Social Media

back

Flexible working and being a mama-preneur: Top tips for managing the work/life juggle

Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - Mama About TownMama About Town

working_mamaWhen we started Sassy five years ago I was in my mid-twenties and threw myself completely into building up the business – running around town to meetings, checking emails at all hours of the day, being surgically connected to my smartphone and laptop. It all felt so exhilarating and fun. Now that I’m the proud mama to two little daughters though (and need a big cup of coffee to get going in the morning), and am still working in this little company which has now become so much bigger and stretches across two cities, I struggle with finding the balance between family and work.

When I tell people that I work from home, especially if I’m talking to other mothers, I often get the response, “Oh but that’s perfect – you can work from home and be with your kids at the same time!” While I agree I’m incredibly lucky, I then embark on a long explanation (until I notice their eyes glazing over) as to how it’s actually perhaps more tricky to work from home and have my own business than it would be to head into an office each day to work at a corporate job. I also of course often envy stay at home mamas even though that’s probably more difficult than any other job!

For those mamas out there in the same boat who are trying to figure out juggling their own business with family, or working in freelance or flexible roles, here are the limited lessons I’ve learned in the three years I’ve been trying to get good at this gig…

1.    Mama guilt is a killer – don’t listen to the nagging voice

Because my work is a “choice”, I always feel like I’m making the wrong one. Skipping Gymboree to catch up on emails? Bad mama. Heading to the park when I have a to-do list as long as my arm? Bad worker. Whichever way I turn I’m damned, unless I refuse to listen to that voice in my head which seems to like to make me feel crappy. Easier said than done I know!

2.    Flexible working still needs structure

Yes my work is flexible, and I can decide when to do it as I’m not limited by office hours, but this basically means I have to create my own unbreakable rules to abide by. For me this means having set working days, and making sure that I am sitting at my computer during those hours when I am most switched-on and productive, which for me is always in the morning. When my attention wanes in the afternoon and I find myself being easily distracted by Facebook or Instagram, I take that as my cue to switch over to mama mode as it’s not quality working time.

3.    Get out of the house

This is a personal one of course, but despite the fact that I have a lovely little home office set up in our spare bedroom, I still need to leave the house to do my best work. My kids seem to be able to sense when I’ve just sat down to do something important and come hammering on the door or start up screaming fits which are impossible to ignore. I find coffee shops or clubs are the best options for me as there’s a little bit of buzz to get me going. Seek out quality free wi-fi and somewhere where you don’t need to pack up your bag and computer every time you need the loo!

4.    Organize and plan your non-working time

I genuinely love what I do, and find myself getting sucked into it even at times I’ve set aside for spending time with my kids. It’s just so easy to want to quickly take a peek at email or spend 15 minutes finishing off a fun project. In order to be sure I’m fully committed to a period of quality time with the little ones, I get us out of the house to play-dates, take them to activities or head outdoors for a swim or to the park. This means on a Monday I try book up all our “mama time” by emailing friends or planning which errands we can do on certain days. Then I don’t have dead time, which can easily turn into sticking a Disney DVD on TV while I hammer away at some work in the background (feeling guilty all the while!).

5.    Have clear boundaries and stick to them

Your working time needs to be “protected”, and equally, so does your family time. Talk to your helper to tell her what your working hours are so she can plan activities for the kids while you’re busy (printing out a weekly schedule to stick on the fridge will help you be on the same page). Make sure your colleagues know which days and times you’re not available for meetings, and do not agree to attend meetings during family time. Once you’ve cracked once and agreed to do a meeting or call during family time it’s really hard to get the boundaries back as you’ve confused people about where they lie, which isn’t fair to them or you.

There’s nothing exactly ground-breaking about these tips, but it took a bit of time for me to figure out that flexible working actually needs greater discipline than “regular” working. I’d love to hear if you have any other suggestions for managing the juggle as it’s something I work at on a daily basis!

Pssst… I really recommend all working mamas take a peek at “How to be a Productivity Ninja” which is great if you’re trying to figure out how to really maximize a shorter working time to become more efficient and how to manage work-life balance. 

Photo credit courtesy of the fabulous Littleones Photography.

 

New_SMSig_Hester1

more sassy mama

What's New

We're social
Morning lie-ins with cuddles, sleeping bags and everything ⁣happy!⁣⠀
@thedigigirls⁣⠀
.⁣⠀
.⁣⠀
.⁣⠀
.⁣⠀
.⁣⠀
.⁣⠀
.⁣⠀
⁣⠀
⁣⠀
#sosassy #sassymama #kidszimmer #kidspiration #designforkids #letthembelittle #letthekids #simplychildren #pixel_kids #igkiddies #magicofchildhood #cutekidsclub #kidsroom #shopforkids #candidchildhood #childhoodunplugged #kidsplay #kidsmood #kidmodels⁣ #kidsgram #kidsactivities #childrenof_instagram #childrenofinstagram #childrenfirst #siblingsbelike #siblinggoals #siblingsquad #siblingtime⁣⠀
⁣⠀
⁣
The final week of Helper Appreciation Month is here and we saved the best for last - Fun Week begins today! Treat your helper to a healthy dose of fun on her day off, from fitness, to theatre to inspiring photo walks. Click on the #linkinbio and let the fun begin 🎉⠀
@helpherdobetter
@rhosecoronado 
@race2share 
@wildricesg ⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
#sosassy #sassymamasg #HelperAppreciationMonth #FunWeek #singapore #singaporemotherhood #sgfdw #fun #gratitude #momlife #motherhood #mommylife #parenthood #momsofinstagram ⠀
Planning a birthday party, mama? #linkinbio has our fave spots for your kids birthday party in Singapore, no matter your budget and it will be a party to remember!⠀ 📸 @mizprissy⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
#sosassy #sassymamasg#kidszimmer #kidspiration #designforkids #letthembelittle #letthekids #simplychildren #pixel_kids #igkiddies #magicofchildhood #cutekidsclub #kidsroom #shopforkids #candidchildhood #childhoodunplugged #kidsplay #kidsmood #kidmodels⠀
#kidsgram #kidsactivities #childrenof_instagram #childrenofinstagram #childrenfirst #birthdayparty #singaporeparty #kidsparty⠀
⠀
WE BELIEVE WORKING PARENTS MAKE GREAT PARENTS. A 2015 Harvard Business School study of girls with working moms in 24 countries across the globe found that they grew up to have more successful careers themselves. And another HBS study found in 2018 that kids with two working parents grew up to be *just* as happy as kids with a stay-at-home parent. In short: if working makes you happy, mama, do it! And let go of the #momguilt, because a happy and fulfilled mama = happy kids. Of course, having the flexibility to work near your kids - and for them to see you on the job - has benefits for everybody; whether you're nursing your baby or telling each other about your mornings, we're grateful for a family-friendly co-working space like @trehausco. - Kate McFarlane, Senior Editor⠀
📷 @irinanilssonphotography
#WeAreTrehaus #WorkLearnPlay⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
⠀
⠀
#sassymamasg #sosassy #momlife #workingmom #motherhood #mommylife #parenthood #momsofinstagram #momlifeisbestlife #workingparents #kidspiration #letthembelittle #letthekids #simplychildren #pixel_kids #igkiddies #magicofchildhood #cutekidsclub #candidchildhood #childhoodunplugged #kidsplay #kidsmood #kidsgram #childrenof_instagram #childrenofinstagram⠀
⠀
⠀
WE BELIEVE IN TEACHING TEAMWORK. Our world and our future are highly unpredictable. Technology is advancing so rapidly that we don't know what our world will look like in ten years let alone 20 years. Our children will also face dramatic environmental and political changes. So how do we prepare them for such an unpredictable future? #Teamwork. Learning to work as part of a team helps develop many social skills such as communication, empathy, patience, tolerance and collaboration. These are the skills that our children will need more than any others. - Emilie De Cannart, Managing Director, Sassy Media Group⠀
📸 @irinanilssonphotography ⠀
#WeAreTrehaus #WorkLearnPlay @trehausco
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
⠀
⠀
#sassymamasg #sosassy #momlife #workingmom #motherhood #mommylife #parenthood #momsofinstagram #momlifeisbestlife #mommyhood #kidspiration #designforkids #letthembelittle #letthekids #simplychildren #pixel_kids #igkiddies #magicofchildhood #cutekidsclub #candidchildhood #childhoodunplugged #kidsplay #kidsgram #kidsactivities #siblinggoals #siblingsquad #siblingtime⠀
⠀
⠀
Keeping an open dialogue with your little ones about cultural diversity is crucial to a harmonious tomorrow. Today is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development so it's a great opportunity to introduce your children to our round up of books that teach kids to embrace their diversity in a mixed race family. #linkinbio has our top 5 picks!⠀
📸 @lovelens_rnd⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
#sassymamasg #sosassy #WorldDayforCulturalDiversityforDialogueandDevelopment #diversityday #unitednations #diversity #promotediversity #momlife #momquotes #motherhood #mommylife #parenthood #momsofinstagram #momlifeisbestlife #mommyhood #blendedfamily #biracial
Have you caught your self yelling at your children? We have all been guilty of this and it has not been our finest moment. Would you like to learn how to be a calm and collected parent? This long weekend would be a good time to practice 😀 Our #linkinbio has the details from @respectfulmom.
📸 @tippytapp
.
.
.
.
.
#sosassy #sassymamasg #parenting #momlife #motherhood #childrenof_instagram #momentsoflove #mommylife #momsofinstagram #momlifeisbestlife #mommyhood⁣

We're social

What we're up to and what inspires us