Here we are though, eight months later, and I am still astounded at how I managed it. If I’m honest it’s partly because I’m very lucky to have an amazing team behind me, and a fantastic co-founder that I can trust – he happens be my dad.Having said that, just three weeks after giving birth I was back in the office. So how did I do it? Well I’m going to outline what I think are the secrets of balancing life as a working mum. (1) Don’t be afraid to ask for help Having a back-up is vital as a working mum, and my husband was mine. He was an amazing strength, both physically and mentally, and he helped on all levels. If I had an important morning meeting he would stay up all night to allow me to get some sleep, and when I had low days he helped by providing encouragement. Having a “rock” will help keep you going and will help reduce your negativity. It doesn’t have to be your partner though – it could easily be a different family member, a friend or even a neighbour. (2) Either be at work or be at home The only option I had in the early stages was to work from home, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. It essential you pick one and stick to it though. When you blur the lines between work and home life it becomes difficult to focus on one thing. Eventually I ended up getting a shed in my garden and converting it into an office, which gave me the option of “leaving home” and “going to work” easily. It definitely helped my focus and productivity. (3) Be flexible with your schedule When you have a child around you need to have a flexible schedule. You can’t commit to a specific routine because babies don’t fit around them. Once that became clear my life became a lot simpler. My day now runs from 5am-7am, then 7pm-12am – any other hours I get during the day are a bonus. (4) Manage your time effectively If you are efficient with your time you really can get a lot done. Try and sneak in jobs where you can. For instance, if you’re driving then use your hands-free to make some phone calls. Look at outsourcing any jobs you either don’t enjoy or that aren’t in your skill-set. For instance, hiring a gardener or a cleaner would provide you with some extra time. Be smarter in the kitchen. By cooking batches of food, you can store in the freezer you won’t need to spend hours cooking each day, and you can use this time better.
Continue on the next page for the final four recommendations I have for success as a mother in business. Hint – it does get easier!
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