BALANCING WORK WITH FAMILY
In my business as a web designer, I regularly blog on technical subjects close to my area of expertise, that I think may be valuable to my clients and site visitors. But this month’s post is not related to WordPress at all, but it does tell you a little bit about me, my values and passions.
Small business owners, and solopreneurs have an interesting position in the business world, and I have become part of a ‘virtual’ team, working with so many other fantastic individuals who’s business ethics and values are just as important to me as the quality of work that they produce.
I make no secret that I am a working mother, and although I don’t talk much with my clients about my children, I am always up front that I schedule my work accordingly, and work does slow down in the school holidays. I swapped a high pressure job in London and my daily commute to the City because it felt like the wrong life, and I have never looked back.
I go to a lot of networking events and I’ve noticed a trend in the increasing number of intelligent, focused, experienced business women that I meet. They are professional and hardworking, but they have a secret, and you really have to dig deep to get them to reveal it. They are working mothers, women who have started their own businesses out of necessity, to make their family lives work with a more flexible schedule.
In return for this flexibility, I work early, I work late, I adjust each day to fit, it’s incredibly hard work, but it’s worth it because I take my children to school every day and most days I’m there to collect them. I go to school plays, concerts and swimming galas. We talk about our day every afternoon when I make dinner, and we read together. I couldn’t imagine not having this time with my children. I want to look back without regret, and know that I was there for them, as well as showing up for myself.
I spent some time recently with a marketing consultant, discussing my business strategy and goals. She asked me to explain; why I do, what I do. A perplexing question to start with, but it soon came tumbling out. She said that I’d hit a magic combination, because I’ve managed to bring together doing something I love, using the skills I already have, and make an income. When I first discovered WordPress it was a proper ‘lightbulb’ moment. I knew I’d found a business where I could use my existing skills, something that I was going to enjoy, and that was going to work with family life. I wasn’t wrong.
I feel proud everyday of where my business is taking me, and I know that what I do inspires my children, they see my dreams and aspirations and how hard I work to achieve these. I feel so passionately that our children learn what they live, and as a parent, being a positive role model is such a vital part of their growth and development.
I think working mothers everywhere should give themselves more credit, I applaud them all. As a working parent it’s easy to feel guilty about your choices, and we need to focus more on how we are leading by example, teaching our children important values, lessons in perseverence and making your own success.
My favourite quotation of all time by Calvin Coolage…
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
I need to blow my nose now, it’s an emotional subject close to my heart, I’ll stick to the technical next time, much easier.