work at home mum

I am a work at home mum. Being a stay at home mum was what my husband and I agreed on when we had children but I have now thrown a successful home business into the mix. There are now a whole new range of plates to balance it seems and sometimes they are all spinning and, at times, at risk of falling. It is a balancing act between being a wife, a mother and working from home. Ordering candle fragrances whilst stirring the dinner and helping with homework springs to mind. It is a constant battle for time but I wouldn’t choose to have it any other way.

There seem to be no boundaries when your work is at home. no 9-5 job that comes to an end, no leaving the office to come home. But the best bit for me is that I am at home and I can be there to pick my children up from school, take them to ballet class and help them with their homework (although being in Gaelic doesn’t make it too easy for a non-speaker like me!). If they are sick I don’t have to stress about who will look after them and what appointments I have to cancel for the day.

This is how I manage (or cope):

  • to-do list and my calendar – If it is not written on the calendar it doesn’t happen. Same with the to do list. This gives me focus and structure to the day. Plus I feel like I have achieved something when I see all those ticks next to the jobs I’ve done. I like to write things down and have a blackboard where I write all the things I need to do with Sandwick Bay candles – this includes people to email, orders to complete, ideas etc.
  • using technology to help – I constantly set reminders on my phone as even the most organised person can be thrown by a screaming two year olds tantrum. I am sure there are many more apps that could help me but my kids tell me I am on the phone enough as it is.
  • planning and being organised – there are constant interruptions during the day so I try and plan my day and do most of my work at night when they are all sleeping or during nap time. I also have a fantastic child minder who looks after him one day a week. But sometimes dinner has ended up being beans on toast and that is ok. The day hasn’t gone to plan, I’ve been busy with orders or running the children to after school activities and time has disappeared. But they have survived and are happy.
  • having a support network – this includes those fantastic friends who we can call and ask would they mind watching the kids as I have a really important meeting or deadline to meet. As mum’s we don’t seem to ever ask for help as it might look like a sign of weakness or that we are not coping. I don’t mind when someone asks if I can also pick their child up from school so why do we find it so hard to ask? Plus sometimes getting out of the house and meeting for coffee is just what we need to recharge the batteries and feel like we are in control.
  • getting the kids to help – well the older two. Their small hands are perfect for putting the wicks into the tealights and they get to earn some pocket money. This also includes with helping around the house. They have age appropriate chores and Miss 8 is starting to help with meal preparation.

The life/work balance is a challenge but we are all learning. My husband is my greatest asset and helps with everything when he is home. From packing up orders, to cleaning the jugs after making candles or making dinner most nights he makes life that little bit easier and I probably don’t thank him anywhere enough.

I constantly get asked are you busy? Yes I am and that is mostly because I have survived the school summer holidays with three children and a husband who works offshore. But I have managed to balance that with running a successful home business. So if you ring my phone and my 7 year old answers don’t hang up just ask to speak to the owner of Sandwick Bay candles.

Schools in the Outer Hebrides go back next week and it feels like the days will become a bit more structured. I have been looking at rental units as the candles have outgrown my kitchen table but the best option was to have something onsite as it would’ve been too difficult with the small people in my care. So the best bit about this summer is that we are in the finishing stages of having the loft converted into a workspace for Sandwick Bay candles. I will have a designated area for work and it will not be taking over the house anymore. I can close the door and come down the stairs and just be Mum – I think my children and husband will notice the difference!

By |2018-09-24T11:59:14+00:00August 13th, 2017|blog|20 Comments

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  1. Caroline August 13, 2017 at 11:21 am - Reply

    You are a fantastic mother and business woman who is an inspiration to others! It all just sounds perfect xx

    • Megan Macdonald August 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      Thank you Caroline – it definitely doesn’t feel perfect at times.

  2. Susan August 13, 2017 at 11:29 am - Reply

    You do an awesome job Megan. Verhy proud xx

    • Megan Macdonald August 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      Thank you Mum xx

  3. Jane Hartley-Oliver August 13, 2017 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    You juggle very well , the kids are well balanced and happy that is down to a great Mum, and I for one am glad as I love your candles.

    • Megan Macdonald August 13, 2017 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you Jane – I am also surrounded by a wonderful community. Delighted you love the candles – which is your favourite?

  4. Kiara Harper August 13, 2017 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    lovely post! it sounds like you are doing a great job!! your candles are amazing and I can’t wait to see the conversion! x

    • Megan Macdonald August 13, 2017 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      Thank you Kiara for the lovely comments. I can’t wait to see the conversion either! xx

  5. Ambika August 13, 2017 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful way to reflect what a lot of us mums are going through! I’m just in the beginning stages of starting a business from home and this stuff is Hard! You’re an inspiration that I too, can manage 🙂

    • Megan Macdonald August 14, 2017 at 6:21 am - Reply

      It is so hard! especially to not have it take over your life when you are getting things started. Good luck with your your business. You can and will succeed x

  6. Robyn August 14, 2017 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    You’re rocking it babe, you seem to balance all of your hats very well. I know sometimes it feels like you’re drowning… But tomorrow is always a new day!
    Ps you still write your name exactly as you did in high school… Some things don’t change xxx big loves!

    • Megan Macdonald August 15, 2017 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      Thank you Robyn xx Was just checking out your business venture and I think you are the one rocking it!! Well done. That’s so funny about my name – obviously didn’t need perfecting 😉

  7. Kayleigh Zara August 15, 2017 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    It’s fantastic that you’re able to juggle working at home and mothering, and I think it’s so sweet you’re children help in return for pocket money too xx

    Kayleigh Zara

    • Megan Macdonald August 16, 2017 at 8:14 am - Reply

      yes but now I have loads of tealights as Miss 7 is really keen! 🙂 It certainly is a juggling act x

  8. corinne & kirsty August 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    I think, anytime to become a mom, no matter if you work or not, it becomes increasingly hard to handle everything. Kids must be so much work. Even more so when you have a job. These tips will be so useful to any parents working from home

    • Megan Macdonald August 16, 2017 at 8:16 am - Reply

      Yes and the kids have a better social calendar than I do! Life just seems so much busier these days, kids or no kids

  9. Rebecca August 15, 2017 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    You’re doing an AMAZING job. You should be proud.

    Becca |

    • Megan Macdonald August 16, 2017 at 8:15 am - Reply

      thank you very much 🙂

  10. Saar August 16, 2017 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Even with those aids – can I just give you one huge CONGRATS on juggling all those plates? 😮

    • Megan Macdonald August 17, 2017 at 11:52 am - Reply

      Thank you Saar – just getting the day sometimes feels like an achievement 🙂

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