We are about to enter into a new season with the arrival of our second child and I feel both nervous and excited for what the next few months will bring. As I contemplate adding another little human to our tribe, I have also begun thinking about the future and what balancing family and work will look like for us. Throughout this pregnancy I have had many conversations with my working Mumma friends and I have concluded that this is a hard age and stage to be having a family. We are just getting good at what we do, becoming established and building momentum as we move ahead with our hopes and dreams for our businesses. Then our babies arrive. We love them, cherish them and give them all of ourselves. There is little time, energy, or mind space left to continue working towards our goals. And work life balance. What even is that illusive idea we all strive towards?!
I always assumed once Dave and I had kids it would be easy to push work aside and focus exclusively on raising a family. But to be honest it hasn’t been. I often feel guilty because I feel like I should be giving more to my friends, family and community. I fight the desire to have a career as I feel this makes me a less focused mother. Some days I feel pulled in many directions and I want to go down all of them. More recently I carry the mental load of what having time off will mean. I worry that as I go on leave the work I have invested into my business will be lost, does anyone else identify?!
I think it’s normal to have these feelings about being a working Mum and not being perfect at it all. For me taking some time off to go on maternity leave means respecting the season that I am in. I don’t want to wish away my babies first year and I am learning that just because my focus is on my family life now, doesn’t mean I have to give up my passions and ideas and dreams for my business, they will still be there when I return. Being self employed I think it is particularly hard to stop. The inquiries will keep rolling in and most jobs are not finished even when you push send on a gallery. To make it easier to stop or at least slow down, I’ve added a couple of members to my team and they will help carry the load when I can’t.
In finishing I want to say thank you for all the support and kind words as we prepare for the arrival Gilmour #2. I have a small group of wonderful, loyal people that follow my work and engage with my business. Some of you have already started sending the kindest messages of encouragement as we prepare for our early Christmas present. I feel seriously blessed for having such lovely people that have come into my life. I’ll miss you but see you again soon.
Much love, Ruth