Every time I get an invitation to go to a women’s networking event, I can barely contain my excitement. Where some find inspiration in religion, the beach or meditation; I find it in listening to others’ stories about their personal and business journeys. Yesterday was the peak of inspiration for me.
At a gorgeous and virtually unmodified country town, I met with over 50 other women… to have tea.
You all know how much I LOVE tea. Assortments of new, old and unique tea cups filled the centre of the table and around them, was an unbelievable spread of cakes, scones, cheeses, slice and more. All created by Love in a Cake. Needless to say, I stuffed myself stupid and marvelled at the amazingness of what I was seeing. It was a spread, unlike all others.
My good friend Jess owns a floristry business called Poppy & Fern. We went together, and probably should have spent more time networking with other amazing business women, but as young working mums who run businesses, this was one of those rare opportunities to catch up. So we did 🙂 Just as I felt my stomach start to roll over the top of my jeans as a result of way too much sweet goodness, we were ushered to our seats. I grabbed a piece of brownie on the way through, just for good measure.
Our speakers talked about their blogs and most interestingly, about their journey to success through blogging.
It was amazing.
Jess and I kept looking at each other as a sign of ‘hell yes’ each and every time they said something that resonated with us. All three of these women were in a similar situation to us… trying to run a business with a young family. Bingo.
This is the shit I was interested in hearing all about.
There has GOT to be a better way to do things. Not sneaking out into the office while Peppa Pig is on, just to write half an email back to a client and then have to shhhh Amelia when she comes in to see what I’m up to. I’ve gotten a hell of a lot better at not working in front of the baby. I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want her to look back at her childhood and say things like ‘mummy was always at work’ or ‘mummy is always on the computer’ or ‘mummy never had time to play with me’.
But just as I was wading through my guilt, something amazing happened. A lady (who wasn’t a guest speaker) was asked to share an email that she had received from her 25 year old daughter a few days ago.
Here’s what it was about…
Her daughter had moved to England a couple of years ago and had set up a business. Her email to her mother was to say thank you.
Thanking her for instilling a strong work ethic in her.
Thanking her for demonstrating the positive outcome that hard work brings.
Thanking her for teaching her that when you live and work on your passion, abundance comes.
Thanking her for being an amazing role model.
Thanking her for the time that she’d spend away from work, with her daughter, just being a mum. You see, this young girl’s business in England was now booming, and she owed it all to her mum.
All morning I had listened to people speak about how they got thousands of blog readers, or how they went about creating content for their blog or how they developed their new app that had just made it to #1 in the app store.
But it was THIS STORY that I was destined to hear and react to. I wasn’t prepared for this to happen, but at that very moment, every little bit of guilt that I was carrying as a working mum, disappeared.
I realised that by being a working, business-owning mum I am actually GIVING Amelia something quite bloody incredible… not taking anything away from her. From me, she is learning that when I get up everyday and go to work, work hard, follow my passions and make sacrifices; I am being an amazing role model for her and what I want for her in her life. I am saying to her that by working hard, she can live any life she wants. Maybe she won’t want to be a teacher, or a business owner (God I hope she doesn’t) or a mother. But it is possible to do more than just survive… she can thrive.
Mummy guilt can bugger off!
This is where all the dots join up for me, because upon further reflection I have realised that this is what I watched my mother do too.
She went back to work when I was a toddler. She was a working mum. Working as a nurse on shifts, being a mum and studying at uni. What I have observed and learnt from her; Amelia is now watching and observing me do as well.
This is HUGE. I love that Amelia is learning the value of hard work by seeing it and experiencing it first hand. Her and I still play, make, create (but with no glitter lol), chat, dream, wonder, explore and love.. but I feel that my ‘family time’ (although not rich in quantity) is high in QUALITY.
And there it is. My work/life harmony.
However you choose to live your dreams, don’t feel guilty about it.
If you want to work, then work.
If you want to stay at home, then stay at home.
If you want to do both, then do both (and hang on for dear life).
Do whatever works for YOU because at the end of the day, if your children are loved and cared for, and you’re happy and fulfilled, then everyone will be happy. Don’t feel guilty about it.
I chat a lot about mummy guilt over on my Facebook page. See you there!