Being the owner of a jewellery business implies that you are already juggling a number of responsibilities while having to find the time to carry out all of them. Now, place yourself in a career that requires far more patience and actively engages you in conversation.
Whether you started your company after becoming a parent or you had children while you were already running it, finding a healthy balance between work and family life that makes everyone in the family happy may be a challenge.
I spoke with four working mothers in the corporate world to find out how they juggle everything in their busy lives.
The four women, Belle Brooke, Kristen Baird, Kat Cole, and Shannon Cartwright, all had unique points of view on how they found or are still looking for a balance in their lives, but there were a few recurring themes that emerged.
This is not going to be simple, so try not to be too hard on yourself. Set limitations. Ask for help. Be adaptive.
It is essential to teach oneself how to set personal boundaries. Every single one of the parents I talked to made a concerted effort to compartmentalize their time spent with their families and at work so that they could devote their whole attention to either one or the other.
They established boundaries to protect their “me time,” with the goal of avoiding feelings of being overburdened or exhausted in the process.
There are various times during the day, contingent upon the ages of your children, in which you are free to give your complete attention to your task.
Young children often adhere to a certain bedtime routine, and as they become older, they may start attending preschool or another activity that takes place many times during the day.
These are the ideal times to work on your company, particularly if your studio is located in your house.
When you and your infant spend the entire day together at home, things might become challenging. The mother of an almost two-year-old child named Kat Cole made the following observation: “There is really no way to sneak in a call, email, or bench time when it’s just me and her, she’s all over me all the time.”
I make it a point to protect that time with her so that she is aware that the entirety of my attention is on her. And because everything happens so quickly, I only get one chance to savor each of these moments; yet, there is always time to create another brooch, which is something I need to be reminded of on occasion.”
Kat does sneak in work between naps and when her boyfriend is home to help. Her studio is located above their garage, and she has a ritual of putting on her apron as soon as she enters the building. This gives her the “mental space to be a creative again.” “.
Because Kristen Baird is a planner, you can be certain that she makes every effort to stick to a specific schedule when running her jewellery business. Her grandparents have agreed to watch her son at their home from Monday through Thursday for the better part of the day.
The majority of her work is completed during this time period. Kristen explains that she closes the curtain and gate to her in-home studio, which helps her psychologically detach from business mode, so that she can keep her work time and her time with her family distinct.
Shannon Cartwright has a rule that she never works after her child has gone to bed. This is one of the limits she places on herself. She finds that when she doesn’t get enough sleep, juggling her responsibilities as a mother and a working professional is significantly more challenging.
According to Shannon, “I find that my mind goes into hyper drive, and I don’t end up getting to bed until the early hours of the night. The next day, I am absolutely exhausted.” By establishing those parameters for myself, I allow myself the permission to take a break and refill my tank.
When it comes to making sure you get enough rest, Belle Brooke Barer shares some words of wisdom from Shannon. The words of advice that Belle gives are, “You need to take care of yourself. Sleep is really necessary! If you are not getting enough sleep, you do not have the qualifications to operate and manage a firm.
The majority of people who own jewelry businesses are fiercely independent and like taking care of everything themselves. A few people would even label them as workaholics or perfectionists.
One can only withstand doing everything himself for a certain amount of time before becoming exhausted. This is something that rings even more true when you are simultaneously aiming to be a super mom and a super business person.
Therefore, do not be reluctant to ask for assistance. This is the most important piece of advice that Shannon can provide. She made the following observation: “It is almost difficult to make the adjustment to being a parent and do it all on one’s own!! It is undeniable that it takes a community.”
Because of the potentially high cost of child care, being in close proximity to a support system might be a game-changer. Kat and her boyfriend moved in with Kat’s family in order to be closer to Kat’s family so that Kat’s family could help out with child care.
Do not feel bad about asking for assistance, whether you need assistance supervising your children or need to delegate specific job obligations to an employee.
Kristen believes that she is really fortunate to have family nearby who are able to assist her with child care duties. In addition to this, she has hired a small crew and contracted out several digital responsibilities, such as social media management, graphic design, and photography.
Children are erratic and do not always adhere to the plan that you have established for the day because of this fact. In addition, as we discovered in the year 2020, the way we live our lives might drastically shift very soon. You need to be able to adapt in order to be a successful parent and business owner.
When schools were closed due to the outbreak, it was necessary for Belle to make some changes to her routine. As a result of the fact that her studio is housed within the gallery that she also owns, she is able to successfully compartmentalize her professional and personal lives using spatial constraints.
But because of the closure, her workplace is now serving double duty as her daughter’s school. Belle commented, “it has been difficult, but I have accustomed to having my child there while I am trying to work.
It is not ideal, but we will get through this.” When going through a particularly challenging time in one’s life, it could be helpful to keep in mind that the various stages of parenting and business will eventually change and pass.
It’s possible that returning to work after maternity or paternity leave won’t be what you expected either. This was true in Kat’s case as well as in Shannon’s. They were unable to go right back into full-time work since it was not feasible for them to do so.
Although Shannon planned to make her return to the coaching staff in the fall, she ended up having to wait until the following summer to do so on a part-time basis.
“The route to parenthood and managing your business is SO diverse for everyone, it is so crucial that you listen to your instincts and do what’s best for you and your family,” she said, recognizing that she was fortunate to have that option.
It was really helpful when Kat expressed her perspective, which was much the same as mine: “Give yourself and the new family member the time you both need in the beginning; it takes time to get back to a position where work-life balance is achievable.
There is no way to put a positive spin on this situation. The role of a parent is not an easy one. The management of a jewellery firm is not an easy task.
Although juggling the two at the same time is extremely challenging, it is not impossible. Figuring out what works best for you is the most important thing. Words of advice from Belle: “You are going to have to make difficult decisions about how you spend your time.
” You are going to feel completely spent after that. Having children, on the other hand, will cause you to adjust your perspective in a way that is more beneficial than anything else I have ever experienced.
The delicate process of striking a balance between the needs of your family and those of your company will require ongoing attention. There will always be times that are more challenging than others, but you have to press on! Along the journey, you will pick up new skills, adapt, and make mistakes.
Make an effort to enjoy the trip, and don’t let the little things get you down. The advice that Belle gives to her friends is to “do the best that you can and leave the rest behind.”
Discovering and maintaining relationships with other working parents might be therapeutic for you. The act of discussing past experiences will help you work through feelings of “mom guilt.”
Check out our Mama Maker group on Facebook, The Jeweler’s Spark, if you don’t already have any other Mama Maker friends. We have a thread that can put you in touch with other mothers who make jewelry, if you’re interested.
The ideal work-life balance will appear different for each individual. It will require a lot of perseverance and effort to run a jewelry business in addition to bringing up a family at the same time. You are going to need to establish some limits, be flexible, and get assistance. It could be difficult, but it’s well worth it in the end!
In addition, there is never going to be an ideal time to launch a new business or have a family. A further comment from Kristen was, “You just have to go for it.”
You cannot possibly be ready for a child and all that comes along with them no matter how much meticulous preparing you do. When a little one enters the scene, your heart will grow, and your senses will adjust to accommodate the new addition.
Additionally, Shannon says, “Becoming a mom will unquestionably transform you.” It’s possible that when you go back to work, things will seem quite strange or even foreign to you. It’s important to remember not to be afraid of letting your company adapt as you do.
In the end, your family and your jewelry business are at the center of this. Make striking the right balance one of your top priorities if you want to have a joyful and healthy life.