Today’s episode is something a little different from what I have done so far. I want to give you a bit of a peek into my personal life. My journey as a mum and business owner. People often ask me, “How do you do it all?”. Well, the answer is – I am NOT doing it ALL.
I want to share this because I get asked by fellow mums in the Natural Super Kids community. Also friends in my local community who may be feeling like they are inadequate because their lives isn’t as close to what they see on the internet.
I talk about my business journey. How my husband and I were able to achieve that work-life balance that we’ve always wanted. The support that I’m getting behind the scenes from my amazing team at Natural Super Kids and little ways how you can achieve the same for yourself.
I’d love to know what you thought of this episode, send me a DM on Instagram here!
Hello and welcome back to the podcast!
Today’s episode is something a little different to what I have done so far. I want to give you a bit of a peek into my personal life. I want to share this because I get a fair few comments and questions from people in the Natural Super Kids community. From clients, members, friends and other mums in my local community that are seeing all the things that I am doing online. I guess, as an online business owner, I’m sharing insights into my life on Instagram stories. And it appears sometimes that I’m all over social media. You know, I’ll pop up on Facebook and Instagram and you might see my stuff on Pinterest. You’re listening to my podcasts and the queries that I get are related to, “How do you do it all? How do you fit it all in?”.
That with an undertone of these mums that are asking this question feeling like they are inadequate. Because they’re barely getting through the day with little kids at home. And being able to put dinner on the table, let alone put a podcast out in the world or share some behind the scenes of their life on Instagram stories. Or you know, put information together for a blog post and people see all the members that we’re serving in the Natural Super Kids Klub. So I can see from the outside, it looks like I am some sort of superwoman, super businesswoman, super mum. I’ve had this experience before when watching other people online, before I learned the trick… And that’s really what I want to share with you today.
Whether you’re a business owner or not, I think it’s really important for us mums to understand this because being a mum is a full time job. Everything else that we might do in our life, whether that’s paid work or community work, or being involved with our kids school, but just being a mom. Supporting our kids physically, mentally, emotionally. Getting all the things done that need to be done in a house. And so I think for our community of mums here at Natural Super Kids, I really want to make sure that I am being transparent. So today I want to peel back the curtain and share how I manage to appear to be doing it all.
This episode has had very little kind of preparation. I’m just wanting to chat with you. So hopefully I articulate this well enough. When people ask me how you doing it all? My answer is always “I am not doing it all!”. Over the last few years particularly, I really developed a small but amazing team of people that help me both in my business and in my personal life. So I want to share a bit about what that looks like.
First of all, at the very end of 2019 and early 2020, we made a big decision, my husband and I. He left his paid job. He was not happy in his job and some of you may have heard this story. I’ve shared this story, really when we were in the thick of making this decision. I haven’t talked about it much since. So it’s been over a year now that he has been at home and in the business full time. That has made a huge difference to our work-life balance. Now, this was not an easy decision. The business was not at the point that it could sort of replace his full time wage yet, but we knew that we kind of had to take that leap to propel the business forward.
To give you a bit of an insight into what 2019 was like for me, oh, it was a very crazy and stressful year! The business was growing and that was a really good thing. My husband was working full-time, he was leaving home early. I was working from home full-time hours. Sometimes more than full-time hours and having to take care of all the kid things. My husband’s always been very hands on around the house and with the kids but he was in a physical job. He was sort of doing landscaping gardening work, and so he was coming home pretty physically exhausted. Sore a lot of the time. He’s done a lot of physical work in his life and since turning 40, which was a few years ago now, he’s really felt that in his body.
We know when we’re sore and tired, you know, we’re not the best version of ourselves. So that was sort of playing a part in the family dynamics. I was working and having to stop work at 10 to three to go pick up the kids. And then there’d be all the after school activities, the snacks and all of the things that us mums doing those afternoons when we’re with the kids. I did have a house cleaner who used to come a couple of hours a week. So the cleaning was getting done but anyone with a cleaner knows that there’s still so much more that needs to be done. You’ve still got to do the washing and the folding, tidying and the cooking, the shopping, and all of those things.
So I was trying to grow and build my business, service my clients which was really important to me. You know, support our members as well in the Klub and it was all getting too much. It was too much for a good year. And so at the end of 2019, my husband came to me with this idea. He’s a real numbers person. He looked at our figures and he had sort of forecasted income for the business and said, “We’re not quite there yet but I think we can just do it, take the leap?” And look, we’ve always been ones to take the leap. We left Australia when we were in our early 20s to go work and travel around the world. I’ve shared this story as well. Without much of a plan we just like, “Let’s just get on a plane and go.”
We had our first three months planned, but then past that we didn’t. So we also took a leap and decided to travel around Australia for 12 months with our kids. Again, not really knowing how we could make it work financially. But just doing it and working it out as we go along. So this was I guess, one of those big leaps that we needed to take to improve our lifestyle and our work-life balance. Because we knew things weren’t working. We were not the best versions of ourselves for each other within our marriage. Certainly, we weren’t the best versions of ourselves for our kids. We were putting all into trying to juggle it all, as I’m sure so many of you listening can relate to.
So we made this big leap. He quit his job, which he was very happy about because he wasn’t happy at his job. And we slowly started to develop a role for him in the business which was a side of the business that is not my strength. That’s the numbers and figures! The accounting and the forecasting. Just being really aware of all our numbers and figures for the business, which was definitely being neglected. It’s been great to have him on board with that. Then he has also slowly taken a bigger role in the business doing more tasks and jobs that need to be done within the business as well. But what he’s also been doing for the last over 12 months, is taking care of the majority of the house.
Now I’m really lucky, he really enjoys this side of things. Part of him stopping work was we had to cut costs and so we got rid of our cleaner that was coming. He took over the cleaning. Again, which he enjoys doing and that’s kind of rare for a lot of people, let alone you know men. Well, from what I hear from a lot of my friends and that sort of thing. We have conversations all the time about how lucky I am that he does enjoy those things. So that is definitely a bonus and I had to do a lot of letting go which I’m still in the process of doing, particularly when it comes to food. As you would know, nutrition is really important to me. Good food is really important to me, I enjoy cooking.
But again, as I’m sure you will relate there is it gets a bit tedious having to put food on the table every night. So he takes care of a lot of the cooking as well. I still love going to the farmers markets on Saturdays. I will generally do that and he’ll do a bit of a top up shop during the week. He’s also doing the vast majority of the school pickups and drop-offs. Our son is at high school now so he’s on the bus but he is doing school drop-offs and pickups for our daughter and the majority of the driving around to the kids’ activities after school as well, to dance. To be honest, our kids’ activities have dropped a lot.
My son is mountain bike mad. He wants to spend all his time doing that and he doesn’t do any sort of scheduled activities for that. That’s just literally going out on his bike with his friends to find or seek out or play on mountain bike tracks in our sort of local area. And so he’s given up some of his after school activities so he can spend more time doing that. For example, he’s not playing football anymore because he’s so mountain bike mad. So, that after school activities have definitely dropped a little bit but my husband takes care of the majority of the driving and picking up the kids to and from those things.
So that has allowed me to, number one, have more focused time on the business. And number two, when I knock off from work at the end of the day, it has allowed me to have some time to spend with the kids. One of the really great things that I’ve implemented is when I turn my computer off, because I work from home. Rather than just heading straight into mum life, I go for a 20-30 minute walk or bike ride. It really helps me to create that barrier between finishing work.
I’m searching for a word that I can’t think of, but that barrier, let’s call it “between”. Okay, work is done and I am now on family time because he’s taking care of the dinner or he’s in the middle of making dinner. So it’s allowed me more focus time for the business, which has really benefited the business. But it’s also allowed me more me time, self-care time and often, it’s not necessarily me time. I’ll you know, go for a bike ride or a walk with one of the kids if they’ll come with me. If they’re not doing something more interesting. So it’s really allowed that time that I’m not working to be more quality time with the family.
The other thing that has really changed is that we don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to book a holiday. We’ve got total freedom in terms of when we want to go away. Whereas when you’re employed, obviously, you only get a certain amount of weeks per year off. You have to book that holiday in advance. So it allows us to go away. We go away for a week, most of the school holidays. Then for a bit longer in the summer holidays as well. We’re not big, expensive holiday people, generally. We love camping, we love getting outdoors. We love, you know, getting an Airbnb somewhere beautiful, and just chilling out.
So that time is really important to me to get away from the house. To get away from the business once a quarter, for approximately a week. I really feel like I need that to fill up my tank. And that’s made a huge difference for us to be able to get away a bit more often as well. A lot of people say to me, “Oh, you’re so lucky to have your life set up like that.” And I’m not one to believe in luck as such. I feel like we’ve set this up for ourselves and we’ve taken some scary steps that a lot of other people wouldn’t be willing to take to get ourselves here. So yes, I’m lucky to have a husband that doesn’t mind doing the housework but he doesn’t have to go to work every day either.
You know, he gets to do work that he is now loving, which is growing our business. He’s just setting up a lot of the things that I find really boring, like systems and processes. It’s his big project at the moment. So getting everything in the business systemised and processed, these are really important things. If you want to scale a business, these were just not things that I had time for, or that I was interested in sort of doing. So it’s been really so beneficial to have that extra person in the business. And yeah, as I said, we’ve really set this up for ourselves, and we’ve taken risks along the way.
Before I get into talking about the Natural Super Kids and the help that we have there, I also just wanted to say that this definitely hasn’t all been smooth sailing. In terms of us working together, being married, being home together all the time. It definitely has its challenges and there’s been a lot of conversation. Some arguments, negotiations, figuring out what our new places are? You know, we’ve got friends of ours come to mind that have a very clear cut kind of relationship. He is involved in the business and the work, and she is involved with everything at home. And in a way, you know, I kind of envy them, because it’s so clear cut.
There’s no like, “Why hasn’t the washing been done?” or “Why is there no milk in the fridge?”. You know, she’s got her clear roles and he’s got his clear roles. But obviously, a lot of us these days, don’t want to be at home full time as mums. Or we don’t want to be at work full time as dads. So these negotiations have to happen to create more balance in our lives.
Robyn Miller, who has a Instagram account and a business called The Mental Load. She talks a lot about outsourcing projects. If you’re a Klub member, we’ve got a chat with her about The Mental Load which I do want to touch on actually in a moment. She talks about outsourcing projects, rather than outsourcing individual tasks. So rather than saying to your partner or husband, why do you never do the washing or can you just bring the washing in… Put them in charge of the washing that is their job, or have a chat about what projects everyone is going to be in charge of. And that’s been really helpful for us, in terms of really helping to navigate any confusion or feeling resentful that someone isn’t pulling their weight.
So I think The Mental Load is something we really need to think about and talk about as mums. Because the vast majority of the time, it’s mums that are carrying the majority of the mental load. Even if we do have partners, husbands that are hands on at home, a lot of mums that I talked to feel like things only get done if they get asked. If they ask to be done. So they’re still having to think of all the things that need to be done. The mental load in a family is huge. There’s so much to think about and if we can outsource projects to other members of our family, whether it’s our partners or our kids even. We can put our kids in charge of doing the cleaning up after dinner, for example.
There’s no arguments about who’s doing what and why do I have to do this tonight. I mean, there probably will still be those winges but it’s just what happens. You’re in charge of this project or you’re in charge of putting the bins out. You’re in charge of feeding the dog or you’re in charge of emptying the dishwasher. So those sorts of things, rather than having to ask them all the time. Before you go to school, you need to check that the dishwasher doesn’t need to be emptied and if it does, you need to make sure that it’s done.
So that can be really helpful when thinking about how to outsource. I really wanted to share that insight into what our personal household looks like because I think that might change your perception. In terms of if you’re a mum at home, that’s in charge of all the household stuff, in charge of all the kids stuff. In charge of all the food at home, imagine how much lighter your life would be and how much more you could fit in if you didn’t have to do the housework. If you didn’t have to do the cooking. What we want for ourselves looks different for everyone. You know, I’m not saying that our setup is the perfect setup. I’m not saying that at all. But what I hope that this gets you thinking about is maybe what can I outsource?
What can I let go of, what can I get my partner involved in, my kids involved in. Or my neighbours involved in or my mum, friends involved in that will help lighten the load for all of us? Prior to the setup that we have now in our life, when I was you, I was not utilising and they were utilising me for a friend. My sister, a close friend of my sister that lived nearby. We were you know, sharing pickups and drop-offs and after school care. I would have my niece one day a week and then she would have my kids one day a week. So we could work a bit later that day.
A friend around the corner who was driving past my house to take her kids to school would pick up my kids for school sometimes. And I would bring her kids home from school sometimes. So it gives you that extra 10-15 minutes, 20 minutes in your day to be able to rest or get something else done. There’s ways that you can do this in little ways. You don’t have to take this big leap and you know, leave your employed job like my husband did to create more of a balance in your life for yourself.
Just briefly, I don’t want to sort of go into too much detail but even in Natural Super Kids. One of the big changes and one of the ways that we’ve been able to grow over the last couple of years is because I have finally started outsourcing and growing a team of people that are helping me. Which I wish I did so much sooner because you can’t do it all in business, just like you can’t do it all at home. Without burning out, at least anyway.
So I have a virtual assistant, who has been working with me for three and a half years now. She’s my first employee. It was a big deal to bring her on board. She does a lot of the backend stuff for Natural Super Kids. Her name’s Valiree. Shout out to Valiree, if you’re listening. She’s a mum as well, all the team members for Natural Super Kids are mums. Valiree does so many different tasks for Natural Super Kids and she has a lot of flexibility. All our team members have quite a bit of flexibility in terms of when they work. I feel really good about being able to offer employment to these mums that can work from home. That can work hours that really suit them. And they’re passionate about kids’ health and nutrition just as I am.
Valiree does a lot of our backend tasks, she’s in the background of the business. She’s updating the website, letting people into our Facebook groups and making sure all the payments are going through. Following up with failed payments and all of those sorts of things, and so much more. She does a lot of the backend stuff and it’s crazy how much of that work there is in a business. So that frees me up to be able to be creative in terms of what am I going to talk about on the podcast?
What information can we bring to our members that’s going to be really helpful for their kids’ health? How can I support my clients and members on a higher level? It allows me to be able to focus on those really important things within the business as opposed to making updates to the blog posts, to our blog. Or adding the podcast to the website, those sorts of things that Valiree does really well.
Then we have Chloe. Chloe is our Community Manager and Customer Support Manager. Well, the first thing that she sort of started with is helping me in my inbox. We get a lot of emails, and I could spend all day everyday in my inbox if I chose to. But obviously, again, that is not the best use of my time. Many of the replies can be done by her, they don’t need to be done by me. If someone does need a reply by me, she pops it into a folder. Then I get to those few emails as opposed to having dozens of emails to get through everyday. She also takes care of our Klub community. Chloe is organising prizes and challenges, and she’s making sure everyone’s questions get answered. She is doing some of our social media posting.
Chloe’s a mum of three, she’s got younger kids. Chloe, shout out to you if you’re listening! And so she, you know, now my kids are that bit older, she’s really in touch. She’s in the throes of having young kids at home. Chloe adds that element of connection for people with younger kids that might not feel as connected to me because my kids are that bit older. I love what she brings in terms of some of the content that she creates for Natural Super Kids.
We have Susan, who is our second Naturopath. She’s also a Wholefood Chef and so she does Naturopathic consulting for Natural Super Kids. Having her on board has allowed me to step back from that one-on-one consulting. I found that as the membership was growing, I needed to manage all the team and everything. It was getting all a bit much if I was doing one-on-one consulting a couple of days a week. So I’ve really pulled back from that, and now she sees all our new clients. She’s just the most brilliant practitioner.
So I feel, obviously I found someone who I can trust will take good care of our Natural Super Kids community when it comes to Naturopathic consultations. Susan also supports our members in the Natural Super Kids Klub and she creates the recipes. She’s a brilliant recipe creator, she takes beautiful photos of the recipes, which is not my strong point at all. Susan is doing a lot of that Naturopathic support work. She lives in Sydney, she’s got three girls and she can work flexible hours, which is really great for her.
And we have Haley as well who is our fussy eating expert. She predominantly does consultations to support mums and dads with fussy eaters, specifically. We have a few contractors that help out in Natural Super Kids that might take care of our Facebook ads, for example. We will, you know, have a contractor designer to design things if we need to. So I am certainly not doing everything in the business. Hopefully, it’s been interesting to hear a bit of an insight into kind of who’s doing what as well as that personal insight. How I managed to appear to be doing it all, both in my personal life and in my business but really, I’m not.
I’ve got a lot of people helping me. So I would encourage you to think through or to look through this lens when looking at people on social media. Because social media does make it feel like, there’s these super mums that are doing everything. And we’re not able to keep up. I know I can get in that trap but until I think, “Hang on a minute”. You know, yes, they might be doing this really well but there’s other areas of their life that are probably lacking. So we want to make sure that we’re not putting other people on a pedestal because it can make us feel inadequate.
Rather empowering ourselves and thinking how can I improve my work-life balance? Or, how can I improve my life so that I can fill up my cup more often? What can I let go of, what can I say no to, what can I outsource? What can I delegate to people in my family? Delegating those projects, as opposed to having to say, “Can you do this? Can you do that?” over tasks all the time.
So I would love to know what you thought of this episode. Obviously, it’s very different to the episodes that we have put out so far. But I do really want to share some personal insights. Particularly when I feel like there’s a lesson that you could gain from that something that I share. Send me a DM on Instagram if you’re there, or send me an email, email@example.com.
I’d love to hear from you and hear how you found this episode. And please, please, please take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast on iTunes, if you can. It really helps more mums find our podcast, which means that we can spread the word of kids’ health and nutrition more widely.
Thanks so much for listening, guys! And I will see you next week!