I'm used to working from home. It is something I have been doing for a few years now but it is definitely a game-changer when there's a toddler in the mix. My days are not the standard 9-5 but rather sporadic blocks throughout the day that make up the hours and often more. My working schedule revolves entirely around my son and his ever-changing routine. And things just got a whole lot harder to juggle now that we're practicing social isolation and he's at home 24/7. When he naps, I work. When he eats, I work (or occasionally stop and eat with him - if I'm feeling adventurous). When he is happy playing on his own, I work. When he sits down to watch a whole 2.5 episodes of Bluey, I work.
He has participated in several Zoom video calls and Microsoft team chats. I’ve had to change nappies mid-meeting, cut client calls short to intercept his kamikaze moments of climbing and jumping from (questionable) heights and surfaces, and constantly have my audio muted to avoid any future embarrassment when he cries like he’s being tortured - simply because he wants a pack of yoghurt covered sultanas but can’t open the pantry door, or because I’ve told him he couldn’t eat or play with the dishwashing tablets.
Desperate to get some work done in any chance I get throughout the day, I often forget to just take a breath and enjoy the little things. Like watching him draw, do puzzles, play pretend, say new words, explore new abilities, invent games and obstacle courses - observing him learn and develop before my eyes. Things that are absolutely priceless and put everything into perspective.
So often I feel as if I am falling short as a creative, as a business owner, and as a mother. I feel guilty if I'm enjoying time with my son rather than putting together branding proposals or design submissions, or replying to the emails overflowing in my inbox. When I'm working, I feel guilty that I'm not giving my son the attention he deserves, or providing him with enough stimulating activities because I'm too caught up with my brain in business-mode. Either way, it's like a vicious cycle with no escape. It shouldn't be this way, and I think (as most mum's can probably agree) that we are way too hard on ourselves. We place so much pressure on ourselves to get it right, to find that perfect balance and to make everything flow seamlessly. It is SO hard to find a balance. I’m still learning, and I’m still trying whatever I can to make it work.
Learning to take a step back, a deep breath, and just look to the positive to regroup and refocus.
I'm lucky enough to have a beautiful family of my own, and a business of my own that I have invested so much love, sweat and tears into. There are days that I tick everything off my list, and days where I’m not even lucky enough to tick half an item off my list. That’s just something I have to accept, and that’s a journey in itself. I don’t get it right most of the time, but when I do - its magic.