Having my son Oscar, has been the greatest gift of my life. I still cannot believe the love I feel for him, it is beyond anything I ever imagined, not forgetting my husband of course.
To have a child so late in life (I was 44 when I gave birth) really has been my little miracle. So many people including Doctors said I had missed the boat. He is now 2 and a half, and looking back I would not change a thing. I have had the chance to create a workout empire that I am extremely proud of, and have travelled the world doing so. I got to have the career and now also the family.
When I look back at photos of when I first started Body By Simone, I see a hungry young woman, ambitious and driven and solely focused on my business. There was no space in my mind or heart for a child at that point, and knowing what I do now about motherhood, I would never have been able to juggle both.
Now I never judge other women, especially on how they choose to Mother. For me I wanted to be with my child as much as physically possible. I am fortunate enough to be my own boss, which means Oscar can be in my workplace. He has been known to enter some of my private sessions, or have a meltdown during one of my classes, but luckily my clientele are all women who are understanding. I love that he gets to see me working hard, it is very important to me that he knows that you must work hard for your dreams. I believe in leading by example.
This leads me to the topic of being a working Mum, and I why I think it is so important for one’s sanity and self-worth to have something for yourself.
As a life coach and trainer, I often hear clients say that they have lost their way. They do not know how to do anything other than nurture and take care of their family.
That they gave up their careers and a little piece of themselves along the way. I work with them to help rebuild their confidence, strength and self-worth. And help them get back out into the work force and chase those dreams that have been put on the shelf.
Working with a new-born is next to impossible, but as your child grows and is not so dependent on you, it allows you a small amount of freedom. Time to shower, wash your hair and do the laundry. Ha! But for those of us who love to work and need to work, then we have to find a way to balance it all.
The phrase work/life balance doesn’t really seem to exist. I think some days you are winning the mum game and other days it is a struggle.
So how do you do it?
Set boundaries: These should be for your work environment and home. Set a time for yourself that you need to be at work and at home, and stick to it. Have a hard out so you do not end up staying back late at the office to finish work. It will get done, there is always tomorrow. And by setting yourself boundaries, you are more likely to work more efficiently.
Be present: Try not to bring your work home with you, make a conscious effort to disconnect from your devices and be present with your family. Likewise, when at work, try not to gaze at your baby photos, and focus on the job at hand.
Ask for help: Do not be afraid to ask your friendly neighbour, friend or family member for help. Even if it is just asking them to watch your child for 30 minutes so you can get on a zoom call and not have them crying in the background.
Include the family: Where you can, bring your child with you so they can see your work environment. They get to see what Mummy does all day and your work colleagues get to meet your little one.
I know all of this is easier said than done and we can’t all control our working hours and just bring our kids with us to work every day; but I think these topics are important to bring up with your boss and family.
I think it is important that we start providing safe and accepting work environments where Mums can get back to work and still know that their children are safe. The more we discuss it, the more attention it will get, and hopefully one day it will be the norm for offices to have child care services on the property.