Let’s face it – once you have a baby the whole 9-5 Mon-Fri thing pretty much goes out the window. It may vary depending on whether you go back to employment or you’re self-employed; whether you have plenty of childcare cover or none; but if you run your own business, it’s very hard to step back completely from it for a long period of time (unless you’re already at the point where you’ve managed to outsource most or all of the day-to-day stuff).
If you’re a one-wo/man show, then finding that balance is hard and involves a lot of trial-and-error, but it is doable! Here are five tips I’ve picked up whilst balancing a business and a baby:
If you have a few precious hours during the day to do your work, you cannot sit about on Facebook. Baby may have set naptimes, but these often go awry if she’s teething/in a mood/still hankering for some lasagne.
I know I’ve gotta make each hour count, and because you cut the crap faffing aboutness, you can find that you actually get more done than if you sit at the computer from 9am to 5pm. My content production is still not at the levels I’m aiming for, but it’s gone up since I had a baby.
Make a schedule, but also go with the flow
I have an hour-by-hour schedule pinned up in the office. It’s good for giving me guidelines on what i should be doing when so that every aspect gets covered (eg. Content creation, client work, invoicing, marketing…)
I also made it months ago so its outdated. Naptimes have shifted a little bit, and THANK GOD I no longer have to breast pump several times a day. Now I’m back at work I’m following it more, but baby’s still in charge really. Days I’m working may get swapped around if I want to take her out to something. And also, they aren’t babies for very long so I’m enjoying every minute. My daughter smiling and giggling at me gives me more life satisfaction than reconciling bills. True story.
Batch all the contents! I will be doing this again for hopefully as much of the second half of this year as poss – with complications last time I didn’t get everything done in time but I got about a month of content sorted. I feel much better when I run on a cyclical basis, so sometimes writing just wants to come out and other times I can just stare at the blank page. Again, if it feels right, roll with it.
Make time for other good stuff too
Baby/work/eat/sleep is a bit pants really. You’ve gotta fill the tank. I try make time for yoga/mediation, reading and going for walks. Mindyou now I’m pregnant again its more just trying to stay awake.
Accept you cant do everything
Still working on this one. When I’m working, the house isn’t very tidy (it probably is by a lot of peoples standards – but if you knew me from years ago I can’t cope with clutter), and sometimes it gets to 6pm and I’ve not even thought about tea. Whether you get help via childcare, home help or financial help; don’t feel guilty because you’re doing the best you can. Go us.