Wanna know how I juggle motherhood, business and me-time? Read this.
It’s so bananas being a creative. Some days you can’t keep up with your ideas pouring out of you, other days – nada.
Nothing but an expanse of overwhelming white space in front of you, and your entire right-brain is a cavernous void (AKA a big, fat creative block). It's a pretty lonely place to be in. But the strangest thing of all, is that inspo always arrives eventually, you just need to learn not to force it.
Which just so happens to be the theme of today's post; learning not to force it 😉
I got asked recently how I prioritise and balance everything; between motherhood, running a business, me-time, home stuff, friends and family – it's a pretty weighty mix to juggle. And I know we're all in the same boat, craving some mystery formula that's gonna give us that 'perfect' balance.
My opinion? 👉🏻 There isn't one! So don't try and look for it!
In fact that's why I consciously titled this post, juggle not balance. And I'm aware in my naivety, I've written about balance before, (nearly smack-bang a year ago in fact!) but the more time goes on and the more I juggle, the more I realise balance is completely the wrong choice of word. Balance has connotations of successfully managing more than one thing simultaneously, whereas juggle has connotations of having to let one thing go to handle the next. Now that's much more what my life's like one year on! 😂 ha!
There's a couple of things that still ring true from the post I mentioned from last year, and I'll make sure I include them below. But overall, my technique is that of an extremely novice circus act – attempting to juggle by flinging the occasional ball super-high, hoping it doesn't come back to me for a lil while, and dropping/fumbling all the remaining balls on a frequent basis 😁 but essentially, I'm only able to master/grab a hold of one at a time 😇
So this is how I juggle:
I'm super-economical with my time
As I said in my last post, as soon as a miniature human (that you're responsible for keeping alive) comes into the mix, the essential tasks become way more visible, and faffing becomes way less possible. I dunno about you, but for me, gone are the days of trying to make my house look like some kind of showhome, whiling away a day trying to find some good films or TV to watch or mindless social media scrolling (I now operate solely on a business account post-and-respond basis!). And born are the days of super-early morning and super-late night work-binges, only watching an hour of TV a night max., and saying 'no' to a lot of things that I'm either not that keen on doing or that don't particularly benefit me (when I probably would've just done them out of obligation before). Like I said, the essential tasks become way more visible, and faffing becomes way less possible, which I'm actually grateful for tbh! [Thanks Lo 💋 xo]
I try and be as present as I can be
Of course it's super-easy to get distracted by work when I'm in mom-mode, and it's easy to get distracted by mom-duties when I'm meant to be working, don't get me wrong. I'm not preaching to be perfect at ANYTHING here. But on the whole, when I make a real, concerted effort at work to focus on that and work my tush off, and when I'm 'Mom', to focus on that and be as attentive as I can be, it reeeeally pays off. And the reason for that is simple 👉🏻 I take myself off the guilt-hook for choosing to be a working momma. If I'm as all-in as I can be when I'm at work, I feel guilt-free about leaving my phone in another room when I'm at home with my daughter having air-tea parties and disco dance-offs. And the same works the other way, if I've spent some proper, quality time with my daughter, I don't feel so much guilt when I drop her at the childminder's to get some work done and make some moola! So yeah, I'm all about us sacking off this 'guilt-hook' altogether, however we manage it!
I give myself the tiniest slice of me-time
Don't get me wrong, I'm not depriving myself and consciously giving myself the tiniest slice (although I had done that for years, believe me, I'm in no way a pro at this!) – some days I do get to treat myself to an evening with a bezzie, a night out with my husband or maybe even a spa treatment. Pure, indulgent me-time (which you should defo defo shoehorn in somehow, it's called LIVING my friend). But what I mean is, on all the other 'normal' days when I don't have a moment to even drink a glass of water, let alone think about me-time, I take some anyway. Even if it's just the tiniest slice.
For me right now, this slice is always having a colouring book and pens to hand. Even if I only manage five minutes of colouring before yelps of "ma-ma-ma-mammy" force it into an abrupt ending, for those five minutes I got to drift back to the 90s, to simpler times when I would hibernate in my room, listening to the Music Box album by Mariah Carey, doodling on pencil cases and exercise books to my heart's content. That tiny slice gives me the gift of switching off and doing something just for me. And it's a headspace-saver lemme tell ye. So if you don't currently take any me-time at all, you need to start with finding your tiny slice too.
I don't think about balance
And that's mainly because I don't think it really exists, but also because I've found trying to force it to exist actually just pushes me further and further into becoming a full-on stressball! (the opposite outcome of trying to achieve balance obvs), so I imagine the pursuit of it might have the same effect on you.
So what do I think about? I think about whether I'm making progress in something that I care about. That is my only gauge of how well I'm doing at juggling it all. Whether I've remembered to text a friend, remembered to call into my mom's, remembered to put the vacuum 'round, remembered to pick up milk or pay a bill – they're not how I rate my juggling skills. Because baby, those balls are gonna drop, inevitably. And continually. (Although hopefully a little bit less with the help of The Imperfect Life® Planner!) 😇 I know that pouring my energy into trying to be perfect at all those things, alongside motherhood, business and me-time, is a losing battle. So I hone in on the super-important to-dos in my life; my roles as a mom, a wife and a mentor – and if I've managed to make progress in just one of those areas, on something that really means something to me each day (even if it's just 10 minutes of progress!), then I'm damn proud of my juggling skills 💪🏻
If we accept that there's a stupid amount that we juggle in life, if we can be at peace with the fact that none of us are ever gonna 'have it together', and we embrace the chaos of our imperfect life as it stands right now, in my opinion, is the perfect way to juggle it all ❤️️
So go easier on yourself honey, you're doing feckin' brilliantly 🙌🏻
Until next weekend sexypants 💋