THE MOTHER HUSTLE
June 20, 2017Edit
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about all the side hustling mothers have going on. There’s something about being a mother that makes us all the more inspired to push ourselves harder.
In a bid to find #workthatworks/ our identity/ our sanity/ some extra cash/ all of the above… for whatever reasons you have, it seems that this is just what mothers do now, and I am so proud and in awe of this strength and resourcefulness we all have, to fight against the tide of traditional outdated employment that doesn’t suit our families needs and to battle against society’s expectations and views in order to find flexible or freelance work that can fit around our children and not financially cripple us with childcare costs. The childcare issue is a big one, and a whole other conversation/ blog post in itself. Every mother I have spoken to recently is struggling with getting the balance right- i.e. being completely bankrupt with nursery fees whilst trying to work or having no childcare at all but trying to work freelance/ run a business and every non-ideal situation in between.
Hence the Sideline Hustling ; evenings, weekends, getting creative with our skills and our time, websites, blogs, etsy shops, events. We’re doing it all!
Its all so very inspiring and I don’t think its always about bringing in the cash (although that is a major consideration) I think, for me, and a lot of other Mums I have spoken to it is about striving for a better work/ life balance. In my case being at home with two toddlers has been an intense experience and I have found that I need to balance this with working on something just for me. The obvious thing would be to work part time, however I found it shockingly hard to make this happen with the added complications of childcare and not being that qualified (breaking even for a job in a cafe? hmmm..) not to mention the GUILT. If I’d had a ‘career’ to go back to (and even this isn't easy to navigate – see @Motherpukka‘s ‘flex appeal’) then I would have perhaps felt more valid (in whose eyes, I don’t know?) in a decision to want to return to work for my sanity, but because I had become a mother out of (a very determined) choice and then found I needed that balance but couldn’t choose it, I was a bit stuck.
That choice of whether to go back to work is so important whichever way you go, without it you find that the decision is made for you. In my case this has led to frustration, stagnation, depression, guilt and shame in my struggle/ journey to find my balance. I have been hustling on the side of course; I have a small creative business and I am currently re training in social media management but it is actually only in this last month that I have changed my mindset and free’d myself of the guilt (well most of it..mum guilt is always going to be there in some form!) around wanting to work. It has been talking to and reading about other mothers and their balance, work, hustle, childcare situations that has made me realise we are all so different and have such different needs and we are all just trying to make it work and trying to be the best possible people we can be for our children. The fact is its a jungle out there and really really tough to make it work (again, see #flexappeal #workthatworks #radicalchildcare etc)
I would LOVE to hear about your Mother Hustle’s and general views on the work/ life/ childcare juggle. Please get in touch here or on FB/ Instagram/ Twitter and use the #themotherhustle hashtag. I am planning a series of interviews with inspiring mothers who are juggling the hustlings so stay tuned!