Anointment is thrilled to have entered into a partnership with Bummis, a Canadian cloth diapering company who have been pioneering the industry since 1988. Beginning this year, our Anointment Baby Balm samples (with a brand new 10th anniversary look are being included in Bummis Organic Cotton Diapering and BeautifulBASIC kits. Betsy Thomas, one of the founders of Bummis knows very well the tricks of the trade when it comes to running a successful business while raising children. She is a mother of three and new grandmother of two. Betsy and I recently sat down with our beloved cups of tea to talk about what it takes to remain happy and healthy in business.
Anointment: Your business began when your own children were small. Now that you have overcome many of the challenges of raising a family while establishing a business, what best tidbits would you pass on to entrepreneurs about balancing the chaos of family and business?
Bummis: Forget about being perfect, let your kids roll with you and the chaos! Accept that it’s all a work in progress and that it will not all get done on time, but rather IN time. Just keep working on it and keep moving ahead. If you have to let something go temporarily – do it – but don’t let go of your kids. Accept that it takes longer to grow your business when you are growing a family.
Anointment: I think this is a critical piece of advice that so many of us need to hear from someone who has been there. Through the years my work strategy has fluctuated between working at home with one child, working at home with two children, working at home with children in care, working outside the home closing the circle to now working at home with three children (two in school). I fully admit that I have let go of my children as different intervals of business development. It was hard for me to accept as a mother and I made specific (and life altering) changes that would allow me to achieve better balance. One of those decisions meant giving up a steady income, but I can say with absolute certainty that they were the best decisions we ever made as a family.
Anointment: When deciding on companies you’d like to work with, what criteria do you use to determine the fit with Bummis and its ethics and culture? I have been guilty of not wanting to work with someone if I didn’t like them. Personality fit it is very important, but similar ethics, beliefs and business culture is also very important. Is it fair to do business based at least partially on personality?
Bummis: Oh yes, I need to like that person! And also to trust that their bottom line is about way more than money. We partner with people who share our dream of operating a sustainable business, and who are passionate about what they do.
Anointment: I am a firm believer that if you lead with your heart the money will follow. Maintaining family balance is critical, though, because when you have the feeling you are toiling for little reward or little balance, *that* is when the light bulb goes off that the bottom line is about far more than money. For others the lack of balance is what motivates them to become self-employed in the first place.
Anointment: Is there something about your daily routine that you find absolutely necessary for your self-care or getting your day off to a good start? I find tidying up around me, eating a good breakfast and at least one full pot of tea helps me get my day started.
Bummis: Getting up very early and enjoying the serenity of that pause in which to think clearly before the rest of the world awakes. Add a strong cup of Darjeeling and my brain starts to hum…and I agree with April – tidiness around me helps enormously.
Anointment: Take care of yourself, put your children first and lead with your heart and passion. From an experienced business woman this is very sage advice indeed. Thank you for your time, Betsy!
We would love to know what you’ve learned about juggling parenting and business & what you took away from this little chat with an amazing businesswoman. Please share with us in the comments!
This is beautiful and so timely for me. Thanks for sharing April!
I began my treating my 8yr old “hobby” jewelry line as a “business”when my third child was 7 month’s old.It has been an experience learning and juggling my family! Although I have a long way to go it is full filling to be with my family and still continue with my passion of jewelry design.Reading this has helped reinforce a sense of I am not alone.
This is a wonderful post. I have learnt to live with the chaos around me, shrinking the personal calm space I need to work to just me with my computer on my lap (this was a BIG challenge for me!).
I prioritise my work in child-free moments, and prioritise my two children when they want to play with me. Although sometimes I have to employ the electronic babysitter to balance the two. I find I often put work aside for family adventures out in the world in the day, and instead I work through the night – which is more challenging for self-care!
Having said that, I’ve finally started prioritising exercise for me (when my husband is around – everything gets more challenging when he’s away working…) and my next mission is to make more time for me to stop, and breathe, and share the wonder of my children at this great big world of miracles around me.
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