The Trials and Tribulations of Being a Working Muma

posted in: blog, Personal stories 0

Well, the holidays are over and Evie is back at school …. Secondary (crazy)!!! Now I can finally start getting some order back at the workshop and start the cogs turning properly again. July and August are always crazy for me, this year was beyond bonkers; between getting the Rock Exhibition together and trying to run and already busy business was exceptionally tricky. Then I was thrown straight into the holidays, trying to gain some kind of routine while trying to juggle precious time with Evie, work and family time! I look back now and August is a complete blur … I can’t remember much of it, saying that, my diary is full so I must have made it though and actually done some work!! I did have to take some time out as I was on the verge of burn out, but I’m feeling energised and ready to give it my best again.

Chloe Michell with youngest daughter Evie.

After the madness of the summer holidays, I often feel reflective about my life/work balance. I’ve worked hard to get my business to the level it is now and it is a complete honour to do what I do for many reasons. However, there is always more work to do. As many of you will know, I like to provide a very personal service. This always takes more time (not a negative) and cannot be delegated. I enjoy getting to know my clients personally and love to make them the jewellery they desire, designed with my own hands. The reality of this is, that if i worked 12 hour days 7 days a week at the moment I’d still be short on time!

This is where it gets tricky, how do we as mothers learn to balance time between life and work? When there is school happening, I am put into an enforced routine (one I will happily admit to dislike). I am a natural late riser in the day and would much rather work into the evening kind of person. However, having younger children doesn’t really lend itself to this routine! Without that guideline I literally blow about like a windsock on a stormy Cornish day. So at least with this ‘enforced routine’ I can get some kind of balance; work in the day, family in the evening. This sounds great, but then in comes the exhaustion, I want to be full of energy to have fun and wholesome family time, however my partner and I are usually so exhausted after our day that we generally blob on the sofa. Real talk! Thats when it hits ….. the guilt !!!

And that is it, isn’t it? As women we want to provide it ALL for our children… Healthy meals (shopping lists, food shop), wholesome fun (packed lunches, time out and about), love and a nice clean and tidy home (cleaning, paying bills, earning money to provide said home) with a happy dog who is walked everyday for an hour each time (mostly in the evenings family time). But, as many of you know, it is practically impossible to sustain … Especially when working a full time job . How on earth are we supposed to do all of that as well?? I’m sure there are many wonder women out there who can do just that (and to you high fives all around), but for me personally it is a struggle sometimes. Something has to give. For me its cleaning, luckily my partner is a legend and takes care of most of that department, even if Evie and I are frustratingly messy! (It is the feral gene, we inherited it ok! Haha).

So, in conclusion to this I’m a ‘crap mum’ sh*t is… That i’m not! I’m just trying to do my best, just like everyone else. If that means we f**k off the cleaning to go to the beach then so be it! I know Evie will remember me more for that, than if the dishes were done that day. Annoyingly, in her preteen slug mode she hates me for it right now, but she won’t forever. It’s finding the balance of knowing when to work, or when it is ok to take a few days out to whizz up to Bristol and hang out with my eldest, or drink some wine and go dancing with my boy (he’s 23, don’t worry). Sometimes, I make the decision to turn my phone off on a Sunday and not look at socials and emails, as I find this is healthy for us as a family and it makes a little time to restore the balance.

So, I try and push away the working mum guilt and just continue to do the best I can… Being at peace with the fact that sometimes work comes first and other times it is family. It is just the way it is, and always will be in my line of work.


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