It’s Sunday night, the boys have finally gone to bed, the hubbie is reading his book and the house is blissfully quiet. I’m currently tossing up between my 47th cup of tea of the day or having a cheeky glass of white and most importantly deciding whether to watch a chick flick or finish my book which I’m just loving.
So, whilst pondering these all-important questions, I thought that I’d chat to you about my mini mum win this week and give myself a virtual pat on the back, as I never do that and I’ve promised myself that I’m going to stop trying to nail everything all of the time and give myself such a hard time when I fail. And I going to celebrate the little wins as baby steps and all that!
And my win probably sounds a bit silly, now that I write it, but I just feel that I’ve been a much calmer, more present mum this week and it’s made me feel pretty damn good about myself and happy that I’m not missing the point so much.
I work for myself because I want to do a job that I love around the needs of my family; so that I can support my boys, walk them to and from school as often as I can, help them with their homework and be a present and supportive part of their lives. They’re growing up so fast – they’re 10 and 6 distressingly – and as clichéd as it is to say it, I don’t want to miss a moment and in the future regret the choices that I made as a working mum.
So that’s what I do, and it really works for our family, but I’ve noticed that I’ve been a bit of a crazy person lately. I’m working with a gorgeous client at the moment – we’ve got a lot on as it’s a start up – but I have incredible flexibility to work to my own schedule (ensuring that I smash the outputs obvs) but despite loving my work, having the freedom to shape my week and be there for my boys, I’ve noticed that I’ve not been compartmentalising very well and have let them down; after picking them up from school, I’ve been thundering back to work, snapping at them when they ask perfectly reasonable questions, and I’ve found myself resenting interruptions and dramatically whisking myself into my office. Such a fabulous role model! When often as not the email or piece of work could wait for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, let’s be honest an hour; it was me that couldn’t.
I’ve worked for myself for just over two years now but before that had a long corporate career; I’m used to working from 8:30 – 6 and being present online of an evening as that was expected. And I think deep down that I’m still banging that big company drum and it’s not doing me or the boys any favours, as if I allow myself to breathe, structure my day properly and enjoy the boys when I’m with them and kick arse at my job when I’m working, we’ll all be happy campers.
So, I had a little word with myself and reminded myself about all of the things that are important to me; what makes me smile, makes me laugh, makes me excited and fulfilled and it all comes down to my family – those gorgeous little men in my life – and my work and being creatively and professionally fulfilled.
And I made a pact with myself; to do a better job of working when I work and being a better mum when I don’t. And that’s what I’ve done, and it’s been great. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been perfect, from from it; I’ve been a bit twitchy when I’ve heard the all too familiar ping of emails popping into my inbox but I’ve let it go. And I’ve been more present and focused on the boys and able to enjoy them; we’ve worked on reading together, I’ve done some writing exercises with my eldest, we’ve played board games and coloured. And I’ve not missed a deadline or let a client down.
Because I was the crazy loon that was getting my knickers in a twist, nobody else; I was the corporate hamster still stuck on that frantically spinning wheel, not realising that there was a different way to work and my old way was far from the best way. I had this wonderful freedom and opportunity to be the professional and mum that I wanted to be, but I hadn’t grabbed it with both hands and made the most of it. Well I’m getting there now and I’m going to keep working on being a more available, fun and supportive mum as well as focus on smashing my professional goals. Because I feel like I’ve had a bit of an epiphany and I’m confident now that I can do both!