BusinessFamilyBalanceThis week I read a great article in Business Insider about ‘mumpreneurs’. It was just what I had been discussing with my husband after 5 weeks of sick children at home and how hard to was balancing work and family.

So I am conscious of sharing a bit more about what it is like to work in my own business and be a mum with you. To start I have two boys 6 and 9. So it is a very busy time when they are at home, lots of rumbling and fighting like any family. So I cherish 9 – 245 each day while they are at school that is purely mine to work. I have to be honest though as a usual week for me includes working some evenings and sometimes a half-day on weekends as well. When I first started thinking about running my own business a neighbour wisely said to me make sure you’re still around. At the time I wasn’t sure really what she meant but as the last six months has shown me there is nothing worse than taking frustration out on your kids from 3-8pm because you feel you should be at your desk getting work done. So my first rule is that I put down all tools and business thoughts from 3 – 8 regardless of what’s going on. It can always wait. This is time to do homework and bake afternoon tea together and if I rush it or resent it then the family living room is not a nice place to be.

Second – is the balance of the household work & the husband. Now I am lucky to have a sensitive, lovely man who is supportive but even then it is a two-way deal. He has to step up to help share the house load otherwise I simply cannot get it all done as much as I’d like to be supra human I am not. So what does that mean. Well, my husband loves two things, football and cooking. So we struck a deal that he would cook on Sundays in front of the football so the first few days of the week, the dinners where done. I also negotiated that the dog walking be shared so I wouldn’t always have to find an hour a day to do this and whomever took the dog had the benefit of exercise and a calm time away from kids, win win.

Thirdly I have learnt that by all means write up time lines and deadlines cause there is nothing better than being accountable especially if you work alone but when it all goes wrong – which it will, often with sick kids or some other drama that requires your business to go on hold stay calm and readjust the timeline. Be kind to yourself and keep plodding along. I find if I just set out to do 3 things a day then the business can keep ticking till I can get back at it.

Dream, believe and get support. There will be so many times when you want to stop, give up and doubt yourself but if you have the right support you can move through these times. One tool I used and I suspect will come back to is called “The Artists Way” It is a book by Julia Cameron and it is simply about believing in your creative self. It is a quick read and gets you writing out your goals and mantras to help along the way. You can do it in 12 weeks or in my case 24 and still going….. Whilst the book is a bit religious, I took the context of each week and found it was very true as each stage of the creative process grew and it helped me believe. Support – I also surrounded my self with a few different business mentors and a good book keeper to make sure I was on the right track as things grew. Ask people around you for advice; you’d be surprised in how few degrees of separation there are between you and your next mentor. But if you don’t ask you’ll never know.

Here is the BI article worth a read to see what others had to say about balance. I hope it inspires you on your way. Trea:)