Insider tips on balancing work life + momming with Clarita Smit from My Daily Mirror
Balancing work- and home life can be a challenge at the best of times, even if you are an absolute organisational maven with a sincere and enduring love of time sheets and to-do-list apps. Yet, there are a few dazzling unicorn-like moms out there who seem to take it all in their stride.
One such human is Clarita Smit, the inspiring voice behind My Daily Mirror. So, in the leadup to Mother’s Day, we checked in with this full-time working femme who chronicles her day-to-day life with daughter Indiah-Rose so beautifully in between bringing home the bacon and chasing her own bliss. Here’s what she had to say.
One of the best things that’s ever happened to me is becoming Indiah-Rose's mom. Today, with a very busy 3-and-a-half year old toddler I cannot think of it ever having been any other way. It's funny, life before India-Rose... I really can’t remember it. I am living my #bestlife with my sweet girl!
With that being said, I am also a full-time working mom, which can get pretty busy and exhausting. To be clear, I love my job – I do not not want to work, and I love being my own boss and contributing to my household. I also enjoy being independent. I love pretty things, so I love to shop, which means I have to work.
In a certain sense, I also want to set an example for Indiah-Rose. I want her to value attributes like a strong work ethic, being hard-working, and showing up for yourself and others every day by being strong and independent.
The juggling act of being a mom and a boss lady simultaneously can be tough, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few guidelines that has helped me to find a balance in the life I share with my awesome family:
My husband is one of the most chilled and relaxed people I know. Myself, I never sit still – I am always trying to fit in something more, even if I only have a minute between clients to fold laundry or sort out Indiah-Rose's closet. You will never find me sitting down to drink a cup of coffee; I am always on the go.
My hubby has really taught me patience through his actions, and I admire that. He always tells me if you cannot change a tough situation, or do anything about it at that moment, you have to make peace with it. This was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to accept, especially as a business owner and a mom.
Things are going to happen in life that you as a mom and as a business woman will not be able to control. The lesson here is to rather take ownership of the things that you can control. A good place to start is to just show up.
Take it one day at a time
Take it day by day, and if you need to "lose it" then go ahead and lose it. Take 5 min, don't react immediately, and cool down in a constructive way. Try again tomorrow.
Make sure to fill your own tank
We only have limited hours in a day, which usually does not feel like enough, am I right?! For me, personally, it’s never enough!
My daily routine includes exercising, prepping my daughter’s school things, checking in on every important WhatsApp group, making breakfast and dinner, doing laundry, cleaning the house, feeding the dogs, seeing between 6 to 8 clients, dealing with business admin, being the perfect wife, doing shopping and even making sure Indiah-Rose brushes her teeth. It’s a lot.
I am not a machine, so I needed to make some changes for me and my family. This is why I decided to make my day longer. For me to be a happy, energetic and a mentally healthy mom and successful business woman, I needed to do something for myself.
I truly believe when you invest in yourself, and your emotional tank is full, you can be the best you for you and your family. This is why I wake up every morning at 04:15 and go to the gym at 5am. At 6am I do admin or take time for reflection. At 7am it’s my time with my baby girl before she goes to school and at 9am my #bosslady mood kicks in. The early bird catches the worm.
Remember to ask for help
Don't be scared to ask for help, whether it's from you husband, mom or mother in-law. There is a reason the saying goes ‘it takes a village’.
Also remember to let your little one help you – they love doing things for mom and dad and getting praised when they get it right. When it comes to chores around the house, I often let Indiah-Rose help me. She helps with laundry and tidying up, and sometimes she even joins me when I exercise.
Yes, things may take a bit longer than usual, but the bonus is that you are spending time with your kid while ticking some to-do boxes – it’s a major win-win.
Don’t let your devices own you
So, this one is a bit hard for me. but I only check my mails and do admin twice a day. Yes, I can do it more, but then I will never be without some sort of device. You can’t answer every email, WhatsApp or Instagram message every hour of every day. You will constantly be glued to your phone, laptop or tablet.
I had to teach myself that some things can wait till the next day. So between 6am-7am I have some admin time, and then again between 8pm-9pm when hubby puts Indiah-Rose to bed at night. It’s their special time, and it gives me some space to square away unanswered messages.
Always put your family first
FIND YOUR BALANCE, and know what is important to YOU. Clients come and go, and to be honest, they don’t really care if you work late, miss bath time with you little one, or even work on Christmas to meet their deadlines.
On the other hand, your family and children are a vital part of your life and will be there for you every single time. They show up, so you need to show up too.
I don’t Indiah-Rose to grow up with the memory of me working constantly and missing out on important things. I want to be there as a parent, as a mentor and as a friend for my daughter. She is the most important thing for me.
Plan, plan + plan some more
Finally, it all comes down to planning. Plan your day as best you can, but remember to leave some room for error. Don’t lose sight of each day having its own obstacles, and be kind to yourself above all else. You’re doing the best you can, and that is enough.
Keen for some more momming Inspo from the lovely Clarita, follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/my.daily.mirror
We know how much work, planning and multi-tasking goes into balancing work/mom life. Nominate the mom you think is doing an amazing job and stand to win R10 000 in Mother’s Day spoils just for her.