This time of the year, Ost of us are feeling totally meh. You’re not alone!
I’ve been hustling for two years. With two babies in tow. There was a lot to learn in that time and I spent almost every waking hour living, breathing and being all consumed by it. The business that is.
I think as a mum, it’s almost like I had something to prove because society traditionally says we cant have it all.
As I reached my point of burnout a few months ago, I went on the search for advice on raising babies and growing a company. I was met with the headline “How I Manage 5 Kids & a Growing Business”. What a super mum I thought!! As I clicked the link I continued to read that the author was in fact a dad, “Cool, dads are obviously parents too!” I thought. That was, until I was met at the advice of point 2. “Don’t work from home- As I tried to focus on my work, I could hear my wife shushing the kids and telling them "Daddy has to work." I won't do that again: I would feel guilty listening to family life happening just outside my door and feel that I should be involved.” This just made me pissed. “YOU DON’T MANAGE 5 KIDS & A BUSINESS. You leave to go to work everyday to work on your business while your wife watches the kids.” I thought.
I don’t know why this triggered me so much. Perhaps it was what I felt was a misleading headline, perhaps the fact that the majority of women who run their own businesses are also the ones that are at home with the kids all day long too.
I’ve struggled with the balance and while I burnt myself to the absolute ground, I’ve now learnt a thing or two about how to avoid it.
- See the signs. Key to avoiding burnout is to notice how your body feels when it’s telling you to slow down.
- Exercise and a healthy diet. I’m sure you’ve heard it before but it’s honestly a saving grace for me. I admit that the more I work, the worse my diet is due to lack of time preparing healthy meals (hello snacks!) but even if I can get to the gym or take a walk in the fresh air, gives me the energy I need.
- Rest is just as important as work. Well, to a point. This statements absolute BS if you rest ALL day every day. But if you work all day long, then you need to rest at night, or like me, if you work 12+ hours per day (amongst parenting) then give yourself weekends off. It’s hard for me to switch off so at least over a weekend I have a full 48 hours instead of just a few at a time. This goes for mums at work too. Don’t push yourself to do housework when you get home. Can you meal prep so you don’t have to spend long cooking at night? Chicken Nuggets are a.ok.
- Just because you're home doesn’t mean your kids also have to be home. I know preschool is expensive but your time (and sanity) is also valuable. Can you put your child/ren in a day or two per week? I felt so much guilt about this initially but they do so many more activities and much more fun than I can provide them while at home with me trying to work.