Being a working mum has its challenges, whether you’re a stay at home mum (and yes that is one of the toughest gigs around), work full or part-time, or like me run your own business. The juggle is real and in the current coronavirus climate there seem to be more balls in the air than ever before. Here are just one working mum’s confessions and self-revelations.
Confession 1: My wine glass is half full
We are 7 weeks into coronavirus home working, and it has brought back memories of where b.box all began. It feels like a lifetime and yet also only yesterday, that Monique and I started b.box, working from home and picking and packing orders from her garage.
We both had little bubs at the time and worked on every facet of the business – the juggle was real. But we loved it. Building something innovative, bold, brave.These values continue to be the pulse of b.box. Our response to the challenges of coronavirus has seen us all adapt, make bold decisions and continue to think outside the box.
Our marketing team has unleashed their creativity, coming up with new ways to connect with our b.box tribe. Our design team have continued to innovate with new products set to shake up the market with that b.box difference. Our sales team has been on the front foot working with our retailers to ensure we are all as strong as we can be on the other side. And our dedicated warehouse crew have been working to make sure orders are dispatched to our customers in Australia and around the world.
Today those b.box bubs are now at school and instead of hanging out on playmats at our feet, are at the other end of the dining table – remote learning.
The juggle is still real, but now more than ever I am grateful that I get to do what I love every day, with people I love doing it with. I am also learning that it’s okay to drop a ball... they usually bounce.
Confession 2: i'm less stressed
I know this is a controversial one, but it’s true, for me anyway.
In my “normal” world, aka non-coronavirus isolation, when I am not on a plane, I am in the office early with the theory of getting work done before the day kicks off. Then it’s back-to-back meetings before bolting out of the office to either drop off, or pick up kids from one, or other of their activities. Then hopping back online to finish some work. And I haven’t even made dinner yet!
The to-do list is a long one and quite often the end of the day arrives, and the list has gotten longer.
Now, my commute to the office is about 20 seconds. When I am sitting at my desk (albeit it in my activewear – confession 2a), I am more productive and focused on the task at hand.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m missing the office banter, kitchen coffee chats and collaboration that is our modus operandi at b.box, but we’re still in sync and connected – albeit online.And my to-do list is finally getting shorter each day. I have even found the time to do the things I never seem to have time to do – like decluttering – both my PC desktop and my pantry!
"If you’re a full time working mum, whether that is working part-time, being a stay at home mum (the toughest gig in town), run your own business or juggling full time work and family life, we all need to cut ourselves some slack. We’re doing great and having this time to reflect, breath and be able to reconnect as a family has reminded me that I don’t have to be superhuman."
Confession 3: i'm A Better parent
I am less frazzled, frustrated and frantic – basically I am shouting a lot less.
Being at home has forced us all to take a breath. We’ve dusted off those board games and puzzles. The kids have rediscovered their bikes. We’ve been cooking and eating meals together. I think my kids had forgotten I can cook, as opposed to take out or meals we can prep in 10 mins flat. And I am loving dusting off my cookbooks for inspo.The kids have also been more conscious of connecting with their grandparents and great grandparents. We’ve even had Zoom cooking classes with nana – a new favourite.
It’s the little things that are having the biggest impact! All of us are more present. And I know I am feeling almost no mummy guilt. Not something I ever thought I’d feel again.
If you’re a full time working mum, whether that is working part-time, being a stay at home mum (the toughest gig in town), run your own business or juggling full time work and family life, we all need to cut ourselves some slack. We’re doing great and having this time to reflect, breath and be able to reconnect as a family has reminded me that I don’t’ have to be superhuman.
I just need to be me – mum, CEO, wife and friend. And funnily enough, I think I am doing better at each of these than I ever have before. And based on the extra hugs I’m getting from my kids, I’d say they agree.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all had a toddler tantrum or two, but the usual eye rolls have been replaced by more laughter and I love yous – even from Miss 16. And I’m loving how creative they are all being. It’s amazing what they’ve created with all the boxes that have piled up with the increase in home deliveries and online shopping!We talk about building resilience in our kids, and I think mission accomplished.
The challenges of online learning, especially with a primary school age, have increased both hers and my resilience. The kids are also pitching in more with household chores and somehow, they are annoying each other less. And while they are ready to go back to school and Zoom dance classes aren’t quite the same as the “real thing”, they do concede it has been nice to have this time together. And I admit, I’ll miss it too.
Confession 4: i'm HEALTHIER AND HAPPIER
I usually struggle to fit exercise into my day. Well, thanks to coronavirus I am ISOfit. I’ve been walking and doing pilates every day and I’m feeling refreshed, more energised and calmer.
My brain is actually switching off, so I’m sleeping better. And I am eating smarter. Which adds up to a happier, healthier, less stressed and hopefully kinder me. This is something I plan to nurture and protect when we go back to the real world.
Ah….the real world. While none of us has a crystal ball and know what the world post coronavirus will look like, for this working mum, I will reread these confessions as a reminder of the positives this period has shown me. I also hope we continue to see dolphins and jellyfish swimming in the canals of Venice.
Hi I'm Dan! one of the owners of b.box for kids, the Australian company shaking up the industry with products that are as funky as they are functional. For me it’s all about applying my creative thinking, marketing, business development, entrepreneurship and business strategy expertise to take our company next level and sharing some of our lessons learned with other entrepreneurs along the way.