If there is one thing that I would put higher than anything else on the 'why startup life is hard' list it's childcare. Perhaps that's why lots of people still think you shouldn't or can't do a startup when you have children! But it's not just startups it's 'work is hard' as a parent of young children because childcare is hard. It's the biggest challenge that I face. How much do I need? How much can I afford? How much will make me feel like I'm failing as a mother? How much will make me feel like I'm failing as a business owner? And then what on earth do I do when I don't have the childcare I planned to have.
When it works it's amazing but when it doesn't you are suddenly, often at a moment's notice, left with a pile of urgent work and a little helper! Sometimes you have lots of helpers but fortunately for us three of our four children are now at school. It definitely is getting easier but with no family nearby to call on in emergencies, we really are stuck when it doesn't work out. And when you work for yourself, and even more so when both of you work for yourselves, it is really expensive when you can't work or can only sort of work.
Find the magic
This week childcare has been hard and we've had to juggle and tag-team like a pair of ninjas. Good job we've had almost ten years of practise! And now that we are both working on the same thing we can be a lot more clear and focussed about priorities when we're thrown a childcare curveball.
We also know when to say 'actually this is going to go so pear-shaped and be so hard that we should just put that to do list to one side and do something else entirely'. This sense of freedom is actually really great. Turning a no-childcare panic into an adventure is good for the soul, the family and the business too.
This week we decide to drop the big kids at school and jump straight in the car with little Rudi and drive to Sunbury Antiques Fair. This place has been on our list for forever but we've just never felt we could justify leaving our laptops to make the trip. Stef and I were both so pleased we did. A land of treasure for both our home and the studio and we can't wait to go back soon.
And as we were so close I finally got to go to Petersham Nurseries. I can't tell you how excited I was to finally make it to this magical place. We nearly didn't go in because the rain was so, so crazy but eventually there was a break in the clouds and we scooped up Rudi and rushed inside. I was quite literally in heaven. Plants, greenhouses, delicious food, props and inspiring styling wherever you look.
Botany and photography pure bliss. And a chance for a little photoshoot.
Yes, the emails might have mounted up and the to-do list has been left untouched but we are re-energised, our arms of full of new props for the studio, our minds are a little calmer and we are full of inspiration. A plot-twist at it's best! xo