Juggling, balancing and being
As a working mum, you often hear the same comments, the same remarks and it’s usually centred around being busy, not having enough time or not getting enough sleep – people seem to be constantly asking and checking up to see if I’m okay! Nile, our son was born a year ago and it’s been an amazing year having him in our lives. Edwin and I work together – we look after our five babies (four Artisan shops and baby Nile) and essentially share the load.
Before Nile came into our world, I worked non-stop – having a business of your own means you often work six or seven days a week and buzz around from one shop to the other. My typical week would involve running from one meeting to another, to working behind the coffee machine when needed, to analysing the monthly accounts on our living room floor at 10pm. I was always short of time and had to be good at prioritising and working effectively. This is something I thrived on – cramming as much work as I could into the hours of the day.
When the little man came along, it was amazing! Being a mum, as many know, is incredible rewarding, fun and can also be hard work. Suddenly you’re responsible for a little person. Our approach to parenting has always been that Nile has to fit in to our life, the way we do things and simply came with us to whichever coffee shop we were at. Although yes, some sleepless nights have occurred, some tantrums and cries, and having to be very responsive to Nile’s needs – in general, he has had to adapt to us as much as we have to him. When a customer comes up for a chat, or a staff member has a problem they need to discuss with us – we simply bring Nile along, or pass him to a staff member for a cuddle. We’ve tried, as much we can, to carry on as we were before – and it has meant sometimes one of us is with Nile mingling in the shop, while the other is working behind the till.
I believe being a parent doesn’t need to become an isolated thing and your world should continue as it was before, just with a little someone by your side. From the first few days when I worked on the staff rosters and holiday requests from the hospital while two day old Nile napped, I believe when there’s a will there’s a way and thoroughly enjoy having the variety of work and family in my life and believe it’s just a matter of finding the balance that works for you. Having spent a year in Uganda when women simple tie their babies to their back and carry on – this mentality is one I’m quite a fan of!