I recently read a post from Fiona at Coombe Mill about whether you can ever have it all as a working mum. Fiona suggests that you need to put the children first, be realistic at work, give children your time not your presents and remember to take time for you – she concludes that “having it all” is a state of mind and that you can have it all as long as your expectations allow it! This got me thinking about my role as a working mum and how it fits into our family life.
Putting the children first – Running my own business means I’m there at school drop off and pick up, I can help on school trips and be at sports day, school plays and assemblies and can ferry them around to all their extracurricular activities – and over the school holidays it definitely is a bonus not to have to pay our for childcare. I think this also covers the children wanting my presence not presents (although they do quite like testing products for me!).
Thinking about the reduced hours available (Littlest Littlesheep started full time school this week but I only have three months before Baby Littlesheep is due to arrive) to work and the need to juggle having the children around in school holidays leads nicely into being realistic at work. When I started Littlesheep Learning it was to work round the children so sometimes when things aren’t expanding as fast as I would like or things remain on the to do list for longer than they should I need to take a step back and remember why I’m doing it – one day they will all be at school full time and eventually they will have all be more self-sufficient and then they will have left home – at the moment the children come first and so long as I meet my customers expectations business growth can be slow and steady.
Me time – I think that this is possibly the bit that I’m lacking especially as my ‘Me time’ probably doesn’t look like me time to lots of people as I spend most of it volunteering for NCT but I am going to have a night away at the MAD Blog Awards (where I’ll meet Fiona for the first time) and I had a nice little nap this morning after dropping the Littlesheeps off to school – so I do have some time for me when I want it!
To conclude I think I agree with Fiona in that having it all is a state of mind and it can only be achieved if you want to achieve it and you adjust your expectations as necessary.