Self employed life as a full time mum

Working mumI have all the time in the world. I’m at home all the time, work when I like, create pretty things, have the perfect work/life balance sorted, I’m award winning so I’m obviously living the dream!

Oh how social media can lie!

I get asked all the time how I manage to run two businesses AND be a mum to my two little ones with very little childcare. The answer is simply that I’m constantly juggling everything! It’s impossible to plan anything and even taking client calls is a nightmare at times with a toddler tantrum, CBeebies or someone shouting ‘Mummy I’m hungry!’ in the background.

Being a full time mum to two little ones and run both my businesses is at times the most stressful thing I’ve done BUT I wouldn’t change anything.

Sure I’d love more time to be able to focus on my business because I know it can be even more successful than it is with the dedication and time it needs, however the whole reason I set up my businesses was so I could be able to work from home and be there with my family. I want to watch my kids grow and spend as much time as possible with them, certainly before they start school full time.

At times I’m pulling my hair out. I have deadlines to meet with my client orders and no matter how much I try to plan my week ahead, there is always something that comes up. A day full of tantrums. One of them getting ill, which then means the other will soon follow suit. With my youngest being a year old she’s still napping at lunchtime so this is my window. My 1-2 hours where I can focus on my work which involves perhaps a client call and ferociously tapping away on the computer to get some emails out and work on some design projects. All too soon the time is up and I’m back to full mum mode.

I’m lucky to have my husband around so much and he often works from home so I’m able to even go to the loo in peace on some days! The luxuries of being a mum hey?!

The only way I’m able to get through my working week is to schedule schedule schedule. Oh and naturally caffeine helps!

I give myself 1 or 2 jobs to do per day that I have to get done. This means it’s enough to do on a bad day when I just can’t focus at all or if the kids are unwell. It also means most days I can actually get more done so I don’t feel like I’ve failed every week with my businesses!

I always try to keep my evenings and weekends free which is for our family time. It’s important to me to have a good work/life balance and whilst I work at home you never really totally switch off from work as you’re always there! To help I switch off my notifications and the out of office is always on so I can have some quality work free time with my family.

Running a business, or two, whilst having little ones running around is hard! I look forward to the days I can throw myself into my work full time because I have so many plans and ideas to push my businesses, but for now I’m not taking anything for granted. Having my kids with me and to be able to watch them grow is the most rewarding job I could have so I’m going to keep those plates spinning and continue growing my lists for business goals for the future and take them one step at a time.

Here’s to all the other self employed mum bosses out there!

Jacquie LawesAbout the author

Jacquie Lawes is a multi award winning graphic designer and photographer. Owner of Bailey & Roo specialising in brand design and photography for female creatives. Luxury wedding stationer at award winning White Olive Design Studio.

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