Hello, how are you all doing? I was asked to give at talk at the Work At Home Expo in Manila last Saturday about Balancing Business Home and Heart. As a work at home mom of two kids, this can get challenging. Here is what I talked about and how I am trying to live by these personal principles of mine everyday.
I realized that when I am juggling many things at the same time, some naturally have to give. I handle anywhere from 3 to 7 interior design projects at one time, I am also building my brand and this blog while homeschooling the kids. In between all of this I need to be a homemaker, wife and mother. Arranging my priorities makes me aware of what is most important and reminds me to put things into perspective. This is the sequence that I’ve come to embrace and Bible truths have convinced me to arrange my priorities this way. When I don’t begin my day with God, I can not be a patient mother or a loving wife. I get anxious and tend to rely on my own self.
While there are days that seem to be ideal, I am often in a rush, counting minutes to fit all my task in a day so I try to start mornings with a quick Bible reading to fill my soul. I pray to God anytime I remember to, in the car at traffic and before bedtime. When I don’t fill myself with Scripture, I can get stressed, impatient and critical of others. I also try to plan my day and read things on my to do list during the morning.
If there is one thing that really gives, it would have to be marriage because my husband and I both work at different hours of the day and we are apart during this time. We can get caught up with daily things and we get so used to being with the kids as stay at home working moms so prioritizing our husbands sometimes has to be a conscious effort. The suggestions above were things told to me by my close mentors and I am trying to do these everyday. A few minutes of catching up before we sleep means alot to me and quick calls and text messages during the day connects us with each other.
Ahh.. put down the gadgets to spend real-time with the kids. This is one thing I am often guilty of! I could be at the playroom with them but I am really answering emails on my mobile phone. I still have to work and get things done so what I do is try to spend sometime during the day with them when I focus on just them alone. This mostly happens before for bedtime. We play, read books, read the Bible , pray then cuddle to sleep.
After we’ve got our priorities nailed down we can plan our days based on this. Some things are constant like how my mornings are reserved for my husband and homeschooling. Meetings, work and events happen at the afternoon, and week ends are reserved for my husband.
I’ve found that using planners help a lot. In my talk I share the different tools I create for my home like grocery lists, cleaning schedules and daily schedules to keep things orderly at home. One thing that has truly helped keep things organized at home is to get into the habit of putting things back as soon as you are finished. I’ve been trying to teach my house help to put the knife and plate straight into the sink after chopping a quick snack for the kids instead of leaving it on the counter to “clean up later”. The kids know that they should pack away immediately and keep the playroom tidy before they do something else. It pays to do things immediately rather then later.
With regards to my business, I do a lot on my mobile phone. I have an accountant, another girl who does all my drafting and computer design and another girl who helps me with sourcing. We do almost everything virtually because I never really planned to grow my Interior design business into something big because the kids and my husband are priority. I also happen to like blogging and I am concentrating on growing my brand as well as two other ventures, Wholemom being one of them. I like to take projects as they come and ensure quality when I do them. My afternoons are spent doing jobsite visits, meeting clients or shopping for design styling. I also hold shoots, and attend events during this time because I’ve learned to embrace delegating. The kids have their nanny, and I let my staff help me with things I can not personally answer too because I am mobile.
That’s pretty much how my life and daily work goes. It can be overwhelming but I am totally enjoying it because I have learned the principle of prioritizing, planning and delegating. How do you balance life as a working individual? Would love to hear from others.