WELL I'm not sure where I should start however I can certainly begin by saying this, my crazy work/life balance would be a whole lot easier if I wasn't so career driven. I'm not denying it, it's a great attribute but boy, I wish some days it would let up a little. Truth is, I never ever get it right all the time. Some days I really nail it, other days I feel like such a failure.
Even though Honor is now two, I still haven't made the leap into run of the mill childcare centres and instead fit her into the greatest little family daycare just down the road two days a week. So, I'm a full time mum five days a week, business owner seven.
Up until recently I really did not have any balance. I would be packing orders and replying to stockists enquires with baby on lap or hip or boob or knee. I would be making earrings at 2am to ensure they were posted the following day and I was one big ball of stress. I was sick all the time, tummy on knots, feeling so unsatisfied and quite frankly really frustrated. I really had let everything control me, I really didn't want to let anyone down and in doing so I was letting everyone down.
I guess, that sick feeling, I really got over and decided to get my act together for everyone's sake. I took some time out. Stepped back and tried to put somethings into perspective.
Here's what I learnt.
1. You cannot build The Great Wall of China in one day and walk the bloody thing too! Good stuff takes time, like the extra coat of clear coat on the earrings or the extra 3 hours it takes to snap and edit your product shots, that are NOT from an iPhone. Building an empire, that stands the test of time takes a long time!
I was totally exhausted and OVER the rush. Now I slow down, move it over to tomorrows to-do-list if I have to and relax, I know I always get things done and I'm confident in that.
2. People are happy to wait. I use to put all this pressure on myself to have orders out the day they were made or the following. Up all night type of behaviour. Then, things like this started happening, I ordered some products from Etsy... my gosh, you have to wait for your money to show up in the Etsy account then they pass it on to the makers account and then the product can begin being made and then it's finally sent! It took so long for the whole process to happen, I was and am still shocked people are happy to wait that long. And then, I was continuously being told from my stockists, "Wow! So fast!" or "you are by far the fastest supplier we use" and so on.
People are happy to wait and quite frankly they are use to it. So, now days I have a two day rule! ha!
3. I have all my work emails come to my office desktop ONLY. None to my iPhone at all. This means no more distractions, no more reading unnecessary, sometimes anxiety provoking emails in the middle of dinner or throughout the day when i'm trying to be creative or be a mum. If it's urgent they will call and if it's an email it can wait. Very simple.
4. I've stopped trying to work and look after Honor at the same time. Total waste of time. If i'm absent trying to work she becomes really needy which makes me extremely stressed and frustrated and both of us just hate the time we spend together. So, if she's up, I'm her mum and we have a lot of fun. If she's sleeping I'm working FLAT-OUT!!
5. I get up an hour earlier to exercise. To stay fit but to mostly to stay sane. It's a push getting up at 4:30am each morning but it means I get to clear my head, exercise, get some fresh air and get myself together before I have to help another little person navigate life. If by the time she wakes up, I've at least finished my exercise then i'm one HAPPY MUMMA for the rest of the day!
6. Two days a week I have 8 solid hours to work on Pebble+Fred. So I prep the hell out of those days! I have great big long lists of the things I need to do, I have all the clay and materials I need, prepped and ready to go so I can make as much as I can, I make no appointments - just me and work and I do not waste a single second. During her naps on the days I have her, I have lists already written from that morning ready to go, so those hours are not wasted either. I must admit, I'm ready to take a nap when she wakes up but working flat out during those times really fills my own creative tank and feeds my self satisfaction. Again, one happy mumma!
7. The weekends are weekends. Saturdays are pretty full on with swimming lessons and markets and if I feel like working while she naps I do but if I feel like sneaking in there with her and having a sleep I do that too. Saturday's have no hard fast rules. It's the weekend and I allow myself to do what I like. Sunday's however are purely family and fun. No work, no cleaning (god bless our cleaners who come on a Sunday!) no nothing except spending GOOD quality time with each other and totally switching off. Sometimes it's hard to totally clock off but deep down I know if I don't I'm spent for the rest of the week. If I want a good week then I better do nothing on Sunday!
Like I said - I never get it right all the time I think thats actually impossible but you can certainly have it pretty good. Life is life I suppose and its always going to changing and moving and growing. Better just get use to riding it.
Hope this helps some of you get a little more balance.