not deal with work emails or calls in ‘child’ time, and try hard to stop the constant train of thought drifting into work mode. But this is really hard and I know that sometimes I have no idea what the kids are up to as I am sitting in my home office, and inevitably they will play up to get my attention. This has included drawing on the walls, drawing on each other’s faces with permanent pen, trying to flush the cat down the toilet, all of which have taken a lot of explaining to my husband!!
As more employers are becoming more receptive to working from home this certainly has benefitted parents like myself that want to continue a successful career and are looking for that elusive ‘perfect work life balance’. One of the positives is avoiding the daily commute which gives me hours more in the day, but it certainly makes it harder to separate work and home. As a freelancer at CPI I am fortunate that I sometimes work from home and sometimes in the office, but there is no doubt that it is much harder to make that mental transformation from Recruiter to mum when I only have to walk through the door from the office in the garage to the main house than when I had the M4 & M25 to navigate!
My top tips would be:
- Motivation & Drive – what is your end goal? Always keep that at the forefront of your mind
- Plan, Plan, Plan – my house is run like an army manoeuvre. Without plans, things will fail.
- Take time out for you – believe it or not you are not Superwoman! I always make sure I leave my home office for a ‘lunch break’ and go for a walk.
- Finally – Enjoy what you do!!
But the bottom line is that I choose to have this life and live it the way I do (obviously barring a lottery win) and I am driven and motivated to make as much money as possible to give my kids and my family everything they want in life. I feel blessed that I am able to work this way and that I get to do all the daily routines with my children that I missed out on with my older son – the breakfasts, the school runs, the school plays/events and bath time. My family are happy and no matter how hard it is some days the high’s definitely outweigh the cons, almost the best of both worlds.
I wouldn’t change a thing!!