Septembers Here…But is It Actually Easier?
Ah September. If you can actually remember what life was like pre-pandemic, September used to feel like a huge shift for us working moms, with an audible sigh of relief heard from coast to coast. While having our kids home to spend time by the pool and doing crafts is a time of joy, for solopreneurs who have always run our small businesses from home, summer has always involved juggling lots of balls. This year, 2020, has presented a whole new set of challenges, and if your family is like mine, your kids are “back in school” without leaving your house. While I confess that I am enjoying the extra time I have with my teens, it does present a lot of challenges for those of us whose career depends on quiet in the recording booth. Doors slamming, thumping and thudding on the steps, random proclamations- these barely scrape the barrel of what the new normal is like. The quietude is gone and with it I have, you guessed it, more balls to juggle as both my children and my husband are now in the house. All day. Every day. So no, this September, being a working mom and small business owner it is not easier, but I do have some strategies for coping in order to ensure that my goals stay in clear focus.
Re-Establishing Work Routines and Mom Routines.
The school year is nine months long. It is extremely likely that school kids will be home through June. So, Re-establishing a daily routine and maintaining rhythm is really important. As a working mom, we always wear two hats, and we need to keep balance. If one shifts out of balance, it effects the other and life suddenly becomes uneasy. For me, aspects of my work routine include:
- completing booked work
- thank you notes
- marketing/client outreach
Aspects of my mom routine include:
- grocery shopping
- cleaning the house
- dog responsibilities: walking, preparing and freezing kongs, etc.
- homework help
- amazon orders
Focusing On Wellness
In order to maintain the balance between my role as a mom and my life as a professional voice over actor, accountability in my professional career is extremely important. I have blogged before about my group, but one of our touch points is health and wellness. When we started reporting on this years ago, I did not realize that the relevance of this area would increase in importance. Who could have predicted a pandemic? Every day wellness is a priority, including: steaming, supplements, eating well, etc.
Walking is one of the goals I focus on in my healthy living strategy. I love walking with my dogs and we walk four to five miles a day. My beloved dogs count on the movement and frankly, as I work in a padded foam booth, I need to get out and breath the fresh air. The pandemic can be so isolating, but when we walk I talk to my husband and kids. We also run into neighbors on the street and it is such a wonderful mental break. Walking, then, provides both an emotional and a physical benefit. The walking is essential to my wellness.
Pilates is another focus of mine. After a difficult twin pregnancy, I have spent years rebuilding my core. I love that through the pilates I work on my breathing and that the workouts are total body workouts. I am learning to make connections and to listen to myself. Work as a voice over actor so much depends on connecting with people and connecting with scripts, so if I am connected with myself as a foundation of it all, I work better. At the start of every session, my instructor asks how I am feeling and for me to be aware of where my body is starting. I wish that I had people teach be to be aware of my physical state in this way when I was 12 years old. I think I would have treated myself very differently. In any event, I am thankful for this journey that I am on and pilates helps me very much.
Strategies to Support Success
As a momtrepreneur, I try to set a framework for me to thrive and to make good choices. Here are a few of the things that have helped me during the pandemic:
- Metabolism Mojo with Betsy Markle @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/334541130558104: Betsy is a brilliant nutritionist that I happened to grow up with in Pennsylvania. She is now based in Florida and I look forward to every post, recipe, and Facebook Live. She has made our shelter in place better with her recipes. I also highly encourage you to watch her recent coffee video.
- Daily Harvest: I am so thankful to have found this site of healthy food options. We buy the grain bowls for lunch and the smoothies as go to breakfast sides or snack options. They are delicious and having a full stock of healthy choices makes life easier.
- Meal Plan Prep: As a devotee of the Budget Mom, I have been focussed throughout the pandemic on planning our dinners. This has enabled me to both stay within budget and to have food in the house that fits our needs and is ready. This has been a huge help. I often use this meal prep sheet that the Budget Mom shares.
Focus On Goals
“Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.” Ultimately all of this matters because working moms have goals. As a voice actor, I have spent years building my business. It isn’t about getting through September, it is about making life work so that I reach these goals for myself and for my family. If we can’t see the forest through the trees, we just won’t get where we have worked so hard to go. In the shadow of the passing of the great Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we have a great torch to carry. She did it with such ease, and we must carry on for our children so that we can finish the work she set out to do.