How social media influencer Lilach Bullock juggles motherhood and work
How do YOU juggle motherhood and work? We’re always interested in other mothers’ experiences. Here’s how top social media influencer Lilach Bullock makes it work for her.
Mum-of-one Lilach Bullock is highly regarded on the world speaker circuit. She’s been listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers, and been invited to Number 10 Downing Street.
She was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle, and was recently listed as the number one Digital Marketing Influencer in the UK by Career Experts.
Lilach is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business, and developed a multi-site blog and online marketing portfolio that generated in excess of 600,000 + visitors per month.
And yet, despite all her impressive success, Lilach battles with the same creeping sense of guilt as she tries to juggle her career and family as many of us do. Here’s her experience.
“How do you do it?”
I always get this question whenever someone hears I own my own business and have a young daughter at home.
My answer changes depending on the day I’m having. Sometimes, it feels like the sky is falling down on me, and I can’t handle everything that I’m supposed to do. Other times, when things are going my way, I feel like I can take on the world.
As times are changing, and women have more opportunities and more power, the pressure is on – to be just as good, if not better, than our male counterparts and to work full time while also building a family.
What hasn’t changed as much, is the expectation we as a society have of women to be perfect, model mothers and the perfect homemaker, while also being the best they can be at their full-time jobs.
Women are always being judged
And let’s be honest – women are constantly being judged. And harshly so, for not being ‘good enough’ when it comes to how they’re raising their children.
A couple of years ago, I read of a study that found that mothers who worked full-time were actually more stressed once they got home than they were at work, while men were slightly less stressed at home.
This happens because women, once they got home from work, are expected to continue working – washing, cleaning, cooking, checking homework, and whatever else is needed.
Women, it seems, are held to higher standards, just to be considered good enough both at their jobs, and as mothers.
So what does it take to be a superwoman? Can it be done?
It was tough building up my business
I’ve been a business owner for years now. I started my first one just a couple of years after my daughter was born, because I wanted to give her the best possible future, and make sure she would have all the opportunities she could possibly want.
I also hoped that so long as I didn’t fail, I would become a great role model for her, that she would be proud of me and what I’ve achieved. And that she would be determined to chase her own dreams and conquer them.
I’m not going to lie – the first few years of getting the business up and running were incredibly difficult. I was under constant stress, I felt like nothing was going my way, and that I wasn’t spending nearly enough time with my daughter.
There were times when I asked myself if it was even all worth it. But I pushed through, fortunately, as over the years, I got to a much better place.
I found it hard to cope with the guilt
One of the things that’s been extremely difficult to handle is the guilt – am I spending too much time at work instead of with my daughter?
I still struggle with this guilt, because I can’t help myself. But intellectually, I know I’m doing more good by working. I’m showing her that a woman can succeed at work just as much as any man, I’m providing her with the means to have a good life where she has everything she needs, and I’m making sure she is always getting the best education.
And to take time off
When I started my first business, I tried to think of ways to try to work from home as much as possible.
My thinking was that I could simply combine my two ‘lives’, and hopefully this way I’d be there when my daughter really needed me. But I would also be able to give the business the attention it needs to get off the ground.
I realised pretty quickly that I underestimated the work required to set up a new business, and make sure it doesn’t fail in the first year. Even working at home, it was still difficult to take some time off every day. There’s always something that needs to be done, some new crisis every other hour, or people calling.
This, of course, led to stress – lots and lots of it. And that, I’m sure, is a huge issue for most, if not all women juggling work and kids. And stress is not something that is easy to deal with, at least not for me.
I can’t help worrying and stressing over the smallest details, and constantly thinking of ways things could go wrong.
Over the years, I’ve tried several things such as Zumba and other sports, taking more time off, etc. But I can’t lie; it was only when I got to a good point with my business that I could really let go of a good chunk of that excess stress. I could finally afford to relax a little.
Can you be a superwoman?
So considering all of this, can you become a so-called ‘superwoman’? I think so, yes – but probably not with just any job, or any number of kids. It’s easier when you have some money and support as well, we can’t pretend otherwise.
The first step, as I mentioned a bit earlier, is to let go of the guilt that you’re not doing enough for your child, or that you aren’t a complete replica of the ‘traditional’ mother we always see on TV.
There’s no need to feel guilty for following your dreams too, or for doing what it takes to bring money in the household. In fact, it can have a positive effect on your child to see you as a confident, working woman.
Spend time in the evenings with your family
The most important part of juggling work and home life is to leave enough time during the evenings to spend with your family. Although there were times when I’ve missed some meals, I’ve always tried to make sure that I could spare the time to eat a nice dinner with them, and maybe watch a bit of TV together.
I also try to plan nice family activities that we can do every once in a while. The trick here is, that whenever I’m with the family I have to forget about work. No thinking of new projects and no responding to emails in my head.
This way, not only do I get to spend time with the family, but they also feel like they’re getting me 100%, and I get to let go of some of the stress for a minute.
And make time for YOU
As important as spending enough time with the family is, I think it’s also important to find time for yourself, where you get to just relax and/or have fun.
Whether it’s a day out with your friends, or a spa day, every once in a while you have to think about yourself, and whatever it is that helps you be less stressful.
Juggling work and motherhood implies getting a lot of things done, and quickly. For this, you need to be organised and prepared. Whether it’s the children’s lunch, or the clothes you’re going to wear tomorrow, being organised will help you save a lot of valuable time.
And last, but not least, you need a good support system. Whether it’s your husband, parents, or an au-pair, accept help from others. There’s no shame in needing and accepting help – it doesn’t make you any less the successful woman you are.
So is there such a thing as a ‘superwoman’ in real life? I truly think so. I’m not sure if I am one, but I’ve definitely met quite a few over the years.
You can find out more about Lilach Bullock on her website.