Well, we need a break from a lot of things. But we also need a break from the pressure and expectation – especially if you work from home.
I am constantly seeing overwhelmed mums reaching out for help in my newsfeeds. Wanting advice on how to be more productive. Wanting to know how to juggle it all. I can almost hear their cries for help through their posts, but given I’ve been there, also the red flags for a road to burnout.
This whole concept of being a ‘work from home mum’ or a ‘mum in business’, conjures up a stock photo of mum sitting on her computer making $$’s while her child sits on her lap or plays on the floor. It’s the stories of the Mums who spend everyday with their kids. And if it’s not that, it’s the opinions of others that think a work from home mum is working less than a mum who goes into an office every day.
This is NOT reality. Ok. Well very rarely, especially if your kids are like mine.
It is juggling your day with 5 million hats. Work, Mum, Wife, Chef, Domestic, Work, Mum, Wife etc. It’s feeling like you are giving more attention to one thing than another. It’s staying up late to make up for work you didn’t get done earlier. It’s the fluctuating income. It’s the budget juggle. It’s the phone calls in the Walk in Robe and the promise of a treat if they are quiet, or its the headsup at the start of the conversation that you may break up a potential war in the middle of a phone call. It’s not actually getting to spend extra QUALITY time with your child because now you are doing the work of 5 without set hours. It’s trying to keep up with what you THOUGHT this should be like.
One of the game changers for me was deciding what was important to ME and My family. Was it living up to expectations of others, being ‘well-known’, nailing the perfect instagram image, winning some invisible war of ‘who worked the hardest today’. Hell no. What was important? Flexibility in my work schedule to be there for the boys, not HAVING to work at night, an income to pay for my choice of private schooling and ‘work’ that filled me with joy. They were my things, yours may look completely different! Being in business has definitely met that currently – but I wouldn’t be working as I am without family daycare, grandparents and my oldest being at school.
Now, when you have been in the game for a while, you begin to be able to let go of all these shoulds and expectations yourself, I know I have gotten much better at it. But it’s not the experienced we need to nurturing when it comes to this. We need to look out for the new mummas coming in. The mummas not wanting to go back to work after maternity leave. The mummas in business who are pregnant. The mummas with growing families. The mummas who go into business to solve a problem of spending time with their kids, rather than because their business in a passion. We need to have their backs and not set them up for a less than desireable business journey because of their expectations. We need to step up.
Share your stories on being a work from home mum (or a mum in business out of the home) – the good AND the bad. Share the sacrifices you have made and the changes you have had to create. Share the lifehacks you have uncovered (cleaners and VA’s!). Share the many times things haven’t gone to plan. Share the dishevelled home, and the fact you are still in your PJ’s at 1pm. Share it all.
By sharing our experiences and our journeys, we help other women to see what is possible and also what is reality – not a should or an expectation or what is shown in a stock photo. Let’s all be part of raising the next generation of mums in business!