Breakfast prepared and wolfed down? Check. Teeth washing/hair brushing/face cleaning/bag packing supervised? Check. Snacks/games kits/coats and shoes dished out? Check. School run done and dusted? Check. And it’s not even 8.30am.
Now all that remains is to deal with the carnage that has been left behind before getting on with YOUR stuff. Sound familiar?
It’s not exactly the most calming start to the day.
And yet if you are an ambitious, multi-tasking mama who also either runs her own business or works for someone else, this is just part of the course. It’s called the MAMA JUGGLE.
It’s just one more responsibility that was secretly allocated to you when you unwittingly signed the motherhood contract (from which you are never allowed to resign): managing the house and all of its contents, their upkeep and emotional wellbeing…
Which is fine. Because we are designed to cope. We are multi-tasking machines. (Until we burn out).
Where the difficulty lies however, is in switching successfully from one role to another. In getting closure on the first without any twinges of mama guilt for not having done it ‘well enough’ tainting the next.
So how DO you manage the mama juggle?
Well, it’s all about the transition: it’s about creating a bit of psychic space between removing your mama hat and donning your business one.
And here are my 6 favourite ways to do so:
If your office is at home, domestic chores often seem like a very tempting alternative to work (anything to avoid getting stuck into something a little more mentally taxing - especially if you are feeling tired). But rather than see housework as a distraction away from work, I believe that a couple of small chores can be quite a good way to transition into work mode, especially if you are sensitive to your surroundings and function better when in a tidy environment (or if you're a Virgoan neat-freak like me). This is however a potentially lethal, slippery slope that demands immense self-control. You therefore need to limit yourself to just the few tasks that feel like they are impeding a zen mind and not get carried away into embarking on a spring clean of the whole house. Keep an eye on the time and focus on why you are tidying/cleaning/clearing away: it is purely as a means to an end.
This works well if you are the one taking the kids to school. Because even if you commute by car you receive a blast of fresh air on the way to the car and perhaps also from the car to the school or from the car to your workplace. However small this blast is, savour it, fill up your lungs and let it blow away the psychic cobwebs associated with being a mama. See it as an infusion of turbo powermama juice. If you're not in charge of school runs, open a window in the room in which you work before getting stuck in. Let it edge into all the corners and clear out any stale energy. When you're starting to feel a little cold, you've done the trick!
I think I seem to slip this little baby into every list I ever write but that's because it's just so damn useful at supporting us to connect with our true selves. Sitting for just one whole minute in silence, noticing that stillness, feeling the earth at your feet - always supporting you, being aware of how you are sitting, what you are feeling in that moment (emotionally and physically) and allowing yourself to connect to that spark of energy that you are (underneath all of your many roles), never fails to work a treat.
Do something symbolic to separate the current 'you' from the 'you' that was previously busy doing something else. The best rituals involve the senses because they force you out of your monkey mind and into the present moment. So do something that lights up the sense that evokes the strongest emotions in you. For example: light a candle, make yourself a cup of tea, draw a goddess card, have a little stretch or dance, repeat an inspiring mantra...
This will do wonders for your self-confidence. Pick one (small) item off your to-do list which you know you can achieve in the time slot you have available. It can either be a stand-alone thing or a small step that will take you closer to a bigger goal. And make sure you do it. It's so easy to get bogged down in the quagmire of our dreams and feel like we never have quite enough time to get truly stuck in. But if you manage to smash through one small action at a time, you'll be amazed at how quickly your really big goals start to seem manageable and achievable.
I find that one of the hardest aspects of having more than one role, is leaving the one most associated with mama guilt behind. So to help you get closure on it at the end of your time slot, rather than feeling you can't let it go because you didn't do a 'good enough' job, make a mental list of three things that you either achieved or did really well. And allow yourself to feel proud. You are bound to feel that there are things that you didn't do brilliantly or that you didn't manage to fully tick off the list but if you focus on what you did do well, these seem to ebb away into the distance.
Let me know how you get on, multi-tasking supermamas! And tell me, what are your favourite ways to transition from mama to entrepreneur and back again? Please share in the comments box below!
Are you fulfilling your greatest potential, mama? Are you getting paid to do what you love whilst parenting in a calm and positive way? Are you feeling happy and fulfilled both at work and at home? Because you deserve to! Book a complimentary discovery session with me on skype (no strings attached) and we can explore taking concrete steps towards creating a life in which you feel motivated and in control once more!