She is effectively doing two full-time jobs – “Mum” and “Boss”. Both of these jobs come with significant responsibility, people are relying on her, and there are expectations to live up to. Both create a lot of pressure to achieve – self-imposed and from society.
So… she is very busy. I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but parenting is not as easy as it looks. I think there are one or two other blogs on that subject which you could look into for more details if needed. At the same time, she has an exciting career as a businessperson, with so many ideas and plans, and so little time to do it. Ideally she’d like a little bit of time for herself too.
There never will be enough time, of course. I think that’s probably true for most parents regardless of what else they have going on. I do remember thinking I didn’t have enough time before I was a parent, but looking back now, I had loads of time to do all sorts of things I just didn’t seem to get around to. How easy writing a blog post would have been then…
For us, we deal with the lack of time by carefully choreographing our weeks. We try to find a time to sit down to compare next week’s diaries, and work out who is doing which school runs/bedtimes; what our respective work commitments are, and how we’re going to fit it all together. More recently, we’ve given ourselves a rule that we will make sure we plan in time for each of us to exercise. We’re not particularly sporty, but we know that we function better if we do exercise, so it’s even more important to schedule in during the busier weeks. It also means we know we’re both getting a little bit of time to ourself. We then have to work out when we’re going to fit in time next week to plan for the week after.
We try to work as a team, but this in itself needs some work – particularly in those busier weeks. Sometimes, she’ll have an exciting new project – one that, really, I’m excited about too. Except my first reaction is: “How are we going to fit that in?” I try not to say that out loud, of course, but that doesn’t stop her hearing it (or seeing it) anyway. I don’t think there’s a great deal we can do about this (perhaps I could work on my poker face), but our other rule (not that we’ve written these down anywhere) is that we will always try to make time when we can for us to reconnect.
So, can it be done, being a Mum and a Boss at the same time without one detracting from the other? Is it worth it?
Actually, in my experience, it’s not so much the hectic schedule that is the main difficulty. Lots of people have hectic schedules, and they find a way of working through them like we do, and no doubt different couples have different approaches. I think that actually, the key challenge for her is the fact that “MumBossing” comes with an additional burden because it starts off with a particular intention. She set out with the goal of having a career that fits around the family, and now she feels the need to live up to that.
I have a “normal” job that requires me to be in a certain place at a certain time, barring emergencies. She makes commitments as part of her work, but by and large she can do that to fit around the other needs of our family (including me). It’s great that her choice means we have more flexibility, but it’s hard that she effectively ends up with all the responsibility to make things work, however much I try to help.
And can she really do that justice to the “Boss” role whilst taking on the brunt of the responsibility for being there when our family needs it? Of course a part of her will always be thinking about what she could achieve with 5 uninterrupted days’ work every week. But I think she should be looking at what she has achieved in the time that she does have, because that is pretty impressive.
She is largely self-taught as a businessperson. She does have great networks of other MumBosses who are helpful, but she hasn’t worked her way up in an organisation learning on the job. She has to know about tax, accounting, employment, company law, marketing, design, websites… the list goes on – before we even think about the skills needed to drive the day-to-day business forwards. She has created a brand/product/idea that is really making a difference in our community, and I’m excited about the next steps in the “revolution”.
Of course, she would achieve more with more time and resource, but being a Mum certainly hasn’t stopped her being an inspiring businessperson.
And that is the important point when it comes to our family as well. What better role model could our children have than someone who is working hard to achieve something she passionately believes in, and is generally able to be there for them when it matters? I can’t think of one.
A Guest Blog from an Anonymous Writer