I find it amusing when asked ‘how do you manage everything?’
In between husband, children, house, working from home and squeezing in time for loved ones, people ask where and how do I find enough time for each aspect of my life.
It is simple really – you make do with what you have, you will always find a way for the most important things. For instance, when it comes to family, I do what I do for them because I perceive that as my obligation as wife and mother. Most importantly, I do it because I love them.
For anyone that works from home, or is at least pondering it, there needs to be a balance between work and life.
Before I became a mother, just the thought of working from home would make me cringe. I tried it on a temporary basis when my mother spent months in hospital, and I preferred to clean the bathroom than sit at the computer and work. But now, I would not have it any other way. OK, I might not be rolling around in cash, but we make do and I am still able to give our children the most precious and irreplaceable gift, and that is time. It is awesome to potter around the home cooking, cleaning and playing with the children during ‘breaks’ and being able to get back to work without losing too much time.
The basic breakdown for me is organisation, organisation, organisation – I try to use as much of the weekend and the days my girls go to preschool to catch up on work and to plan ahead for the week. The more posts I get done, the better and then I have enough content to publish daily or every second day. The craziness of renovating at the same time has thrown off this balance slightly.
Most evenings I spend both posting what I have already written, and general maintenance of my blog and social media pages. At the same time, I wander around the web looking for freelance work and ensure that I maintain my networks, as well as connecting with fellow writers, editors, publishers and others in the literary world. In addition, I like to catch up with reading and following pages I like – you never know where you can find inspiration for your next project.
Normally, my days are spent with the children – divided up with home duties, meal preparation, work, swimming lessons, preschool and trying to fit in exercise amongst that mix. My motto is to find a balance and everything in moderation. Children’s nap and rest times during the day also allow me to keep on track of work duties – this then frees up my evenings and allows for more leisure time with family and friends.
I feel like I am managing my time well – I try not to panic if things do not go according to plan. Let’s face it – as a parent, plans are more likely to go pear shaped. Being organised and preparing ahead are key and allow for slight deviations. For instance planning my working week and cooking for more than one meal frees up some time. That way, I do not have to be working or cooking every single day.
I am also fortunate and grateful to have found a professional pursuit that I love and that fits in so beautifully with my lifestyle. Although I do work hard (and I never truly ‘switch off’), it does not interfere with my greater roles of wife and mother. I still have the privilege of spending time with those that matter most. I have the freedom of being my own boss, and I do not have go through ‘mummy guilt’ over having to juggle work and parenting.
Even though I am my own harshest critic, family still comes first. This is my life … just organised (to some degree).
Image credit: faithie/123RF Stock Photo