I know, I know....we have been a little remiss on the blogging front here lately! We are winding down wedding season as we speak... Dana's last event is this weekend and my last event is the next! I am looking forward to having 6 - 7 weeks off of the actual events and just focusing on the holidays and my family...we should have a few DIYs lined up here in the next month or so that pertain to Christmas and tablescapes..so stay tuned!
This week I wanted to start a little series about the joys and difficulties of running your own business while being a mom (and a mom of little ones at that....we have no school aged children between the two of us). Often times it seems like my business is my third child...no wait, that is my husband....maybe my fourth child...and a very demanding child at that! I would equate it to the colicky baby...sometimes it feels like it is fussing at me constantly no matter how much attention I throw at it! Once I have addressed one area that needs attention, 3 more are popping up behind it to take its place. So it is very easy to let it consume all of your day. While the invention of the smartphone has made business easier it has also made business more constant. I can check my emails 24/7, respond to brides and vendors, work on a blog post, or research venues anytime of the day. This brings me to today's lesson and some insight that I have gained (from the help of my husband and children) concerning Being Present.
It is very easy to let work time leak into kid time and allow kid time to leak into work (the latter sometimes can not be avoided!) Know that even your little kids, who can not express what they're feeling, know when you are cheating your time together by looking at a phone or checking an email...sometimes it is just enough to be in the same room with them while you are each doing your own thing, and sometimes it is not! Dana is really good about teaching her children to do independent play, but also spending quality time ( C and D free) just focusing on them! It is funny too how kids know it is related to work....for example the other day Mason was done with his quiet time (ie business hours) and I was working on a quilt for Nora (to be revealed later) and he wanted to play Play-doh. He sat there for over an hour playing with his Play-doh while Mommy did sewing and was super content! This would not have been the case if I were on the Computer..it is like some sort of internal differentiating mechanism!
A lot of your ability to "Be Present" hinges on your ability to schedule your day and establish routines. I by no means have this down pat! However, one thing I do implement is quiet/nap time for an hour an half...and I know that I can at least get in the phone calls I need to make and send off a few emails. Here are a few other tips to help Be Present during work/family time.
1. Turn of the phone! Or at least put it on vibrate at certain/predetermined times of the day - Make yourself a cut off and stick to it at least 80 percent of the time! I know it is impossible to do at times when you are super slammed and the only available time is in the evenings or during "kid time"...but try!
2. Designate a time of the day to spend quality time with each kid doing what it is that they want to do! Nora doesn't really express what she "wants to do" to me...but I do know that she likes it when we read books and tickle before nap and bedtime. I always send Mason out of the room and spend just that 20 minutes or so concentrating on her and I and it is really enjoyable! Mason, on the other hand, wants to do something different everyday. I try to spend the first 30 minutes of Nora's nap with him doing an activity before he has his quiet time in his room. It is good for all involved! I enjoy the time, they have my attention, and it allows them to be more independent when I really need to get something done!
3. Make your work hours efficient! When you do have time in your "office," treat it just like you are in a corporate setting (I will expound on this later) Don't get hung up on the cleanliness of your house, or all the laundry that needs doing...designate those work hours and do just that...work! If you had the privileged (or chore) of walking out the door everyday...you would not be muddying the work hours with household tasks...it is not an option! I am not saying never mix the two (that is impossible) but designate an hour or two (or how ever long you need) to just work every day...it will make all the other daily tasks more enjoyable and allow you to be more productive in the end!
Some of these tips will become future posts I am sure....What about you? Anyone have any good tips to help you be present in your family life while still running your business? Add them to the comment thread...we would all love to hear them!