can you ever get that perfect work/life balance?

So here’s a blog which I’ve been trying to write for some time… by some time I mean months because the above mentioned balance is never easy to find.

The irony of this post is that between the sentence above and this one I’ve done the school run, taken the girl child to swimming lessons (my most hated thing ever) and grabbed a pitiful food shop because I cant think of anything worse than dragging a soaking and apparently starved 7 year old and a 3 year old who’s wired to the moon around Tescos.

So, back to the reason I’m writing this.

I get emailed on almost a weekly basis from florists who are about to start a family or florists who are struggling to push their business while looking after their families looking for ‘advice’. I’m guessing I must appear to have my shit together and that’s why these emails and messages come my way…

In reality, I’m winging it. Every. Day.

I’m not a mumsy mum and I feel it’s important to mention this. I’m not the mum who has the baby and throws herself into every postnatal class and baby group going. I haven’t signed my kids up to every after school club and so on. That’s not me and I take my hat off to those mums who dedicate their every waking hour to their kids because I couldn’t do that. I love my job because it allows my brain to function, it allows for me to be Emma and not mum. Whether I’m working on big events, writing blog posts/articles or pulling together quotes for weddings - that is me in my element.

So to answer the most common question of ‘how do you manage to run a business/shop with a baby?’ I guess my answer would be with a baby carrier, a boob to feed on tap (if you can/choose to), an incredibly supporting husband, caffeine, patience and quite a few sweary words.

Some days went swimmingly, others I was sat on the floor behind the desk sobbing. No two days were the same but we got there. As Cody found his feet I lost a few vases but gained the most smiley and happy wee boy. He would jump happily in the massive flood he had made while I desperately tried to mop up said flood before a customer came in, slipped and fired a lawsuit at me.

I never attempted computer work while at the shop with Cody around. I always left emails, quotes, website work etc to the evenings when Chris got home and could distract the little psychos so I could switch back to Em and function without the distraction of the boy child abseiling off of the TV unit.

Now Cody is at nursery part time and Shyla is in school the work/life balance has definitely become easier. I have time during the day to get my computer work blitzed, quotes sent out and articles written… it’s awesome. I’ve even found time to launch a second business which is keeping my brain even happier with it’s new workload.

I have to be honest, without a supportive husband I probably would have crumbled at some point. He has been there through all of my highs and lows. He has always offered advice but never pushed me to give up or to work harder and he has listened to every crazy idea I’ve had. He doesn’t get annoyed when I’m sat at 11pm re-designing the website or when I suggest we spend a Sunday going round hotels collecting my vases from weddings that weekend. Instead he will watch a series on Netflix while I do computer work and we’ll turn our Sunday vase collecting into a trip around parts of the country with a picnic.

Over the years I have also learnt to ask for help when Im struggling. It’s something I’ve never liked doing but I realised the worst anyone can say is no.

Chris’s family live locally and his mum especially is a great help and tends to have the kids for a sleep over once a week and has been teaching Shyla horse riding, saving me from the aforementioned extra curricular actives I dislike so much. Shyla in turn has become a wonderful horse rider and has a great bond with her Granny.

I do believe you need a hobby, something for you. For me this is mountain biking so when I can I’ll head up the hills. It’s probably the only time I fully switch off and concentrate on the here and now/not crashing into a tree at speed. I’ll be honest though, I’ve not been out in months but hey, the days are getting longer now!

I think one last thing I’d like to mention is the writing of lists… Lists get me through each day. I now swear by my Hello Day daily planner which is glued to my very soul. There is no better feeling than ticking tasks off of my lists! Anything I haven’t managed to do just gets shuffled over to the following day, I try not to stress too much if my day has gone pear shaped. Tomorrow is a new day.

So I guess, what Im trying to say is that I have no secret. I just get on with it. If I look like I have it all together on social media then great but let’s be honest, people only share their ‘best life’ on social media anyway ;-)

Photos below from a ‘behind the scenes’ shoot with EnaMay Photography.