We asked 10 of our favourite businesswomen, including our own founder Niccii Kugler, how they find 'life balance' while juggling a successful career with having a family...
"Motherhood is hard, let alone motherhood and running a business. I'm not sure balance even comes into it at the moment for me. At least, it doesn't feel like a graceful balancing act. It feels like I'm spinning multiple plates trying desperately to keep them from smashing. Very beautiful plates I might add, that deserve to be not smashed. It's rare for me for feel like I have life balanced with two small kids. It's always better for me to acknowledge how impossible that is, than to add that pressure, because I would most certainly fail. All I can do is try my best and be okay with that. The kids are loved, I have passion for my business. Occasionally I get a quiet moment to myself. It is what it is."
CO-FOUNDER OF THE GOOD FARM
Meg Hutchinson Harris
GLOBAL PR & PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER AT BED THREADS
"My best advice for women balancing motherhood and a successful career is to build a support network around you. We hear a lot about how it takes a village and this is especially true if you’re a single mum. For many of us though, the traditional village doesn’t exist anymore. My family all live interstate, so I’ve had to create my own support network. This means a cleaner once a fortnight to alleviate some of the household duties, a couple of trusted babysitters, and other mum friends I can call in favours from and vice versa. Of course, being a working parent is like living in a house of cards - you think everything is going well but it only takes a daycare virus for it all to come tumbling down! My other piece of advice is wine."
FOUNDER OF NASH + BANKS
"My Mum passed on this advice after years of balancing her very successful career with motherhood. She explained that you can’t be good at all things at once - a good mother, a good wife, good employee, boss, good friend, good daughter etc. You have to prioritise and then shuffle between them as you go. As a perfectionist, I find this really helpful. Trying to deliver in all areas, all at once, all the time usually comes at the expense of your own health and wellbeing, which in turn doesn’t help your family or your business. So allocate priorities as you go and then switch them whenever you need to."
ITALIAN-AUSTRALIAN ACTRESS, OPERA SINGER, COOKBOOK AUTHOR, AND TV COOKERY SHOW PERSONALITY
"My personal experience is that, in my heteronormative relationship, my husband and I are completely equal, and we both do what needs doing. Balancing is unattainable, mostly we drop balls here and there, but life goes on. If we forget to pack lunch boxes one of us will do a lunch order. My experience is privileged. I have a partner that I share chores and child rearing with, and this is not everyone’s experience. And because we can buy a lunch order if we slack off, or take out, because both of us are contributing financially to household expenses. There’s no formula. And even with these inherent privileges, we don’t balance that well!"
ENTERTAINER, ACTRESS, SINGER, SONGWRITER AND TELEVISION PRESENTER
"I've been lucky enough to create my work around my life. I never take that privilege for granted. It's hard to be in two places at once so I always choose family when I'm pulled in opposite directions. It keeps me sane and happiest. The world moves so quickly these days, family is my constant joy."
DESIGNER, GINGER & SMART
"I don’t always get the balance right, but my general rule for myself is that when I’m with my kids I try to be really present with them - and when I'm working I give that my full focus. I’ve learnt that everyone is happier and I’m more productive this way."
CO-FOUNDER CLOTH & CO
"Life is never quite balanced, something has to give, so acceptance that things won’t be perfect is essential. Try to be completely present when with bubs and family, and equally when you’re at work. Being torn between work calls and baby’s needs is a recipe for a meltdown. Build a good support network, as the saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child” and there’s a lot to be said for that."
DIRECTOR WANDERING SOL
"‘Cup filling’ and ‘teamwork’ are what comes instantly to mind when balancing work and family life. Striving to fill each family members cup, is at the heart of work/family life balance, I think. And our daily family surfs/swims/skates before school/office go a long way towards achieving this. One of the most rewarding things to come out of balancing motherhood and career for me, is witnessing how well our family can work as a team…our weekly roster is key!! All five of us have our rostered days on to cook (our five year old needs some help on her night to plate up ), do dishes, clothes, lunchboxes etc. I won’t lie, the first few months saw each job take twice as long as the 'tricks of the trade' were learnt, but six months in and I’m loving seeing the ownership taken by the kiddos over their jobs!"
CREATIVE DIRECTOR ARISTIDES FINE JEWELS & FUTURAE DIAMONDS
"I don’t think you can have it all - you can have a number of key important things that matter to you but not everything, all at once. You have to prioritise and accept that your time is precious. Work out where you should allocate your time and focus. What do you say yes to because it’s supporting your goals, and what do you say no to because they aren’t. Choose two or three priorities and goals that align with you and focus on them!"
FOUNDER MALO BABY
"I can't say there is true balance between the two for me. It definitely takes a lot of sacrifice, and some days it will be at the cost of your career, other days it will be lost family time at home. What I have learnt since starting my own business is to let go of perfection, ride the moments as they come, and accept that I am doing the best I can with the time I have. I also love to include my son wherever I can when I am working. For example in the early days I had him in my home office helping pack orders. It was so much fun, a lot of crooked shipping labels and many times wondering if we sent out the right order. But they are memories that I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to create, that I probably couldn’t have had if I was in a conventional job, so I’ve learnt to accept the perfect imperfections."