Earlier this week, I shared with you why I started blogging, with a little insight into where we are with it all. Another question I get asked a lot is how and when do I work. I feel like it’s a little ironic for me to write this because I have yet to figure it all out. I am actually sitting here planning for what work / life and two babies will look like when we have a newborn and everything changes again. So maybe I will end up revisiting this post again in a year and let you know what it looks like with two babes. I do want to share where I am with it now and what our schedule looks like most days.
When I decided to stay home and pursue blogging, I had a 3-month-old. I couldn’t handle leaving him every day, but working was a lot easier because he slept so much and wasn’t mobile. What I did find challenging was turning off my mind. I was terribly exhausted and would often lay in bed at night thinking through a checklist of all the things I didn’t get done or things I still needed to do. I’d find myself checking emails when I was in the middle of playing with him, and it honestly just made me feel miserable.
I’m a super type A person, so it was hard to not get things done on certain timelines and such. So I decided I needed to change the way things were going, and really focus on being intentional with my time. So I did. I picked times of the day I would work, and then times of the day I would shut off from it and be with my husband and babe. Ian is the same way. Because we both own our own companies, there is potential to never stop working and never shut off our phones. But on the flip side, all of our mentors have taught us that success isn’t being a workaholic, it’s being intentional, and sometimes ruthless, with your time. And in any industry, especially creative, turning things off can help your productivity level and help you from getting burned out.
Right now, I typically pick two or more days where I work really hard during nap time and right after bedtime. We also pick one day a week where we shoot all our images for upcoming post and blogs. This has really helped me from feeling like I need to live and breathe with my camera and laptop attached to me.
I also feel like it really keeps pressure off from our family time together, everything needing to be picture perfect all the time and my friends feeling like when I spend the day with them, there needs to be a photo op. I also try to be intentional about when I have my phone out. If I tell Cove we’re going to do something, it means he has my undivided attention. Same with Ian. Date nights and play time are reserved for just them. We also make a habit of eating dinner together as many nights of the week as possible so we have devoted family time and conversation.
Parts of work-life balance are sacrificing certain things. Not our priorities, but other things. Instead of getting to rest, read or work on housework during nap time, I’m sitting at a laptop. Instead of binge-watching Netflix at night, I’m working. (Although occasionally I can do both of those, haha.) This is what I chose when I decided to do this, so I don’t throw myself pity parties. I work on keeping the house tidy as much as possible on the days I’m not working or getting our house, laundry and meal prep done on Sundays.
There are also parts of my life I don’t sacrifice for work. One of them is my time with Cove. When I quit my other job, it was to be home with my him and I meant that. I don’t sacrifice the time I have with him. I also don’t give up things like my quiet time or working out because they are both important to me.
I don’t let my work take away from my time with Ian. We plan regular date nights, schedule family dates and say no to a lot of things so we can have time together. And I have to say, Ian is a HUGE help. I’ve never felt like I am alone in anything because he is always helping me when he’s not working. He has probably taught me more about work-life balance than anyone else because he is a rockstar at it. He is one of the hardest working people I know, but super good at prioritizing and saying no to things so that he has time for Cove and I and he can still do well at his job. And when he’s not working, he’s with us 100 percent. And I love that.
I know people have mixed reviews on working moms and that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But one of the things I hope and pray my children see is that their mom and any mom can still be incredibly hard working (with or without a job) and still be there to play on the floor and live life to the fullest with them. And for the mom’s who do have jobs, how cool is it that they get to see a new generation of entrepreneurs who said “Hey, I can and want to do both”. And if anything, the world of technology has given not only dads, but moms the flexibility to do just that.
So I may be laughing at myself three months from now when it’s all I can do to grab a few extra minutes of sleep. But the main things I wanted to share here are that 1. I don’t really have it figured out. 2. What I do know is not just work and life needs balancing, but everything does. Social media, working out, TV, time with your friends, extracurricular activities, etc. These are all things that take time from your life and time with your family. And NONE of them are necessarily bad, but they all need to be done in balance because the hours go by fast, as we all know. 3. Prioritizing keeps it all in check. What things are you willing to sacrifice and what things are you not? Write out a list if you have to, and revisit it every few months with your spouse. Somehow life has a way of sneaking things onto that list or getting you in a position where you feel like a chicken with your head cut off. Those are the times, Ian and I sit down together and say, “Okay, what do we need to fix on the list and what do we need to say no to in order to protect the most important things?”
This is one of my favorite sweaters, and I am about to not be able to wear it anymore, because it’s non-maternity and the bump is falling out of it, haha. You can snag it here.
You can find the rest of my outfit linked below.