THOUGHTS ON SELF EMPLOYMENT & MOTHERHOOD
This week I'm writing more of my random brain thoughts (!) and this one in particular has been floating round my brains and emotions for some time. I remember a time in my life when the work life balance was an idea of when I could fit in a night out with friends over cocktails compared to a never ending inbox of a bustling and quick growing small business. Now, my work life balance entails a drastic difference of a whole new member of our family, guilt, financial stresses, childcare, relationship strains, lack of sleep and the age old 'not enough hours in the day'. Yep, I'm that person now. Trying to juggle everything life throws at me all whilst trying to (at least appear to) be the perfect Mother.
I know that most of my industry friends out there (male or female) have encountered some shift in their working life trying to be everywhere at all times. Man it's exhausting. I want to be all the things - a good Mum, a good wife, a good business owner and leader in my industry, a good friend/daughter/sister/aunt, the list is endless. Throw on top of that, the jobs that need doing round the house, the food shopping, and well, the five minutes of peace we all need. Yup, we've all been there and that's where I am right now. Delicately trying to work out the ever changing balance and trying not to drop one of my spinning plates. The truth is, whichever plate drops to the ground, which one will be the first to go in order of importance? First the smaller things go; food shopping, chores, time to myself. But ultimately I can't let the truly important plates (people) drop at all. So what gives?
I've learned so much about myself in the last year since little Miss P arrived not least of all to learn to accept that I can't be all the things. To enjoy the insignificant moments in life because those are ironically the ones I'll remember. To make more time for myself (still working on that one!). At workshops I attend, I tell people not to compare themselves to others but I secretly do it all the time. I've also tried to simplify my lifestyle so to have less to worry about but alas, it's as complicated as ever. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, I don't have it anywhere near figured out. I get comments in person and on email/social all the time about what an exciting life I lead, what a beautiful and happy family I have, what a beautiful home I have, and you know what? I have to remind myself sometimes that I really do. It's easy to get sucked into the 'what's wrong with my life' bubble but much harder to accept that what I am is a lucky SOB.
I could chat about the degenerative illness my husband has and how doctors have repeatedly told him his life expectancy is low. Or how we struggled through 4 years of failed IVF cycles and losses. About how my business suffers because I can't prioritise it anymore. About how we live in a town far away from any family and friends which can be isolating. About the PND I suffered after having Miss P (or how I cried after writing that sentence down). Instead I'm going to chat about how healthy my family is right now. How we had a healthy and successful pregnancy and delivery to a bouncing baby girl who is almost 1 year old! How I have a successful online business that continues to grow within a hugely supportive industry and enables me to work hours around my family life. About the fact I love my little girl more than life itself and how supportive and understanding my friends and family are.
Although accolades and praise are of course wonderful, they're necessary at times, they're perhaps more important to me than they should be. So, I invite you to join me in the 'working in our pyjamas' day, the 'haven't eaten a healthy meal in a week' club, the 'I feel guilty I don't do enough for my kids and husband/wife' gang. We're all trying our hardest and that is the only thing that matters. Contributing something to this world whether it's happy, healthy children or a brand that inspires others to push themselves, or even a compliment said out loud to someone - that's all that matters today.
From this mamma who's wearing the same shirt for 2 days running and has no make up on whilst running late to pick up the baby from nursery... You got this...
p.s. These images from my fave Taylor & Porter are beautiful and I have them all over my home but I need to share that P had a complete meltdown this particular day and wouldn't play ball. But alas, they came out beautifully and I wouldn't change her fiery temprament for the world.. ;)
Photography: Taylor & Porter