Where It All Started…
I fell pregnant with my first daughter when I was working for a national parenting magazine. I was so excited to be a mum (we had a rough journey with miscarriages along the way), but also nervous. I wondered what this meant for my career? Whether I would have to start from scratch again when my kids were older? Was part-time even an option in the publishing industry.
With all these questions in the back of my mind, I had the crazy idea to set up a parenting website from home while I was on maternity leave. The idea was never to create a full income from it, but rather to help supplement my income, and give me somewhere to focus my skills. I wanted to think! I wanted to use my brain. I wanted my skills to remain current for when I decided to go back to work.
A Change In Course
Setting up this new business taught me so much, and suddenly I had changed directions from editing and publishing to marketing. One course led to another, and I had a complete career change and couldn’t be happier.
Now, I have three children Cassie (4), Vivi (2) and Elliot (6 months) and I freelance from home while running a business. The skills I have learnt since Cassie was born have allowed me to work from home and take on a variety of clients. I know focus on digital marketing, social media and SEO, while running The Baby Vine.
Here are my top tips:
1. Keep a To-Do List
Mum brain is a thing. Honestly, there is so much to think about with the kids, that when it comes to the business, if I didn’t write down every little task, it would be forgotten about. It’s also the perfect way to track my day and see what needs to be done, so I can set aside some time for everything.
2. Avoid Too Much Multitasking
I know, I know, us mums are the Queens of multi-tasking, but trust me when I say it’s not doing you any favours on the business side. I tried for a while, but then found I wasn’t able to give my business or my kids the full attention they deserved.
So, I started to split everything. I scheduled time for work, which meant when the kids are around, it was all about them. I learnt to say no to clients and to tell them this wasn’t a work day and I would get back to them tomorrow. It has made me both a better mum and a better boss as I am able to concentrate on the task at hand and give it my full attention.
3. Work Smarter, Not Harder
You may have heard this one before, but it is so entirely true. When you have kids, time is of the essence, and you want to make the most of it. I can get caught up in some areas of the business before I check in with myself and ask, why am I doing this? What am I hoping to achieve? Is it necessary, or should I be focusing on another task?
4. Pick Your Tasks
At just 6 months old, Elliot is still home with me while I work. The older girls are too some days when my mum can’t take them (she has them one day a week, the other days are day care). So I manage my tasks accordingly. Any writing or really ‘thinky’ activities, I make sure I do while he is asleep. Uploading and image searching can be done while he is awake, as I can stop and interact with him and also get some work done. All about that balance!
5. Nights Are Your Friend
Don’t be afraid of working at night. I was adamant at first I wasn’t going to, but then I found how perfect night is for working. The kids are in bed and asleep, it’s quiet and I can hear myself think. I get so much done! It’s fabulous.
At the end of the day, it’s all about balance, and this balance is going to look different for everyone, depending on your family situation. Find what works for you and enjoy.