Guest Blog for Professional Parents Network.org : By Bel Messer (Queensland, Australia)
Being a busy mum of three and working to build my own business can be tricky. I must admit that it’s a work in progress and whilst I don’t have the alchemy right just yet, I am intent on enjoying the ride.
I have a background in sales and I love what I do. I write educational children’s books with my one of my dearest friends. We create, self-publish and market our own books at I Am Extra Special.
80% of the time if I’m being honest, things are great. The other 20% I am completely freaking out, juggling marketing, social media, making new contacts, emails and coming up with plans to action, and that’s not even mentioning my kids.
Building my own business has me thinking and jotting notes seemingly 24 hours a day. Then throw in my three monkeys and it is hectic with a capital H around here. With Tennis, guitar, netball, glee club, homework, cooking, washing, lunches, teeth brushing, fight mediating and cuddle giving all on the agenda, our lives are now fuller than ever.
I sometimes think back wistfully to the days when my kids were little. There was no great timetable for us. Sleep in’s, warm cuddles in bed that could stretch to almost lunch time, trip to the shops if we felt like it. No deadlines, no school backpacks to get ready. But as we know, time doesn’t stand still for anybody. It flies full steam ahead and we just have to jump on board and enjoy the ride.
Just this morning I looked at my 13 year old deep into her beautiful green eyes and I said ‘Right now, you my love are in the good old days. Enjoy them. For they are with you right now” She looked at me blinking. Yes, I am that mum. The mum who is forever giving advice. To my children, to their friends, to anyone who will listen rather. NB: Just to be clear, it is all great advice and they should head every word. Maybe even take notes.
I work whenever I get the chance, and the three days between school hours when my children are at school and kindy. I love it when it’s quiet and I can work uninterrupted. I often think of Stephanie Meyer who openly says that she wrote the Twilight book series with her three children crawling all over her and constantly around. Seriously, I think she must have had a wicked set of headphones and Muse blaring all day, to shut out the vivacious noise that children can create. For I absolutely cannot concentrate when my kids need me. And that is exactly what kids are very good at doing consistently, needing us.
One day, I know that it will just be my husband and I. The kids will keep growing up as they insist on doing and will eventually leave us. Then that will be it, just us. I keep this in mind when I am feeling overwhelmed with the work/life struggle. It’s rarely easy, it’s mostly fun, it’s overwhelming, it’s underwhelming, it’s time consuming, it’s rewarding and ultimately it’s something that many of us need to do to keep our brains from turning into mush.