TGB Insider: How to strike a balance between work & parenthood
By Scratch Staff | 10 April 2019 | Business, Feature, Health & wellbeing, Tech Talk
The Gel Bottle Inc team offer advice for nail techs in the first in their blog series for Scratch…
A work/life/family balance is something most of us pursue in our lives, but never seem to quiet nail down completely. In today’s world, we’re constantly bombarded by social media telling us we should be able to ‘do it all’ – have a career, a family, kids, friends and pets while also looking after ourselves and not feel suffocated. If, like me, you are fascinated by this concept, keep on reading to get an insight into how, at TGB, we try to ‘do it all’… and also how we all too often fail (‘cause even we aren’t superheroes!).
When starting your own business, a common mistake is to try and follow someone else’s version of success.
Our personal situations differ greatly from each another and the last thing we should be focusing on is trying to do what other people do, thinking this will also work for us. For some people, success is the flexibility to work from home and have more time with family, for others it is owning a salon and making a dent in the industry. There is no right or wrong, just different versions of success.
The Gel Bottle Inc founder, Daisy Kalnina, comments: “When I was first setting up my business, I had three young kids to look after and was living in a foreign country without my family nearby or a close support group to rely on. I wanted to be there for my children while also building my career and company to then provide for their future. This is when I knew I had to learn the so called work/life/family balance.”
The first few years of every business often take a lot of effort, sweat and tears with minimal time off and maximum levels of stress. “I took one week off in one whole year, comments Anna Schaschke, TGB educator. “I worked long days with no breaks sometimes six days a week to make sure I was busy and my business was growing. And by doing so, well – it did.”
Endless working hours and zero time for yourself shouldn’t be the norm, but we all take different routes to achieve our individual goals.
Once again there is no right or wrong, and if you want to work your butt off non stop for a couple of years to then step back and enjoy it, you go girl!
PART 1 – WORK & PARENTHOOD
Daisy, the team at TGB HQ and TGB educators reveal how having kids impacts on their work/family balance.
Faye Fitzjohn, TGB educator: “Undoubtedly, work was easier before children. I didn’t have to juggle childcare, school runs, school holidays and the demands of a child however I wouldn’t change any of it. I had to work split shifts, alternate weekends, evenings and rely on family to help me look after my daughter.”
Kayleigh Marley, TGB educator: “Before children I worked every hour needed in and on my business. When you have children, this is no longer possible! I do like my routine and not being able to always have it is something I struggled with and sometimes still struggle with today! It’s all a big learning curve to figure out what does and doesn’t work. As a family with two young children, each day can be very different!”
Amy Rickaby, TGB ambassador: “Making time for children is absolutely vital. I find that working on clients is a controlled environment as you work to your appointment times. However, the social media aspect means you can get lost in another world and before you know it, three hours have passed answering messages updating social media and I may have forgotten to feed the kids! Working hours and screen times are set and have to be stuck to by the best of my ability as it can be to tempting just to check that one message.”
Ben Watson, TGB customer service: “You just have to make the most of the time you do have…evenings/early mornings and every second on the weekends. It is really hard because my son has a more loving relationship with his mum as they have bonds and connections in everything, but we have playtime, bath time and bed time and I would never do anything to jeopardise missing that as that is my only time with him.”
Sharon Byrne Ne Webb, TGB educator: “My family time has definitely suffered as last year I was working 3-4 weeks without a day off, I would have one day off then work another 3-4 weeks and so on. I would feel and get upset when my nine year old daughter would say ‘oh what are we doing today?’ I’d be like ‘oh I’m working again so you will be doing stuff with your dad’. I felt like such a bad mum. It was at Christmas, while everyone was doing lovely Christmas events and I would be working again and my daughter would be missing out. I said to myself – I can’t keep doing this! You never get the years back with your kids. So this year I make family time a priority. I still sometimes work two weeks without a day off but I’m definitely having more weekends off.”
Kirstan Hart, TGB ambassador: “I try my best to put the phone down after work, have play and dinner time with bubs and once he’s in bed tackle all my social media and client enquiries.”
The main thing is to learn how to make the most of your situation, if you’re lucky enough to have family and friends to help with childcare – ask them! If you are a single parent try to split the childcare 50/50. Don’t do it all yourself!
Daisy Kalnina comments: “What saved me at the time of starting up was hiring a nanny; a young student looking for a little extra cash and available at a moments notice. It really doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. I calculated the cost of my nanny and detracted it from the cost of the services I offered (i.e. living wage nanny and £20/£30 services). Sometimes it didn’t leave me with much profit but I knew to keep on going as my children would grow and soon enough have proper full time care and I would be able to have more regular clients.”
TOP TIPS FOR A WORK/LIFE BALANCE:
- Turn your phone off. This is the most obvious of things, but also the hardest for anyone to do. If you’re wanting to spend some quality time with your children, switch off your phone for a couple of hours. You can give them your full attention and have a break from work, too.
- Schedule admin and social media time for the evenings, once the kids have gone to bed. During this time, try and focus on this task alone. Turn off the TV and remove any distractions, this will allow for you to get it done quicker and have some all important quality time looking after yourself or spending time with your partner. Remember, to be the best parent you can be, you need to first be the best you you can be!
- Dedicate at least one day per week to really focus on your kids and do fun stuff, Sundays work best for most and you can use the distraction of having fun with your kids to really turn off from work for a day. Giving yourself a break from work, even if it’s only once per week can really help you to feel refreshed and focussed towards your goals come Monday. We recommend setting up an automatic response on this day to let your clients know you’re out of office and will be back soon to respond.Tune back in two weeks for Part 2!