Soon enough you will be hearing about both of our journeys juggling motherhood and running a business. But since Court just had her sweet little baby, she has plenty of time to soak up those snuggles on her maternity leave before figuring all that out. So on this episode of Duo On Air, you are getting a sneak peek into Abbey’s world with two little toddlers. Buckle up, because it’s not a neat little schedule that’s for sure.
It’s so hard to find a balance between work time and mom time. We want to spend all our time with our kids, yet we also have a business we love. We are constantly torn between the two. Chances are this struggle will never fade. We are always going to have to make sacrifices somewhere. So while I come to you on this episode sharing what works for me; it’s not a science. I hope it gives you freedom and inspiration to dream up a world where you can do both. You can be both a mom and a CEO and you can love every minute of it.
My Current Schedule
With summer approaching, I wanted to take a second to talk about my current schedule. If I’ve learned anything in these last four years of motherhood, it’s that my schedule doesn’t stay consistent for long. My boys are (almost) 3 and 4, so they’re not quite in full-time schooling yet. Which means your options are usually daycare, nannies or families. Ever since my oldest was born, I’ve always worked with my boys — those old corporate days included. I asked for two days at home, and my managers supported me in that.
I had to learn our schedule together. From nap time to knowing when he’s happiest, when I can take calls, what our breastfeeding schedule is like so on. I made it work, even at a corporate level, without a lot of childcare. Moving into our early days with Duo, I had 3 days of childcare for my oldest and zero for my youngest. For 18 months I worked with Remi. This is the beauty of entrepreneurship. You don’t need to succumb to the pressure of typical childcare options.
Now that my boys are full blown humans, I realized that it was easier when they were younger. It’s no longer easy to focus when chaos is happening in the background 🙃 My boys need me all in, I can’t half work / half play. So, yet again we adjust. Sometimes I don’t want to change my schedule, but my boys change it for me. And that’s okay! Seasons of life require flexibility with schedules.
So right now I manage to maintain my workload with one full day and three half days of work. I lean on my mom for my CEO Mondays and the boys attend preschool Tuesday to Thursday for 3 hours a day. Sometimes they nap and sometimes I work. Every afternoon is a little different. I’ve learned to roll with the punches (usually). Don’t get me wrong, I still fail a lot. I over book myself. I find myself being anxious instead of being present with my boys. And I definitely lose my temper. Me, nor my schedule, is perfect.
How I Juggle Work Time vs. Mom Time
This whole episode is about doing what works for you! I just wanted to share what works for me so maybe it can help you dream up your own juggling schedule. With that sad, here are some things that help me balance my time:
- Scheduler links for calls. It helps me set boundaries and stick to my schedule!
- Calls when my boys have childcare. I used to do nap time calls, but that proved to be painful.
- Lean on family/friends if you can.
- Leave a chunk of time for just work. No calls. Say hello to CEO Days!
- I am most productive in the morning, so I prioritize that time for the things that need my best attention.
- I found that I am a better human when I separate vs. trying to do both.
If I find myself wishing for a different setup, I change it. Remember, what works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for you. You are allowed to make your own rules. My best advice is to sit down and map out your perfect schedule. I did this recently per the recommendation of a book I loved called Take Back Your Time. In doing this exercise, I found that my perfect schedule meant I only work 16 hours a week. It was eye-opening, and I am not quite there, but I am working towards it, and that’s what matters.
I am outsourcing, aligning my business goals with my life goals, and realizing that more doesn’t always mean more. It’s okay to say no to a business opportunity if it doesn’t align with my family’s goals. Better yet, and more importantly, my business can still grow even if I say no.
Regardless of where you are in your journey, I hope this inspires you to take ownership in your schedule. Where you can and prioritize whatever you need, whether that be a season of prioritizing work in the short term or family. Because neither is wrong.
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Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective, or to inquire about working with our team, head over to www.duocollective.com.
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