Monday, 28 September 2009

This weeks trauma.....

So it wasn't until recently that I realised that my life moves from one trauma to the next without so much as a day off. It is to be celebrated that my business is flourishing in this dire economic climate but that brings interesting issues all of its own.
I am busier than I have ever been - but in a good and positive way.

I went it alone in the big bad PR world because I wanted to be here for my children. Granted I did only have two when that decision was made and there have been times in the last ten years when I should have been at home but work won.

The most notable being taking just two days off to work to have FunnyGirl by elective CS. To think that I was back at my desk after just a weekend in hospital is quite frankly shocking to me now. But you do what you have to do when you work for yourself.

So this week I hit my biggest work / family dilemma to date.
DinoBoy has been trying desperately to get into the school cross country team for a whole year. On Friday he comes home with the news that he knew would make me smile.
"Mum, I've made the team!" he beamed as he flew through the door.

He thrust a letter into my hands.
Problem - first race, next Saturday when I am booked to give a seminar at a conference in Birmingham.
OK - so this doesn't seem all bad. His dad could take him right? No. The girls have dance rehearsals on a saturday morning, that would usually be my bag - but hubby was already booked in to hold the reigns.
As we dont have any family close by we are kind of stuck. The girls have to be at rehearsal and on top of that I dont want DinoBoy making his first ever team run without me cheering him on.

I hate to let people down but ultimately I had to remind myself who all of this is for.
And its not me....
I'm really sorry if you were planning on coming to my seminar on Saturday but how about I send a few TwitPics of DinoBoy instead?


  1. Family have to come first.

    Be proud that you think like that too.

  2. so hard to juggle everything, but family always comes first xxx

  3. I had exact same dilemma today!
    my 1st choice is always my kids.. but then everything i do is for my kids!!
    I only ever get 'me' days if i'm going to london for the day (for work i might add!) or if i beg my mum 6 months in advance to babysit for a few hours while i do 'something' normally work/kid related!!
    I've made the plunge into working for myself from home and i seem to find its all i do!!
    but then, who am i doing it for??
    i'm doing it for the kids!!
    So when faced with either taking my son to his Samurai grading day or joining your fine self at the conference.. i really, really wanted to come to the conference, but I couldnt let my son miss his grading day. when he's been training so hard.
    I can't think selfishly.. though.. can i??
    when is it ok to put yourself first??

  4. I know what you mean and how hard it is - but you made the right choice! Great job!

  5. Not so sure the organiser will feel the same way! You made a business committment. Classic example of why women ultimately will not be taken seriously in business when this kind thing happens. Wonder if you would have been so quick to pull out if it had been Fashion week show ???

  6. Dear Anonymous,
    The organiser completely understood - as she is a parent herself. For your information I have often stayed away from events like the fashion week show to take my children to their gym classes.

    My business and my professionalism are very important to me and I did not take the decision lightly.

    If my children had been older it would have been acceptable to pack my little fella off with someone else's mum but he is still at a point in his life when he needs me and my total support.
    It's pretty poor form to leave a negative comment without standing up an putting your name to it.

  7. "Classic example of why women ultimately will not be taken seriously in business when this kind thing happens...." - Wow! Huge statement there. I think the proof is normally in the pudding dont you think. If you actually thought before making your comment, you would have realised that the person you're talking to is successful, has managed to run a company for ten years and looked after her family. No need for the fashion week dig either, it kind of undermines your whole comment.

  8. We live far from family, too. It hard to chose between family and work commitments, cut I think you made the right choice. I would have made the same decision.

    Anonymous should put her name behind her criticism if she wants to be taken seriously. Her comment is a classic example of why anonymous commenters ultimately will not be taken seriously in blogging circles when this kind of thing happens.

  9. John Cooper Clarke had a poem for people like that. And I wouldn't be too sure that anonymous was a 'she'.

  10. Good for you. That's the whole point about why you (and many of us) work for yourself (ourselves) and not in a job as an employee. It is so that you have choices and control over your life. I would have done the same as you. Don't feel bad.

  11. It's so difficult to get the balance right when you're a working mum but you seem to be managing it. There will be other seminars, but your son will remember you were there for his first race forever x

  12. You made the right choice .. no question a mother knows when her childs needs her support and your son will be all the better for it.. It's never easy when you have a work or business dilema, when I was an employee and my children were young It was a dilema I faced many times. It's hard to be a reliable employee and the kind of mother you want to be, you either find yourself committing to work and worrying with guilt about whatever it was your child needed you for.. or letting your employer down and feeling like you fall short of their expectations. When you work for yourself as I do now the choice is yours to make. As long as you act with integrity clients and work contacts will understand. My children are now fully grown but I have the responsibility of my young granddaughter and she will alway come first. Good luck to Sonny in his 1st CC race x

  13. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to leave a comment on this post. It seems as though our anon friend is the only one to think that I am a bad business woman.
    Please do keep them coming.

  14. hey sian - i face the emotional tug of war every time I put a DVD on and almost 'sneak' upstairs to pack up orders and respond to emails. Then a little voice comes from downstairs 'mummy come and play' and my heart pulls. Customer service v 20 minutes of play and play normally wins. I'm just grateful that our local post office is open until 7.30pm! As a single mum I know I rely on friends and family maybe too much, but he is with people that he knows and loves so I can keep on going to make my business work and provide for him. Keep on going and be proud - youre doing a great job. kate xx

  15. I applaud you for your choice. A seminar can be rescheduled. DinoBoy's first race cannot. He will always remember you for being there for him, cheering him on. Can the same be said of the people who were supposed to be at the seminar? Shame on Anonymous for that comment. The most successful women are those who can find a balance between family and their jobs, not those who sacrifice their families to get ahead in business. Good for you!!! Good luck to DinoBoy!

  16. Sian, there are things in this life that create obstacles, or try to...and you, as well as anyone knows how to deal with them positively, you always show such courage, and determination which brings you success and being a good parent is just one of the things that you continue to do day in day out, and do well...gutless people who undermine you without even knowing you are not worth the time it takes to read such insignificance. I personally have known you for years and so good luck to you, continue to be a success at all that you do and screw anyone who tries to step in your way!! keep going as you are!! x Kirstie.

  17. Kate. You hang in there. Your little one will be much happier for what you are doing to provide for your little family.
    Anon - obviously has no family to love, care and provide for. A DVD whilst you get on with your packing isnt a bad thing and before long your little fella will want to lend a a hand.
    My children have always wanted to help me and have packed press releases and samples since they were really little. (I feel another anon comment about child labour coming this way!)
    They love to be involved though and they also love the flexibility that my work affords them.
    Yes I may work every evening - but the only person who has to put up with that is my wonderful husband.
    It really is time that us mothers stopped the guilt and started praising each others efforts.

  18. just read your tweet and am now not only fuming about that dang report on feeding our kids but about this 'anon' person (who really should have the balls to identify themself if they really believe what they are saying). We work for ourselves in order to be good parents AND good business people, and choices have to be made on both fronts, which all of us do carefully and not without serious consideration (and often much angst). Your son should be proud of you.

  19. Hey Sian, course kids come first and you did the right thing. I've been asked to help out with the seminar and it is easier for me as I live much nearer and was going. To the anon commenter - why not be named? Then perhaps you can get a civil explanation of why you are wrong. This is outside working hours anyway. I've just posted at about some of the attitudes I have encountered as a mum in business and how much they have wound me up. Good luck Sian and there will be plenty more seminars but only one "first" for your son.

  20. I agree with the majority that family comes first and as a business owner myself, I know how difficult it can be to achieve that ever-elusive sense of balance! It's a tough choice sometimes. And to the anonymous commenter, and all who think like them, I say: if certain folks in the business world aren't taking women seriously because of the love and effort and time they need to put in their families, then maybe the business world needs to change! There is no future without our children, and if we don't do the best possible jobs we can to support them and nurture them and parent them well, our whole society will suffer and pay as a result. DinoBoy could end up being your CEO one day, all because his mum supported him.

  21. I had the same decision to make as yummymummytips but I've decided to go as my business supports my family.
    So I ask you all, does this make me a bad mummy?

  22. New Anon, as long as you are not the original Anon that caused us all to get het up - then of course your decision doesn't make you a bad mummy.
    We all have difficult choices to make everyday as a business woman and a mother and if the cross country thing hadn't happened when it did (ie that I have just been to Germany and next week I have to go to Norway) then I may not have made the same call.
    As it is, when I got into the car with the little fella this evening he asked me if he could go home from the race with his friend and play at his for the afternoon..
    "I see" - I said,
    "so you dont really actually need me to be there then?"

    "No" he said "I dont need you there but I want you there, especially if it rains, who else would have some dry clothes and a chocolate bar for me?"

    Good point I thought.
    I know that its my guilt at being out doing work things during family time that often creates issues with my kids. But what I dont give myself credit for is that I am still here with them and spending more time with them than if I was working 9-5 for someone else.

    They understand that sometimes you have to do work stuff that you dont want to - and that you have to get up at 3am to catch a flight to a foreign country only to sit in a meeting room everyday.

    They see me stressed and they see me tired, but at least they see me.

    So....Thank you to Linda for stepping in and saving my bacon. I really appreciate it and owe you at least a rather large drink.
    Anon above - I would never call anyone a bad mother - or a bad businesswoman for that matter you made the decision to attend based on your own personal circumstances.
    My business supports my family too - and has done for a long time. But the point has to be that we women, mums, businesswomen, jugglers, multi-taskers, wives, accountants, gift buyers and party planners can do what ever is right for the people that we love without being judged by idiots that don't even have the guts to leave their name.

  23. I did leave a comment that was much better than this one, but the Internet ate it.

    I think what I wanted to say was there's no need for anyone to insult anyone. The whole point of the last 30 years surely is that working mothers (and it bug me to heck these conversations are always about mothers) make choices.

    I may not make the same choice as you, but I absolutely believe you have the right to make that choice - and so does every working Mum. Whatever choice you make depends on where your business is, what's going on in your family, lots of things. But there's no need for anon to criticise Sian, or for us to criticise anon - it's just choices, at the end of the day.

  24. Thanks for that Sally - you are of course right. For us all to be commenting negatively about anon we are just escalating their debate.

    I think that people are most offended by the cowardly actions of not putting an identity to such a post and I totally get that.

  25. eek - just to make it clear that I am anon No.2 and in no way related to the first anon - I went anon because I felt that the mood of this blog may have been critical to my personal decision in view of the comments above.

  26. I think that it's very easy for anon No.1 (LOL) to creep in, throw their bomb over the wall with their potshot and in effect insult you but not be prepared to reveal themselves. But then, maybe they thought they'd be shot down, or maybe it's what they genuinely believe. One thing I know after blogging for so long is that not everyone wants to comment and engage or have any follow up. That's the beauty of being able to comment anonymously. That said, it still wasn't the nicest thing to say by any stretch of the imagination but I've discovered since I became a mum, that where's there's a mother there's criticism and often from other mothers. I can appreciate for instance, why no.2 would be nervous of revealing themselves as these discussions do create an atmosphere of good mummy vs bad mummy sometimes. Either way, I wouldn't take anon no.1 on board - you know yourself and you're behind your decision. That's all that counts! Take care x


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Appreciated as always. xx


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