Building an empire and being Mummy - guilty, anyone?(28 Posts)
I'm feeling rather emotionally battered at the moment and am hoping that I'm not alone with this one. I suspect I'm feeling so crazily emotional is because I'm just so bloody tired, but I need some sane perspective, please. Thanks ladies.
I started my own business last summer and it's really taken off and surpassed all my expectations. I have three children, including two who are aged 3 and 19 months. I work Mon, Tues, Weds, and the little ones are in nursery for two days, then on the third day, my mum has the littlest while the three year old goes to the playgroup close by. Thurs and Fri are my days with the children.
My workload has now gone through the roof. I have lots more work from my main client (as some of you will remember my angst a few weeks ago), but also lots of other chunky projects from other clients. I'm working my three days, plus snatched hours here and there and most evenings and bits at weekends. I'm finding these snatched hours stressful and not particularly productive, and I fret when I've not had chance to check my emails in case something comes in and it's urgent and I can't do it... I'm sure you know the drill.
I know that if I had another day of childcare, say Thurs, I would stick a better chance of being able to contain my work within set working days. My stress levels would reduce and the time I spend with the kids would be better and more enjoyable all round rather than the distracted and frazzled version of Mummy they're getting at the moment, poor little tikes.
Yes, I know I could turn work down, but I'm loathe to do that as I may lose the client completely, and the plan is that I'm growing the business so that hubby comes onboard later this year, and when he does, I can ease back slightly again. Fingers crossed.
So why, why, why do I feel completely consumed by guilt at the very idea of childcare for four days? I know I said I wouldn't do it, and nothing was more important than my children's early days, but now I have this business, I also feel a pressure to give it my absolute best as it's for our future and one that will benefit my children in years to come. I know how hard it is to work around school runs and assemblies and school hols and so on, and one of the driving forces of creating this business that we're both doing is so we get far more flexibility to be 'present' for our children - which is why this feels so hard.
Is it just me trying to be everything to everyone, or are all of you feeling this too?
Hi! It was refreshing to read your opening post Comms and interesting to read others' comments! I'm so busy it's been tricky finding the time to read through them, and now post myself. I should be working!
I started my own business (freelance journalism) about 15 yrs ago, incorporated 3 yrs ago, and work is going through the roof, with recommendations and through my websites. In the meantime, I have had 4 children (now 14, 12, 6 and 2). My youngest two have been at a private nursery since about 18 months - for 3 mornings, then an additional morning when they turned 3. Working evenings was a regular, essential thing- but increasingly difficult as the older ones have got older and have needed more time and support with homework/friendship/emotional issues etc. I'm lucky to manage an hour in the evenings now.
Over the years the dynamics and logistics of juggling have changed reflecting the ages and needs of the children (who will always come first). Right now, I'm working 3-4 mornings a week, evenings when i can squeeze and hr in, and often 2-4 hours on a saturday. Our local Tesco has a Costa Coffee and if i need to do some work when the children are around (Sat etc) I'll go there and work: I can get far more done there in 2 hrs with a Latte than in 4 hours at home! (I don't have a home office ) I also usually have to take a bit on holiday. The last two 1-week holiday we have had I've worked for one day to clear some stuff. DH is excellent and v supportive, and the rest of the family are used to it.
I find it v difficult to turn work down, to say 'no'. It's rare that i have done. What has really driven my business forward is outsourcing work. Without that option I would have no choice but to turn work down: I have someone who i know and trust implicitly and is a talented writer who I outsource some of the work to; and I also outsource the interview transcriptions too which is something i detest doing and saves me hours after a phone interview.
Juggling and guilt: a massive issue. But I'm starting to recognise that the time I spend with my children is quality time. And that me working and earning gives them freedom to do things that they wouldn't be able to do if I wasn't earning. And it's good for my mental well being. DH's salary would barely keep us really. I'm also demonstrating a good work ethic which is very important - they never see me slobbing around, or just watching tv. I have Silk on at the moment - while doing this
Housework sometimes gets to me. But it's incredible what you can achieve in one hour when you put your mind to it! So I can spend 3 days doing the minimum: stuff in the kitchen, washing and the odd vaccuum around - then I find I have met major deadlines and have 2 hours when my 2 yr old is with me and we get some housework done together! He helps me clean the bathroom - gets some baby wipes and wipes the surfaces down, it's v cute.
Anyway, what else can i add (sorry have gone on!)? I think we all just have to find what suits us and our situations at any one time. Family life is dynamic and sometimes changes have to be made. We need to be flexible. It's not easy. Sometimes we make the wrong choices but that's how we learn. Having supportive family makes a huge difference.
What would help is doing will less sleep - an area that irks me. I need 8 hours sleep. Actually no, i need 10 hrs sleep! I rarely get much more than 7. I could not be the person who works til 2am, I would not function next day!
I'll look forward to reading more on this thread.....!
all I can say is "early mornings". For me the most productive times are those couple of hours before everyone gets up. it is less of a problem now that kids are at secondary school and make their own way there - but previously when I did the school run - I found working from 5am to 7am was bliss.
I am also more creative first thing...
Can you hire someone to help with the workload?
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