It’s the Monday after Mother’s Day, it’s raining outside, I have a sick child, I’m starting to feel unwell, we had her birthday party on the weekend – I’m tired, deadlines are looming, we have a launch in Bunbury this week, I’ve started my healthy eating in an effort to lose my 18 kgs that I really can’t say is baby weight anymore since my daughter is 3 and I’m looking at my full diary this week wondering when I will get everything done.
Welcome to my life and the life of every other working Mum out there. I don’t want this to be another work life balance blog, blah blah blah. There is no such thing and I’m sick of being pedalled this crap. We can’t have it all, no one can. There is always going to be an area of your life that doesn’t get attention and mine for a very long time has been my social life (which I’m ok with as I attend a lot of events for work). Unfortunately, recently it’ been my exercise that’s dropped off and it’s something I am not okay with. Exercise is my stress reliever. It could be as simple as walking the dog or my 20 minutes Tabata (and yes that is all I have time for). It is the “my” thing I generally always make time for, no matter what and I’m getting back into that today.
You see we’re all busy. And recently someone said to me “when someone asks you to do something, whether it’s going out for coffee or extra work, don’t say you’re too busy, everyone is busy. It really sounds like a fob off.” Don’t use busy as a positive, be more specific. Tell them your life is a little hectic at the moment, or that you do have a deadline looming. It really does come down to what you see as a priority.
This is something I’ve been thinking about lately and have implemented a new “system” as sorts to help prioritise tasks. I’ve always been pretty organised, but one thing I have struggled with is saying no and trying to jam pack my week with meetings, catch ups etc, which leaves little time for my actual work.
I’ve ditched the phone calendar and bought a physical diary and have added my tasks I need to do on a certain day, so when I get a meeting request I can see the number of tasks I have to do that day and decide whether I can schedule a meeting in dependant on my workload. I have found having an actual diary to be a lot easier to manage my schedule.
It’s given me a new sense of clarity, I happily say no now and try to space my meetings out. Which has worked quite well. I have only had one negative response from someone who wanted to meet with both Kat and I, and didn’t like the fact that we didn’t see them as a priority and seemed to forget we don’t work the normal 5 days a week and that Kat has recently had a baby. But hey, you’re always going to come across those ignorant people and its someone we would never do business with anyway.
Also, be up front with people. I don’t pretend that I work Monday – Friday and I certainly don’t create the illusion that I do. I’m the primary carer for a 3 year old and I’m running 2 businesses. She goes to Kindy next year, which will be a game changer for time – this is a temporary period in my life.
We can only do what we do.
On a side note have you ever googled “working mum”. These are the types of images that appear.
This is what its really like in my life as a working Mum.