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(Guest Post) The Balancing Act, How One Mom Juggles Work and Family

We love hearing people's stories and invite amazing people around the world to guest post.  The images have been provided by Carla for use on this blog.  The cover photo is from Prateek Katyal on Unsplash.

Hello Lovelies,

 

Claire has so graciously lent me her platform to share with you all some insight on working from home. First, to introduce myself, my name is Carla! I am a 30-year-old creative and adventurous spirit. I like to describe myself as a linguist, blogger and entrepreneur. I spend my time learning new languages, completing my 2nd BA, running my business, and of course caring for my family. I am a wife and a mother to my recently turned 5-year-old rambunctious daughter.

 

Due to the pandemic situation, like most of you, we are all confined to our home in quarantine. Prior to COVID -19 I had been working remotely from home for nearly 2 years. Two years ago after much time and reflection, I left my stressful corporate job behind in pursuit of more flexible contract positions. When I first started freelancing it was very hard. I had miscalculated my anticipated income and our budget took a major hit. I did extensive research and applied for jobs with clients all day every day. I even briefly went back to work in a physical office setting to help make ends meet.

During this process of searching for clients and getting rejected for jobs, I learned that contract work can be very risky if you do not secure consistent longterm clients. After a year of flopping around in the deep end, I secured 2 longterm clients which now generate 2 streams of business income. I finally feel a bit more secure with my self-employment. This brings us to where I am today.

 

Carla Stone image

The first 2 weeks of working from home during the pandemic was a chaotic hot mess. At first, my husband and I both tried to work during daytime hours and keep our daughter occupied. We quickly learned that this would not work for us longterm. Now that we are into week 6 or 7, we employ a shift schedule and alternate caring for our daughter. Our schedule looks a bit more like the following:

 

post illustration pic jpg

7 am

Both my spouse and I wake up. I retreat to my upstairs office with a coffee in hand and work until 11am or until my daughter wakes up. My husband logs in and works from his basement office. We each have separate and defined workspaces.

 

11am-4pm

I watch my daughter, we do approximately 1-2 pages from a workbook for school, we water our outdoor garden, she plays outside, eats lunch and watches a show. At most my daughter works 10-15 minutes in a workbook. That is what her attention span can handle. If I feel a tantrum coming on or I see that she starts to get frustrated, we take a break. I let her know that she has the option to cool down and then we can return to it later. I also incorporate outdoor learning. Every day we complete our outdoor observations where she notes the weather and temperature. She observes if it's cloudy, sunny, warm or cold. She has this awesome magnetic calendar by Melissa and Doug that she fills in every day with the day of the week, current month, weather, etc.

 

4pm-11pm

My husband gets off work and we rotate. He handles dinner, usually puts on a movie, and keeps takes care of our daughter and the dog for the rest of the evening.

 

Our schedule is not foolproof and often I get burned out working in the evenings. I also miss the opportunity to have family time after work. I am always adjusting my schedule and testing out different things to learn what works best for us. Recently I discovered that I can do some tasks with my daughter in my office if she is sufficiently entertained. When she has her iPad and headphones, I can actually work for about 1-2 hours.

 

With two working parents and young children in the house, there is no magic formula to have a smooth-running day. My number one piece of advice is to acknowledge that we are literally being tasked with completing the impossible. There is a reason that teachers, nannies, and childcare services exist as occupations. There are amazing individuals gifted with discernment and knowledge to enrich young minds. The act of homeschooling, caregiving, and working a full-time job is actually 3 jobs in one. For this reason, do not feel bad or guilty if some days you crash and burn. We have our new routine and a new sense of normal.

 

Do your best and give God (or the universe ) the rest. You can get through this and you are not alone.

 

-Carla, Author of My Soul Venture Blog

 

You can follow Carla on:
Her Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Are you looking to submit a guest post?  Now accepting submissions for travel, mental health & food-related posts.  Please send me a query through the contact me form for more info.

2020 Vision; My Goals For Next Year

Cover Photo: Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Oh. My. Goodness.

How fast has 2019 just been?  I swear it was only just like March and I just came back from my holiday in Melbourne.  I think we can all agree that a lot of us told 2019 to come at us - and boy, didn't it just?  I'm going to be completely honest and say I started 2019, pretty shittily.   I had the worst 2018 Christmas (in fact, I didn't even see more than 10 minutes that day as I was so sick.)  I was still terribly unwell NYE and had a super long flight back from Darwin to Hobart the following day (word of advice, don't fly whilst you're sick. It's a) not fun and b) totally not fair on other passengers. (Looking at you old guy who got me sick on the initial plane ride.)

 

I'll do up another post about my 2019 in review, because it really was a year of ups and downs, and I wanted this to be a bit more of an inspiration post rather than a #woeisme  sort of things.   I'm honestly totally one for new years resolutions, I hardly ever stick to them, but, I watched this cool little video on skillshare the other day and the premise was around "side quests" and how to get to your next goal.  Now, the actual video itself I'd highly recommend watching - but one particular part mentions that you should write down your goals on a tiny piece of paper and keep it with you, and you'd eventually sort of manifest it into coming true.  I've done this with a list before a couple of years back, and actually managed to tick off about 75% of the things I'd set out - so y'know what guys, fuck it.  Let's set a goal of 20 things for 2020 that we can see me try to achieve over the year.

PERSONAL GOALS

  1. Clear all outstanding debt
  2. Create a community for millennials to be able to connect together
  3. Get my first tattoo
  4. Save $9000 by November
  5. Try to de-clutter my room & storage unit
  6. Read (or re-read)  20 books and write reviews about them
  7. Focus on minimizing waste footprint

 

HEALTH & VANITY GOALS

  1.  Hit a personal best for weight loss - (hit 70kgs)  - then fine tune down to appx 60kg
  2.  Gym/Exercise 3 times a week
  3.  Do the splits
  4.  Try seven new sports
  5.  Fit into a size 8 by November for my friends wedding ♥
  6.  Be able to dead lift 100kg
  7.  Commit to 4 months of PT sessions
  8.  Grow my hair another few inches and wear it down more often
  9.  Set up four different photo shoots of progress goals (one for each season)

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & BLOG GOALS

  1. Continue my 365 day photo project
  2. Launch my re-branded photography line & Continue new creativity content monthly
  3. Collaborate with both national and international brands for content & guest post
  4. Earn 2k a month from blogging
  5. Learn how to film & edit video - and create YouTube content
  6. Post at least twice a week & schedule in advance
  7. Earn half of my savings from the first point in the list through photography gigs
  8. Somehow keep said savings and upgrade my camera to a 5D mk iv (or v as that should be out soon)
  9. Each month focus on a new area of photography or editing I haven't before (tilt shift, film, landscapes etc)
  10. Do a "Hello Stranger" project and photograph 100 random people
  11. Complete the "Vanity Project"   of self reflection
  12. Grow twitter following to over 2k, same with instagram

 

TRAVEL & SOCIAL GOALS

  1.  Plan/Organise a six to twelve month international trip
  2.  Learn how to speak a second language
  3.  Gain employment for a job overseas for a period of time
  4.  Stay in a hostel
  5.  Go out with someone new, in either my home town or internationally
  6.  Show someone around Hobart as a tour guide
  7.  Make new pen pals overseas
  8.  Try to get out once a month to a social night
  9.  Find new places in Tasmania to blog about
  10.  Go on road trips with Wally once a month, and see if I can find some friends to come along

I'm totally sure there's meant to be more that I'm aiming for - but I think this seems like a pretty good list for now.  What are you looking forward to trying to achieve for 2020?  Let me know in the comments below <3

Fern Glade | North Tasmania

Look, I think I may be a bit bias towards my love of the North West.  It's where I spent the first five years of my life, and honestly - as much as I  love Hobart, the North will always have my heart. (Insert Game of Thrones reference here).  I always have one memory in particular of this place that we spotted platypuses (platypi?) one night when it was nearing dusk, and as you may have guessed - it was this great little place called Fern Glade.

 

Over the weekend, we carpooled up to Burnie to see off my cousin who, I may add as an amazing achievement, is heading overseas on a four-year scholarship. But as the farewell wasn't until later in the evening, the #Roadtripfam had some time to kill.  When suggested what would I like to do -and the typical response of "Take photos and walk" was the answer, we took a trip up to Fern Glade, which features on Tasmania's top 60 short walks.   It's only a short drive away from the Burnie CBD as well - so really, you've got no excuse not to visit.

 

When we arrived, typical Tassie weather ensued, and within minutes of our walk - it started raining so hooray for hooded jumpers and bringing spare towels in the car!

 

As I mentioned a little earlier, Fern Glade is an amazing spot to try and see Platypi - although we were unlucky on this occasion. They like to show themselves early morning and late afternoon - so our 1PM house call wasn't going to win us any favours.

 

There was a much further walk than what we did - and I'd recommend to head up there in that early morning timing to get the full appreciation and beauty of the place.

 

Quick side note ||
Fern Glade is not dog friendly and is fineable to bring them in - so be aware if travelling with your furry friend.

Have you done any of Tasmania's short walks?  Or have you ever been to Fern Glade?  Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Clairesupersmall