Can we really have it all? Are we being selfish? Are we spending enough time with our kids? The list of “are we” and “should we” never ends. Did anyone say ‘mother’s guilt’?…
The good news is, there’s always another mama who gets it – who understands the struggle and who’s sussed out a few solutions to make life easier.
We chat to three mumpreneurs to find out how they juggle motherhood and work.
1 // Laura Ruston, CEO of Out and About Baby
Laura believes that in no way should a mama’s career be sacrificed purely because of the mama title.
“You were an amazing, diverse person before having a child, becoming a mum just adds to that,” she says. “Sure, it threw me off my stride a bit whilst I found my feet with parenting but once I got there, I realised I needed to work; I needed some of the old me to mix with the new one.”
As the founder of her company, Laura set her own hours and work schedules around her family. She credits much of her juggling success to those supportive people around her.
“I’m so lucky to have family around to help me and a supportive husband who gives me honest feedback, not just on business ideas but also if my work/home balance is a little off,” she tells us.
Laura’s top tip for finding balance
“Making time for self-care is just as important as balancing my cash flow. If I’m emotionally balanced, I’m a better worker, boss and most importantly a better mum.”
2 // Jenny Vanderhoek, CEO of the childcare site Mynder
Jenny places importance on support from her partner who she says has really cleared his diary to help her pursue her dreams.
“I know firsthand the struggle of juggling motherhood with a career,” Jenny reveals. “You want to show your boss or coworkers that you’re back on top of your game, you want to be the mum who doesn’t make frozen dinners every night and you want to be there for your partner and your friends, too. The struggle is real.”
That’s why Jenny set up Mynder – to help take some pressure off mums and dads via screened carers.
“I practice what I preach. My partner and I try to have a date night every so often, or catch up with friends; we aren’t just working parents, we are also two unique and individual humans.”
Jenny’s top tip for finding balance
“If you want to forge a new career and be an active parent, I’d say first, be open to opportunities; get out of that rut by just being curious. Secondly be realistic, it’s not going to be smooth sailing but you will learn great things on your journey. Thirdly, ask for help when you need it.”
3 // Meg Burrage, CEO of BubDesk
Meg suggests combining childcare with a workspace – she is well aware of the fact that balance isn’t always easy.
“It’s funny, I created BubDesk to help working mums with the work-life balance, but it actually gave me none!” she laughs.
In fact, Meg’s journey has been an interesting path of self-discovery and learning. She launched herself into a business that couldn’t pay her at first, she didn’t have a viable business model and she took questionable advice. All of these bumps in the road nearly cost her marriage.
“I know it sounds contradictory,” she says, “but when I returned back to paid employment, the financial stability eased a lot of the problems. I’m now stricter with myself when it comes to having downtime with my son, exercising or watching TV. I’ve also reworked my business model so I can be more time efficient.”
Meg’s top tip for finding balance
“Without unwavering belief in yourself, you won’t make it. Keep your business in perspective – it’s not your second child, even though it may seem like it. And pace yourself. Sacrificing health and/or relationships is not worth it.”