I’m not going to lie – having twin toddlers AND running a freelance writing biz on the side AND taking care of the house AND cooking is almost more than I can handle.
Every morning I’m awoken to one of my twins saying, “Mommy, mommy, I need to go pee! Mommy! MOMMY! Can you hear me? A. call mommy for me.”
A. is her brother and it goes like this every morning. And yes, they are three years old and still sleeping in cribs. Why? Because I’m too worried about what will happen when we drop the rails.
I imagine one of them waking up in the middle of the night and coaxing the other to get up and then they work together raiding the kitchen and making a mess. Or, run into our room, climb on the bed and have a jumping party.
I’m worried because I need my sleep and if they realize they can get out of their crib, they’ll probably wake up for the day at 5 a.m.
And you don’t want to see me at 5 a.m.
For the first year of their life I was a zombie. I work up every two to three hours for a year. I lived on coffee and Tylenol.
Now, I just live on coffee.
I’m worried because together they’re pretty good at convincing me (or wearing me down) to do something they shouldn’t (like play on the iPad after dad told them no).
On the other side of all this, I was keen enough to start a home-based business. There was a blip in time when the twins were sleeping through the night, I was caught up on my sleep and the house wasn’t a mess.
I thought, yeah, I need to start a business right now. Go figure.
I’m an entrepreneur by heart and was itching to do something. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t regret doing this. But, now, after a year of freelance writing and growing my business, I’m finding it harder and harder to balance everything.
Does This Happen to You?
You strive to have it all together and be the best and do the best, but in reality, you don’t remember the last time you brushed your hair (because you just put it up in a ponytail), wore jeans or did something for yourself?
I don’t want to come off as this mom with twins and WOW how can she do this all? thought floating in your head.
I have lots of help. My twins are fairly good at helping around the house, listening to me and playing together (for the most part. There are at least four epic tantrums a day over little things like one twin hiding another twin’s toy or I gave one twin the wrong colored straw).
But, I Still Struggle
I struggle with not checking my email a gazillion times a day.
I struggle with time-management and often find myself under stress because I have several client pieces due in a span of one week and I haven’t even begun writing any of them.
And I struggle with living in the moment.
As soon as I wake up, I’m already thinking of my to-do list and what needs to be done. I’m checking my email, thinking about the chores and thinking about what activity I’m going to do with the twins.
But, the first step is recognizing you’re struggling and forming a plan to make your life more balanced.
My Balancing Act Plan
Now that the snow is melting and the weather is warming up, I’ve started exercising outside.
The twins ride their tricycles up and down the driveway and I stand at the end of the driveway doing jumping jacks.
I do around 150 jumping jacks.
Then I go to the back deck and do push ups off the stairs. I do around 40 of those and run around chasing the twins.
Not bad for a 20-min exercise routine?
Next, is cleaning up my eating. I have a propensity to eat too many carbs, so I’m working cutting down my breads and upping my protein – now that I’m working out.
Finally, the last thing I’m going to do is commit to one family day. This means, lay-off on the biz and devote the day to family.
When I first made this goal, I wasn’t as committed to it because, of course, I have client deadlines, interviews, emails and questions to answer. But, I’m quite sure my business isn’t going to implode if I’m not around for a day to monitor it.
It’s Okay to Struggle
No matter if you’re making $500 a month or $5,000 a month from your online business, you’ll still face the same struggles – especially if you’re a mom with small children.
Make sure to remember your why. Why did you start your business in the first place? For me, it was because I wanted to stay home and take care of my twins.
I want to be the one to put them down for their daily naps and cook them their meals.
I want to be home to play with them and do activities with them. Basically, I want to be a stay-at-home mom.
And my freelance writing is helping me do this.
I’m not perfect and I know there are months when I take on too much. But, I’m hoping the steps I’m doing today to better balance my life and work will help me prioritize what’s most important – my family.
Over to you – do you work from home and are finding it a struggle to balance it all? Share your story and tips to help other moms.
And don’t forget to pin me!