Work, children, household, partnership, friends – all this takes time and organization! And it means a constant balancing act between work and family. I have known this feeling for ages. At that time I graduated from high school and worked on the side. After that I studied and worked by the way. But I was not yet a mother. One day I became it when Lilli was born in 2009. And at that very moment not only an extra large portion of responsibility moved in with us, but also a real time problem.
That’s how it was when Lilli was born:
Things that previously had too little time had to be completely deleted from the calendar. I stood permanently between my studies and the family. I wanted both, but both were hardly possible because Micha was always away from home and I had no support on the ground. So I wrote books in order to realize myself in this way and to have a mental balance. Nevertheless, family always came first for me. Lilli was – just like Lotte and Tom – a true wish child. However, we had imagined the whole thing a bit easier than it was in the end.
At some point, everyday life settled down. I looked after Lilli, did the household and shopping, and always wrote my books when she slept. One day, the wish for a sibling came up. And three years later Lotte came. It followed a nice, but also very demanding time. Especially since Lotte suffered from the 3-month colic. I lacked sleep for writing books and a clear mind. That was the reason why I started blogging when Lotte was half a year old.
By now we are five and the blog has grown into our own small family business. We are proud of it every day and often quite overwhelmed. At least once a week, we sit together and review the last few years. Really! Sometimes in the car, on the couch in the evening, sometimes on a walk. We often can not believe what we have built up and we are really grateful that it has come as it is.
At Lilli and Lotte, I was at home full time, while the blog became a (dream) profession. In parallel, Micha completed his studies and became a shipbuilding engineer. And as the blog grew more and better, he took a year off after Tom’s birth to find out how things could go on. And it went well! So good that he quit his job as a shipbuilding engineer to help me out at home. Because alone and with Tom at home, I would never be able to handle the blog to this extent! Then there would be the garden, the purchases, the household. Lilli comes home at noon, Lotte at 2 pm. Tom is here full time. These would include appointments with doctors or the speech therapist and various hobbies of the children.
In short: If I were alone, maybe I would blog once or twice a week. If any. YouTube would not exist. Maybe I would also mainly cultivate Instagram.
So we have the great fortune to have built up a self-employment that can be wonderfully compatible with family life. Nevertheless – and I have often said so – this also means SELF and PERMANENT – in the truest sense of the word. Because if you are self-employed, you have to fight for an “income” every month. There is no regular salary that you can rely on.
I always have to work because there is no substitute for me. Nobody can step in for me. No colleague. No colleague. Not Micha either. If I’m not there because I’m traveling, sick or on vacation, then everything will be fine. That can be several hundred e-mails after one day. And there are the following things are not even included: Comment moderation on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and the blog, maintaining the channels, photographing, viewing and editing the images, writing texts, display marketing, concept development, writing invoices, various appointments, be creative and above all: never lose the overview!
With all this you can already imagine how much work accumulates when I’m not there. After several days of absence usually there is so much work that I have to work on it for 1-2 weeks. As the normal working day continues in parallel, I put in night shifts. And all that next to the family.
In any case, some of you – at least that’s what you’re writing to me – imagine our “blogger life” in a very romantic way: Micha is at home, we’re always together and have endless time. I’m often even asked if Micha will not wake me up. Or me him.😀
But no, not at all! Because we are both at home, but work side by side. During the day he is there for the children while I work. In the evening we both work. Mostly we treat ourselves only on weekends free evenings. But even that does not always work. Apart from the fact that the children are naturally also longer awake at the weekend.
I think it’s hard to imagine what kind of work is behind what we do here. People who come from this field – from an online magazine or PR area – know that, but many others do not. And I understand that too. Because maybe I would imagine it all just as easy if I did not know the view behind the scenery and live.
And of course it works differently! There are many bloggers who work very differently. But they do not do it full-time and do not produce that amount of content by far. Micha and I, on the other hand, like to do this for our lives because we love what we do and we feel it is our vocation. But it eats an incredible amount of time. Much more than most people can imagine.
So, and then I was still working in the home office. Has advantages, of course. Is comfortable, there is no way to work and incidentally, the laundry can run. But at the same time our home means work for me. And when I overhear the laundry beep or see the chaotic nursery, that’s not exactly helpful in order to keep working. And of course there are the kids too. Although the three mice know that I work, they are constantly hopping. It is also good and important, but it increases the pressure on some days and only makes the balancing act between work and family even greater.
I’ve often told it in our videos: sometimes I miss this totally unprejudiced family time totally. This free time. I do not know that anymore. Either I work or I do the household. And during the really nice family time, it takes a lot of concentration to be able to enjoy it with a clear mind. On vacation, for example, when the e-mail inbox spills over after just two days, and I really have to struggle to keep it all together. I only want to have time for my family. That’s a thought. The other one knows that all that’s left is that I have to give 500% when I’m home and need to catch up. That’s overwhelming and not really easy.
I hope you do not get me wrong! I love what I do. I have learned a lot in the last few years and have grown in various tasks and conflicts. I also appreciate that we have flexible working hours and can reconcile our profession with family life. And also that it’s great to do something that I enjoy.
I know all this. And I appreciate all that. Day after day.
For me, it is simply on the heart to present the other side of the coin and to point out the reality that the whole thing costs not only time and leisure, but we also reveal a lot of us in all this. That’s fine with us. We deliberately chose it. But all those who criticize us in between should also look at both sides of the coin.
Besides, I always say: I raised the blog with two small children at home. When they slept, I did not watch TV or talk to girlfriends. No, when they slept, I worked. And that for three years. Day after day. Micha was hardly ever at home then.
I did not get it all, but built it for myself – with a lot of discipline, heart and stamina. And that, even though I did not earn much of the blog for the first three years. That was never what I wanted to get out of. At the time, that was not even an option. Hardly anyone knew what a blog is. For me it was just a balancing act at the time … a task … and a passion that I fought for in order to reach more and more people over time.
Today I am glad that it came as it is. Nevertheless, I sometimes lie in bed in the evening and wish Micha would just go out and drive to work and I could just be free and free. That’s right. And spend more time with the kids. Not only on the weekends. And then there is the garden that needs to be taken care of, and the household, where we really (!) Do not follow. He who believes that is mistaken. Laundry, dishwasher and everyday things went great with us. We integrate these things into everyday life. Just like tidying up. But a real house cleaning almost never succeeds. There is simply no time at the front and back.
Quite apart from that, I’m currently the one who works, and so Micha would have to handle everything else, which I finally did, but that does not work either. In spite of everything, I am the one who has to think of everything, always and everywhere, looking after friendships and appointments, having everything in mind, doing the laundry, cleaning out the dishwasher in the evening and organizing everyday life.
Micha also does a lot. Very much even. But nevertheless, I feel like the organizing center of the whole and often have the feeling that I have to think for him. This means that I am not only in a balancing act between work and children, but also working full-time and at the same time organizing family life.
At this point I would like to start with the study results of the Procter & Gamble online platform “for me” . When the rheingold Institute surveyed 1,000 working mothers between the ages of 20 and 50, 89% of mothers felt that their family was an organizational talent. 33% said they feel responsible for their husband as well as their children.
That joins my feelings up, right?
By the way: for me is one of the largest women’s communities in Germany. Women will find advice, tips and inspiration on a variety of topics that affect us all. And so the site also provides a helpful source for us mothers. For me , the support of women in all circumstances is important. Women and mothers should be encouraged to go their own way and not forget themselves in all the challenges of everyday life. In addition to 2 million registered users, you will also find online coupons, product tests, free samples and sweepstakes.
Back to the study results:
32% of the mothers surveyed feel single parent, even though they live in a partnership. (That’s how I felt about Lilli, Lotte and the blog.)
68% state that every day they feel they have to give and give 120%.
And 96% – and I feel the same way – say that they can not relax while doing nothing.
I can not do that either. Not at all! I always feel like I’m neglecting something else in the meantime. Do you know the feeling? I know that’s important and you have to and can learn how to switch off, but maybe it’s too late for me? Because I am like that, since I can think. Not only since I’m mom.
In addition, the majority of interviewees indicate that the home, with everything that is on a daily basis, also means work, and in the midst of this everyday madness there is far too little time left for oneself. And quite apart from that, one’s own health is the basic prerequisite for everything to work and to work.
Is it like that, right? I can only confirm that.
Further study results can be found in the following graphic:
As I said, I have a very great and dedicated man by my side. Nevertheless, he takes only a fraction of what weighs on me. We often talk about it, but the tricky situation with us is that I’m the main earner. In terms of work, he can not really help me and therefore can not ensure that I have more time for the family and for myself. That’s why weekends are so sacred to me. And for all the reasons I like to travel. Not only to discover the world, but also to escape the pressures of everyday life – although I know that the work after the holiday is even more. Nevertheless, during a family vacation I fill up with energy and energy. And that’s a good thing and very important for us.
CONCLUSION: I strongly believe that today’s family model is a real challenge. For all involved.
More and more are expected of our children over time. The part of the family that acts as the main earner must always work. At the same time, the other part must always be healthy so that everything runs smoothly at home. All this puts pressure on today’s family and is an immense challenge. Not only for us mothers, but for all family members. Especially since we mothers – at least that’s how I feel – always try to make everything perfect. At the same time, sometimes we could be more pragmatic, right?
Therefore, as many as 86% of mothers surveyed said that they know their children are doing well when they are doing something for themselves. And 66% agreed that life can and should be easy in life.
I am very much looking forward to your views on this topic!
Do you feel similar? Do you also have the feeling that you have to tear yourself up all the time? Or did you enable a family model that is more relaxed?
Personally, I believe that the latter is only possible if one of the partners earns enough. But then again the point would come that the other part feels single parent and responsible for everything else. So it is not perfect, right? What do you all mean?
For me it is like this: I am the total family man! I love family and that comes first for me! But: I am also a perfectionist career woman and would break it, not to have a challenging balance.