Saturday, 18 June 2011

Juggling the thin line between being a mum and a business woman.

The line between being a mum and a business woman can often be so thin that it becomes blurred or invisible.  One minute you are happily being a mum, playing, baking, reading a book, etc and the next you realise you have spent an hour on the computer working on an idea that just popped into your head. When an idea does arise you want to run with it incase it is THE idea that makes you get really noticed and brings in the customers. If you don't work on it then and there you may forget and then it is gone forever. So what happens to your child who you are supposed to be spending time with, do they get stuck in front of the TV or given a new toy with the promise of "I'll be back in a minute"? One thing leads to another and before you know it you look at the clock and I'll be back in a minute has become many many minutes. In a child's mind 1 minute is a very long time, image what half an hour or an hour is like.

Like me you may have a child that can play independently for a long time or with siblings for awhile, before the fights start. So you can "just quickly" hop on the computer and work on something. At times you may take advantage of this, but feel somewhat guilty when you look at the clock and a long period of time has passed.

Some tips I have found helpful when I need to work during the day include:
- Spend as much time together doing things the child loves before saying "Mummy needs to do some work". If they are old enough let them decide how they wish to spend the time whilst you are working.
- If they are able, let them help you. Even if it just something small, to a child being included means so much to them and they love it.
- Set a time limit and stick to it! Use an alarm or ask the child to come and get you when whatever they are doing is finished. Even if you are right in the middle of something, try to finish up when your time is up and leave notes on what you have to next for when you get the chance to return to what you are doing.
- If you keep getting interrupted because the child is bored, find something else for them to do. Explain to them again why you are working and how long you will be. Remind them that if you are given this time to do what you need then you will finish either earlier or on time. Then you will be free to play something they like or something they only do on special occassions.
- Once your time is up return to the child and praise them for being so good whilst you were working. If they weren't good for the whole time, focus on the good times and praise them for those times. Reward them. You may wish to use material rewards, but children love hugs, kisses and positive feedback.

All this may be hard and sound good in theory, but you and your child will get used to it over time. If you stick to things according to what you say, you will get into a routine and your child will get to understand that when you say its only for a short time you mean it and they will be happy to amuse themselves for that period of time without constantly asking you "when can you play with me?".  Children thrive on being included and will trust you if you keep your promises.

Of course one day it may work and not the next. Children are little people and they have a mind of their own, which doesn't always fit into what you want! If it really isn't working you may have to give up and try again later or another day. Keep perservering and it will get better.

We have our good and bad days and I try not to work when I'm home alone with my child, but of course in the real world it doesn't always work like that. I try to listen to what he wants and include him when I can. He loves to help.  Children grow up way too quickly and branch out to kinder and school before you know it, leaving you looking back and wondering where the time went and what you did with them when you had the chance to be together. I enjoy our time together and try and find a happy medium between being a mum and a business woman. Somedays they blur into one or one outweighs the other, but I just keep plogging along. I love being a mum and I love my kids, but being a business woman helps keep my mind active and allows me to be an adult and contribute to the household.

I hope you have gotten something out of reading my blog. Maybe you have related to it in someway. Take care of yourself and enjoy life. I would love to hear from all of you. Have a great day!

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