January 2014 was a VERY busy month. I filed around 30 tax returns, got our house de-cluttered and tidy enough to get it on the market, and all while doing the normal juggle of managing with part time child care. The funny thing was, I got through roughly twice as much work as last year, with only slightly more childcare, and overall things felt less chaotic. Less stressful. More in control.
New Year Resolutions pretty much pass me by these days. The only resolution I can really make on 31 December is to get through my January workload in one piece. But now I’ve got there I can step back, take stock, and look at how things have changed from a year ago, and what other changes I can make.
I’m sure many other working mums have a similar set of mountainous challenges to get through each day. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. I don’t think it is possible to balance both work and family without feeling under pressure and short of time. When I was on maternity leave from a well paid corporate job I made a decision to work for myself so that I had the flexibility to spend as much time as possible with my girls. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly.
Nearly 3 years down the road I know I took the right decision. Yes its been hard work. I’ve worked most evenings for nearly 3 years. I’m constantly tired. I’ve neglected friends and relationships, and I’m astonishingly lucky to have such a supportive husband. But I got to spend so much more time with my children while they were tiny, and I’ve built up a business that I am very proud of.
This time next year will be very different. My girls start school in September, and I’ll be able to work 5 days a week, albeit during school hours. I’ve promised myself that working evenings will be rare instead of routine. All I need to do for the next 8 months is hang on in there and plan carefully so I can take advantage of that extra time when it arrives.
There will be lots of changes coming at Starfish Accounting this year. We are moving into office premises (of which more to come!), adding to the team, and changing how we work. Not because things haven’t been successful – I’ve easily exceeded all of my growth targets – but because I’ve pretty much maxed out what I can achieve by working harder. Now its time to work smarter.
So I’m ready and raring to go. This is the year for me to consolidate what I’ve achieved so far, and to make the changes needed so that we can continue to grow. Its going to be an exciting time for me. More updates to come later in the year!