as a brand new mom, I remember feeling at a loss of how to balance being a mom and being a brand and web designer. I felt like I was either letting my baby down or letting my clients down. I’ve had almost three years to practice work life balance, so I feel like I’ve picked up some tips that work for me. So I think it all comes down to two things: not doing it all by yourself + managing your time efficiently.
at first, mom guilt was REAL. I felt like I was missing out on my baby when I was busy with brand and web design and that I was a bad mom if I didn’t spend all of my time attending to his every need but my therapist said a couple things that really helped me:
it’s abnormal that our culture expects moms to be with their child all the time and take full responsibility for raising them. In other cultures, the moms have to go out and get water or tend to the garden or whatever, and so they leave all of the kids with some designated moms and take turns watching them. It’s not natural to be just one on one with your kid all day every day.
she also told me about this thing called win, win, win. When you occasionally leave your kid with a babysitter, everyone wins. You win because you get time to be yourself outside of being a mom and this lets you come back to your kid replenished. Your kid wins because they get to play with exciting new toys in a new environment and learn new ways of seeing the world from a new person. Your babysitter wins because they get paid and they get to spend time with your cute kid.
Once I figured this out, it got easier for me to let him get watched by other people. So, one day a week, my mil watches him and one day a week my mom watches him. That gives me like 16 hours a week to work on brand and website designs.
Another way I allow other people to help me is by hiring people to help me do the work I don’t want to do or that I’m not good at so that when I do have my valuable free hours, I can spend it focusing on the work that I am highly trained and specialized in – brand and web design. I don’t like writing so it’s easier and more cost effective for me to get someone else to do it and this allows me to make money for myself, and generate money to pay others to help me with the other tasks. We all get more work done, pull in more money, and ultimately, we all win.
time management is another big one. if you manage your time well, you can get quite a bit done in the two hours your kid naps for.
Brains are like notorious for getting off track. They want you to check instagram, check your emails, text your brother, pluck your eyebrows– ANYTHING besides work. Don’t waste time feeling bad about it, just know that your brain is going to do this unless you lay some groundwork.
One way I tame by brain is through my morning routine. Every morning I meditate, say affirmations to help me remember what I really care about accomplishing, and read a spiritually uplifting book to help me remember that nothing is super serious and life is fun.
Then, I make my to-do list for the day. I have a physical planner that I write every little thing that I need to get done. If you write it down, your brain is less likely to remind you a zillion times of all the things you need to do because it’s more assured that you’re actually going to get it done. It also helps everything feel more manageable when it’s bite sized and all written out on paper.
Another thing is that you are doing A LOT when you run a business while being a mom. And you only have so much energy. So every night when mikko goes to sleep, I don’t allow myself to do any more work – I turn off my brand designer mind and let myself relax. I either read a book, watch tv, do yoga, or hang out with my husband. My body fr needs that time to recuperate or else I get sick or depressed. I also take sundays off for that exact reason. My body like WANTS to work on sundays but I say nope! You have to chill today to get that work life balance right! And then when I give in and agree that I’m going to chill, it feels so good to just take a nap or watch tv when mikko is taking a nap.
I love being a brand and web designer and I love being a mom so finding that work life balance is everything! and it’s totally doable and rewarding to be a business owner and a mom. I just allow others to help me and make sure that I manage my time effectively.