It’s no secret that motherhood can be overwhelming, but add on running a business and you have a challenging world full of pressure, elation, happiness, guilt, pride and a million more emotions…
In the world we live in, being portrayed as a mother on social media can carry quite a burden – having to always look and act the part, but in reality it can be quite the opposite.
As a team of mums who support each other in business and in life, we decided to sit down and answer some Q+A’s all about how we really feel with this juggling act we call #bossmumlife.
Here’s PART FOURTEEN through the eyes of working mothers…
Charlotte (Director Agri Creative, and Mum to Mia 1)
“Make work, work for you. Life has changed and work should too.”
- What do you believe are the pro’s and con’s of being self employed and having kids?
Oh, how to find the balance and juggle it all! I would have to say the best part would be that I still get to feel part of something and continue to build my career alongside being a mum. As lovely as it is, I ALWAYS miss spending all my time with my little one and am definitely torn when I’m at work – but then again, it is nice having a break sometimes!
- What are your tips for self motivation/banishing procrastination if you are overly tired/stressed from kids?
I feel like when you own your own business unfortunately there isn’t any time to procrastinate or be unmotivated. The honest truth is you just have to keep on swimming… #survivalmode
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but my top tips are: have a wine, enjoy a laugh, spend time with your partner and explain how you feel/empty your brain bucket, take a bath, connect with nature, do some scrapbooking, avoid social media, make time for yourself and BE A TEAM!
- Do you find yourself comparing yourself to other mums?
For me I haven’t compared myself to other mums as such, I’ve actually found I compare myself to friends without kids and also to my previous ‘kid-free’ life! I guess I do sometimes wish I could be a mum that doesn’t work and has more free time (if that exists) but I know that isn’t the person I am so I’m ok with that.
- Do you feel pressure to over achieve as a mum/career woman and ‘have it all’?
YES, YES and YES! I have always been very focused with my work and enjoyed running my creative agency. For the last year since my daughter arrived, I have struggled with this mum/work balance every single day… the high’s are high and the lows are low. There is a constant shift between wanting to give all of myself to my daughter and also continuing to kick goals with my business. I’m now realising (after a big year of learning) that you can have it all if you redefine what ‘having it all means’ to you now. I now can happily say I have it all, it just looks a little more simple. To all the mums like me, take some time to accept the changes and spend time re-evaluating what it is you need today. A question my beautiful partner Nick and I ask each other when things get tough – ‘what would it take?’
- Do you experience mum guilt when you have to pick your kids up or have kids around and you have to answer calls? Do you tell clients the truth or lie about what you are doing?
I try and keep a nice balance between not overdoing it with the phone calls but also accepting when I’ve really just got to get sh**t done. I wouldn’t pick up a call to a client because I find it really hard to turn the business brain on in between being a mum. Nick and I are very supportive of each others work (we both work for ourselves) and this really helps keep things manageable so we can both have priorities covered.
- Were you excited to get back to work after maternity leave or had anxiety?
I run my own business so I didn’t really have a huge amount of time off, I just took on what I could and slowly progressed back into work starting from a few days at home before going back to the office. This worked really well because it didn’t feel like I had to choose between work and my new baby and I could enjoy doing ‘just enough’ to keep things ticking along! I do find it hard now she’s almost one but I feel pretty lucky I have flexibility. I also feel it’s nice to show my daughter that both her parents are working and are caring for her.
- How did you cope becoming a mum for the first/second time and putting kids as first priority over career?
This has been the hardest thing of all. All of a sudden there is something in your life that takes priority over your first baby – the business. It’s an emotional roller coaster but it is about accepting that it’s a balance and you can’t beat yourself up if you’re mind is on one more than the other at different times. I’d have to admit that at times I have to prioritise work over spending time with my daughter but that doesn’t mean she’s not my number one priority!
- What advice can you give to other mums – whether they work for themselves, for someone else or are thinking of starting work again?
Make work, work for you. Life has changed and work should too. I think there are so many women out there who want to do their own thing but haven’t had the chance to do it before. Get moving on a project that makes you happy. Let’s be honest, being stuck at work in an office without seeing your kids sucks and not making your own money also sucks – start creating!
- Do you feel if you put more real content on social media of being a mum, that clients would view you as not ‘as motivated’?
I’m not someone that cares too much about what people think ha ha… I do like to keep my personal life separate to my business life – but that’s only because it’s not part of my brand!
- What positive changes have you found in yourself/your business partner since becoming mothers, that can help you day to day with clients?
I feel more confident and in control of things around me, especially those that are the most significant in my work. I have realised how much I enjoy my client relationships and I now invest most of my work time in developing them further. Becoming a mum has made me a lot more personable and has made me focus more of building connections. I asked a client (who has kids) over for a BBQ recently, that would have never happened before!
- (Fill in the blanks) – Working mums should know that…
Remember this anthem...Girls, we run this motha, yeah
Girls, we run this motha, yeah
Girls, we run this motha, yeah
Girls we run this motha, girls
Who run the world?