Do you feel like you’re struggling to juggle motherhood and your career? Are you always running out of time? Does it feel like you aren’t doing either job very well?
You’re not alone. Women are juggling their careers and motherhood more than ever before, with Australia seeing the highest ever female workforce participation rate and the largest ever number of women in the workforce. Not only are more women in the workforce, but the nature of the workforce is also changing. According to the ABS, Australians spend an average of 50 hours a week at work. This doesn’t take into account time spent on after-hours phone calls, late night emails or the hours commuting to and from home and the workplace. Add the day-care and/or school drop-off and pick-up, it is no wonder that families are feeling they have no time.
Escaping the rat-race: a way to achieve work/life balance
What is work/life balance?
Ask any time-poor parent what they need most and many would say a better work/life balance. Australians are now placing a higher value on the flexibility of work conditions than on pay, according to a recent Global Talent Monitor survey. Work/life balance is now a key reason why Australians leave their job, and it is so important that most would choose flexible working over pay when looking for a new employer.
So what does work/life balance look like? It could be a variety of things – from flexibility in hours and location, the ability to ‘bank’ hours or work that doesn’t encroach on family life. It could mean taking on part-time work, starting your own business or in some cases, finding somewhere else to call home.
Moving to another city or suburb can open up doors to a lifestyle that many may have never considered possible.
Unhappy with long commutes and having little time to spend with their children, more and more Australians are considering an early sea change. Traditionally made up of retirees moving from large cities to smaller coastal centres, recent years have seen a new trend of a much younger group making this move. The latest internal migration data from the ABS show an increasing number of movements to sea or tree change regions and cities, and for good reason. Housing is more affordable, commute times are short and quality time with your family is part of day-to-day life.
Deb Young, Co-Founder of The Online Yoga Studio, is one mother and business owner who not only enjoys this balance, but has launched an international business while doing so. After establishing a successful yoga studio over a decade ago, Deb knows too well the importance of balance for your health and well-being.
“We don’t spend hours upon hours stuck in traffic,” she explains of her lifestyle.
“Straight after work, we’re able to take the kids swimming or to the park’.
This balance has also given Deb the freedom to explore new business ideas, which she has done as the co-founder and creator of The Online Yoga Studio and Stretch & Glow Yoga. These businesses have grown exponentially since being part of the local start-up incubator program at iAccelerate, and are now operating in international markets.
“Living in Wollongong has given us the freedom to access customers from all over the world, as well as enjoy our family and a balanced lifestyle.”
Dr Kimberly O’Brien, psychologist and Quirky Kid founder, moved from Sydney to Wollongong to improve her lifestyle and enable her family to spend more time in nature.
“We found this beautiful spot to set-up a boutique clinic, five minutes walk from the beach” she says.
“Living in this area has given us a better quality of life, I have to say. I think the kids really appreciate us being there, and spending quality time with them.”
Sabine Straver of The Essence of Clarity also agrees. An academic, author and consultant, Sabine has been able to juggle her many roles while also being an active mother.
“My biggest achievement in Wollongong has been starting my own business, the business doing well, and still being able to be there for my children,” she says.
“With the free time, I can really be a part of their day-to-day life.”
This blog post is sponsored by Advantage Wollongong
Considering a life outside the daily grind? Check out www.advantagewollongong.com.au to see what Wollongong has to offer as a great place to live, work and do business.