Guest blogger Naomi Richards is a Life Coach for Children. Here she explains how she organises her time with her own children and her clients.
I don’t think it is possible to have it all when you are a working mum especially when you are very passionate about the work you do and even more so when it is your own business.
Most women choose a job that fits in with the hours their children are at school or nursery. Me, I decided not to go down that route. I work when my children are asleep at night and at the weekend. Consequently I am nurturing my children most of the day and being the best mum I can be and then at night I become the ‘The Kids Coach’ – a life coach for children – who works with other people’s children helping them overcome their emotional and behavioural issues.
Thankfully despite being around children all day I am still very focused and charged up in my coaching sessions in the evening. I almost work best when tired. The bit that I find the toughest about being a working mum is fitting in the housework. Other mumpreneurs find it easy and just don’t do it. I have to. In my head being organised and having a tidy house means I am not distracted by dirty mugs in the sink or a pile of ironing.
Fitting both the ‘mum’ and ‘business’ elements into my day is fairly demanding so I start my day at 6.30am by putting washing on and tidying the house so I have more time to work during the day and at night. After evening client sessions I can often be ironing, catching on any TV I cannot live without or writing.
I think my long days are a small compromise to pay in return for me having the chance to have a job that I am so passionate about. I can only work with my target audience, children, after school and at the weekends as they are at school the rest of the time, so my time when my own children are not with me is made up of writing articles for websites, writing blogs and articles, having meetings with organisations and contacts, running group sessions and do admin. My youngest is only 2 ½ so I get three hours child free a day to do this.
Once I pick him up from nursery my time is spent with him unless he falls asleep on the sofa which seems to be happening regularly now. My work then starts again properly once both my children are in bed at 7pm. I eat with my children at about 5pm so I don’t have to bother about cooking later and then I start seeing clients (children) from 7.15pm. I have to say it is pretty regimented and scheduled but if the children are not asleep when my first child arrives I am in trouble. Thank goodness it has not happened yet. On Sunday mornings my, luckily hands-on, husband will take our children for several hours so I can work privately – otherwise I would be turning away work and no business woman wants to do that. So it is really is a bit of a muddle and a juggle.
As a mum regardless of working or not, I have very little family support to help out with the children so when I want to go to a conference, or attend a meeting during the day I either have to plan this for a morning or ask my husband to take time off work for me to go. It is not ideal but the only way I can grow the business and know that the children are good hands when I am not around, oh and they love that extra daddy time. My children do not feel they are missing out of me working and my husband supports my work. We spend time together at the weekends, go out just the two of us for dinner and have late night chats to catch up on what everyone is doing. I see my friends around clients, a quick coffee when I need a break from work and at the weekends so I feel balanced with all aspects of my life.
I think because I am working I bring more into our relationship, my self-esteem is higher and I feel fulfilled therefore am happier.
I try and make myself accessible to parents and children who need help. It is hard given that there are very few coaches out there who work with children and coaching is so beneficial to this group. My working life will not change for the foreseeable future and as I get busier I may be working all day Sunday. My main priority at the moment are my children. I want them to have me at home when they come back from school and I want to put my energy and expertise into them so they grow into responsible well balanced children who can problem solve. That’s why I use no wrap around childcare. I like my work/life balance, albeit a little topsy turvy.
For more details of the work Naomi Richards does with children please visit www.thekidscoach.org.uk