Happy Mother’s Day, however you choose (or don’t choose) to celebrate it. 💐
My mini break turned into a month-long one from my Mixing Babies And Business™ community – I kept up the podcast but during this third lockdown in Ontario, Canada, I’ve found it hard to maintain the momentum I had.
It was healthier for me to pause, pace myself and prioritize my needs.
Here are some learning experiences I had during it:
- Rest is a bit of a revolution in a culture focused on hustle
- Things don’t fall apart when you stop – they may stagnate or stop growing as quickly, but they have never fallen apart on me completely
- Why I do what I do is still important – true story below to elaborate
I’ve been working remotely for a few clients over the past year and more so since the start of 2021, in addition to producing the newsletter, podcast and events for Mixing Babies And Business™, being a guest speaker and looking after our kids part-time.
I had an introductory screening call in late April for another job and my conversation had me reeling. During the call, the internal HR lead asked me about work hours, mentioned their team is “high performing” and asked how I do it all (look after two young kids under age 5, freelance for other clients and do my own work).
My first instinct is to always want to say, “My husband never gets asked this question. In fact, he has been promoted since becoming a parent and NO ONE ever asks ‘how he manages to do it all’ – they must simply trust him to figure it out”.
[Cue mic drop] 🎤
My less outraged instinct is to instead want to say simply and inexplicably, “Magic”.
Because it is honestly true. ✨
I follow my intuition, a lot of things I create and decisions I have made in my life are led by my gut reaction or an inner compass.
It’s why I started bringing my kids into business settings and it’s probably what led you to me – I put a beacon out, created something I thought would be a good idea and then others agreed and wanted to come join the party.
What I ended up saying to the interviewer was they should attend one of my remote work with kids webinars, laughed it off and said I use time blocking, batch my tasks and adjust my expectations regularly.
But I also said:
Employers and corporations, especially those in regions still in lockdown need to acknowledge that people, including parents, are operating without traditional supports like the education system, the ability to use recreational facilities, outside support from family and friends outside of their bubble and it’s not all on them to figure it out during a global pandemic.
Some people are high performers AND parents.
Some people are low performers WITHOUT kids.
In 2021, can we please stop assuming these things are mutually exclusive!?!?
After I hung up, I knew one thing: I won’t be working at that organization. My gut says, hard no.
This isn’t pandemic parenting rage. This is the same conversation I’ve been having since I gave birth to my first child in 2016.
I’ve been trying to show up in situations where I may not actually ‘belong’ or have my needs met. Most have welcomed my family and I.
I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with businesses and clients over the years where outcomes are more important than hours worked.
Changes are happening and around the world, there are other parents like you and I, sharing the same messages, going through the same conversations, believing work shouldn’t make them choose between being a ‘high performer‘ and a ‘good, present parent‘.
But the five-day 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. work week hasn’t been designed to uplift everyone.
That’s why it needs to be reinvented and I refuse to squeeze my life into it. I value flexibility and so do many other people, parents or not.
I no longer take advice from people who aren’t where I want to be or doing what I want to do. I no longer try to contort myself into what I think other people value or prefer, when it sacrifices my own wellbeing as a byproduct.
It’s frustrating, deflating, exhausting and I just don’t have the time or energy to doubt myself any more.
The more I rely on my inner knowing, the less power I give away.
I usually prefer to fail forward and trial and error my way through life as we all have our own unique lived experiences. Then I’m 100% responsible for what I choose/don’t pursue and can retrace my steps.
Things always work out (almost never in the way I imagined), I usually find out later why my gut told me something and I’ve learned (a lot of times the hard way), that I will always be the best advocate for myself, my needs, my ideas, my feelings, my body, my time, my life.
Whether you’re building a startup, working with a small business that values flexibility, partnering with another person to combine your skills, looking for a job share, freelancing with multiple clients, setting up as a sole proprietor, doing a side hustle, asking for more flexibility, adapting to remote work with kids or dreaming and visioning about something different that isn’t what you’re currently doing, I have done every single one (except a partnership or job share).
And I hope whichever you are in right now, by choice or not, you are able to turn inward, listen to and trust your intuition and set (and maintain) your own boundaries.
Because others will always try to cross them but you don’t need to acknowledge or comply.
Today and every day, I hope you’re able to work toward designing a life that works for you and your family. 🌿
– Amy (+ Family)
🎉📅 P.S. I’ve decided to host another free Remote Work Retreat for Parents this week while we’re still in lockdown in Ontario – we’ll try to gather online Friday, May 14th at 1:30 p.m. EST and you can RSVP for the waitlist. I’m still working on the details but if you sign up, I will add you automatically!
Looking for more info about Flexible + Remote Work?
Remote Work With Kids: 3 Things To Help Your Workflow
Watch the video, let me know what you think, give it a go, test these things out over the coming week, see if they make a difference for you!
The free Time Blocking Template I mention in the video is also linked below.
Time Blocking Made Easy Template
Download the free template:
Remote Work (With Kids) Time Blocking Made Easy [DOWNLOAD]
Subscribe to receive my free monthly Work + Life newsletter focused on travel, international family life, creativity and flexible work: http://bit.ly/AmyMaureenLynchNews
I wrote a book:
Startup Blogging: Validate A Business Idea and Build Your Audience is based on my journey as a blogger, writer, founder and parent to date.
You can then purchase, download and read the eBook version of my book from your mobile, tablet or device!