Running a business leaves very few options and means you’re very busy at the best of times, so having to deal with a newborn at the same time was definitely no stroll in the park.
Here we are though, eight months later, and I am still astounded at how I managed it.
If I’m honest it’s partly because I’m very lucky to have an amazing team behind me, and a fantastic co-founder that I can trust- he happens be my dad.
Having said that, just three weeks after giving birth I was back in the office.
So how did I do it? Well I’m going to outline what I think are the secrets of balancing life as a working mum.
1) Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help:
Having a backup is vital as a working mum, and my husband was mine.
He was an amazing strength, both physically and mentally, and he helped on all levels.
If I had an important morning meeting he would stay up all night to allow me to get some sleep, and when I had low days he helped by providing encouragement.
Having a ‘rock’ will help keep you going and will help reduce your negativity.
It doesn’t have to be your partner though- it could easily be a different family member, a friend or even a neighbour.
2) Either be at Work or be at Home:
The only option I had in the early stages was to work from home, which isn’t as easy as it sounds.
It essential you pick one and stick to it though. When you blur the lines between work and home life it becomes difficult to focus on one thing.
Eventually I ended up getting a shed in my garden and converting it into an office, which gave me the option of ‘leaving home’ and ‘going to work’ easily. It definitely helped my focus and productivity.
3) Be Flexible with Your Schedule:
When you have a child around you need to have a flexible schedule.
You can’t commit to a specific routine because babies don’t fit around them. Once that became clear my life became a lot simpler.
My day now runs from 5am-7am, then 7pm-12am- any other hours I get during the day are a bonus.
4) Manage Your Time Effectively:
If you are efficient with your time you really can get a lot done.
Try and sneak in jobs where you can. For instance, if you’re driving then use your hands-free to make some phone calls.
Look at outsourcing any jobs you either don’t enjoy or that aren’t in your skill set. For instance, hiring a gardener or a cleaner would provide you with some extra time.
Be smarter in the kitchen. By cooking batches of food you can store in the freezer you won’t need to spend hours cooking each day, and you can use this time better.
5) Believe in Yourself:
As a new mum with a business you’re constantly questioning yourself. Are you a good enough mum? Are you supporting the business well enough? Are you letting your team down?
If you believe in yourself and build your self-confidence, this belief will help you take the bigger leaps when building your business.
6) Prepare for the Next Day the Night Before:
By planning the night before you can make your mornings run as smoothly as possible.
Prepare any food you can, pick out your clothes, and gather everything you’ll need to get out of the house in the morning.
Additionally, take a look at your schedule for the day ahead, and plan what you need to achieve those tasks.
7) Remember That It Gets Easier:
My son is only eight months, but even in that period of time things have changed.
A large part of that change is down to the fact that my son is now old enough to go to nursery, leaving me with an easier timetable to work to. Additionally he now doesn’t rely on me for food full-time.
8) Let Go of the Guilt:
It’s easy to feel guilty about not being with your child, but if you let go of that guilt it will allow your business to thrive.
To avoid this guilt, think about how your role in the company is benefitting your family. It might be that the business is helping you to afford new opportunities for your child.
I have learnt to juggle my work-life balance so that it works for my family and me, but everyone is different.
I’m sure that with time you will be able to work out what is the best way for you to most effectively manage your work-life balance too.
Written by: Gemma Guise, Company Director
As one of the co-founders of JournoLink, Gemma is passionate about giving small businesses a voice in the press by providing them the right support and advice.