Sue interviews blogger Zoe Holland, who shares her thoughts on running a business whilst juggling a busy family life.
I am a full time mum and step mum and part time SEN teacher, blogger and freelance writer. I don’t have any foolproof solutions and my juggling balls certainly come crashing down every once in a while..but after 10 years of managing the fine balance of family and work life there are a few rules I do try to live by. I’d like to share my top 5 with you here:
Find work that fits
A lot of my writing projects have a family focus. My blog features family travel and days out with a particular focus on Glamping. I’ve found that bringing my family along to experience holiday accommodation and experiences actually improves my work as I can provide feedback from a range of perspectives. Best of all my work is something the whole family can get involved in and creates more opportunities to spend time together rather than the opposite.
Look after yourself
As the saying goes ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’…well the same goes for us. You have to put your own health and happiness ahead of all other commitments at times. Say goodbye to the guilt and make a few plans that are just about you. These windows of escapism will give you something to look forward to and allow you to reconnect with the other elements of your personality that seem dissolve as the parenting years progress.
As your children grow encourage them to contribute to the running of the household. As our own kids have matured we’ve encouraged them to help with laundry folding, washing up and keeping their own spaces tidy. Not only does this prepare them for their own independence, but it takes a huge pressure off the adults to feel as though they need to do everything. We’ve even noticed that the older children now guide the younger ones in how to tidy up after meals etc!
Whether you work miles away or from home…you will have times when your job depends on reliable childcare. We are very lucky in having a fantastic preschool which also offers breakfast and after school childcare and I honestly don’t know what we’ve have done without it. Plan your childcare well in advance. Research well. Speak to local friends and ask for recommendations. If you’re using a childminder or nanny go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right look at
Try to put your family first as much as possible. There are times when it feels like there are demands on your time and energy coming from each and every direction. Try to keep these things in perspective. Book time off for assemblies, Sports Days and performances as much as you can. These experiences can’t be recreated and as easy as it is to get sucked into work life…I believe being there for your children is what really matters. Don’t be afraid to say no to commitments that you think might just be a stretch too far. There is no role more important or life changing than your role as a parent.
Don’t get me wrong…I don’t always practise what I preach and as recently as last year I became aware that my own work / family balance was off whack and the consequences were ill health, stress and a lot of self blame. It’s a tricky thing to get right all of the time. Family needs and work priorities change year to year and it’s important to re-evaluate every once in a while. Work that fits well with family life whilst challenging and satisfying your own creative drive is worth the ups and downs..and when you finally get it right it’s like striking gold!
To read more articles by Zoe, please visit her website jugglingonrollerskates.com
Article kindly written by guest blogger Zoe Holland
If you would like to become a guest blogger, please contact Sue 01825 761890 for more details
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