It’s the end of August and plans for autumn are in full kick off. Between curating your wardrobe, planning an autumn or winter escape and clearing the garden……dear lord, the kids are going back to school.
For some mums it’s a relief and for others..breathe, inhale, exhale and repeat – crazy hectic mornings and part time taxi job are here again. If you barely survived the summer holidays you may want to read Mums Make Lists school holiday survival tips.
Moving on, here are some tips to help you thrive as you run your business and navigate back to school in the months ahead.
1. Be mentally prepared
When you are aware of what’s coming and accept it, you unconsciously become prepared to cope with any challenge that comes with it. The good news is many working mums have charted the same path and thrived. In moments when you begin to doubt your ability to cope with balancing work and home life, motivate yourself with inspiring stories from other successful women. Surround yourself with words of inspiration that keep you fuelled with positive energy. Facebook groups like mums in business association as well as parenting forums like netmums and mumsnet are great for venting and getting support from other mums.
2. Mobilise your support network
Don’t do it alone, life is so much easier when you have a support system. This is more true when business and kids are involved. Sick days and untimely school appointments are sometimes unavoidable, so have a system in your business that gives you some flexibility to adapt. This might be a trusted virtual assistant, colleague or a partner. If you don’t have one, you may want to invest in proper gizmo to make having meetings on the go much easier. Take care to avoid calls while driving and only engage on calls when it is safe to do so. Cisco Webex, Skype and Zoom are some good options for voice conferencing and mobile meetings.
You should definitely have a reliable support system outside of your workplace as well. This might be other mums you can call on when running late for pickup, out of school clubs, family or a childminder.
3. Stay organised
Be diligent in keeping a note of school events, appointments and deadlines the same way you track meetings and appointments in your workplace. Have these stored on your favourite mobile app so you can receive reminders and notifications on the go. This works better if your work and home calendar are synchronised or on the same app. You may want to decide how you use this though, if you have a shared calendar with your work colleagues, you may not want to share details of your personal events.
The other part of staying organised is planning ahead for your appointments. A last minute dash to the store to grab packed lunch for a forgotten school trip, improvising with random items in your kitchen to complete a science project that’s due in tomorrow or carving an email to your favourite teacher explaining why costume for the school play hasn’t been handed in can be avoided by being diligent with your calendar and planning ahead.
4. Make yourself a priority
Be disciplined about taking care of your health and well being so you can operate at your best. Each day that passes may require a lot from you to deliver at work and at home, stay fuelled with a positive mindset and keep to healthy habits. In between the hustle and running around, make time to recharge and centre your thoughts. You aren’t much good to your kids or business if you are burned out, stressed and exhausted. Wearable technology for keeping track of your sleep and stress levels can help monitor unusual activity. I particularly like the Leaf Urban from Bellabeat that’s wearable as a clip, bracelet or necklace.
5. Live in the moment
Life really is hard on some mums and it’s almost cheeky to tell them to “enjoy the moment”. At times even with a support group, staying organised and using every other tip out there, being a working mum can be a most trying exercise, so you say it at your own risk when you tell some mums to enjoy the moment.
Being a mum is the single most selfless job that exists. Regardless of personal circumstances or situations we find ourselves in, we owe it to self to live in the moment with our kids. Find things to be thankful for, remain optimistic and hopeful that all of the today’s hard work is for tomorrow’s success.