Ever wonder how you can balance it all as a mum? This is one interview in a series talking to mums who have found a way to make it work. Meet Erica Diamond, founder and editor in chief of Women On The Fence and mum to Andrew (7), and Sean (4).
As a young entrepreneur, Erica Diamond launched a successful business at the age of 24 and then sold it to stay at home with her babies. Once life at home settled down, Erica got the entrepreneurial itch again but couldn’t figure out how to channel it. Thus was born her blog Women on The Fence created as a hub of inspiration for women wanting to move forward with career and family. The blog was followed by a book – 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Starting Their Own Business – a radio segment, and guest speaking appearances. This busy hockey mum manages to balance multiple business ventures while caring for her family.
1. What do you love about being a mom?
I love the amazing rewards you get from having a relationship with a child. Before I had children, I always had envisioned myself with daughters – especially since I had such a close relationship with my mother. But now that I’m mum to two boys, they are the air I breathe and simply the best fun. They keep me grounded and exhausted, but they are worth every sleepless night.
2. What do you enjoy most about working?
I need it for my brain. I love being able to reach out through the blog and help other women. When someone tells me that because of me they decided to quit a job they hated and move in a positive direction, that they made a great life decision, it’s amazing for my self-esteem. It’s about making a difference in society.
3. What’s your biggest challenge in juggling both?
My biggest struggle is the struggle of most working mums – finding “me” time. I never seem to have enough of it. That can make for a very tired mummy. My business, children and husband get the best of me and then I’m left with whatever scraps of time and energy might remain.
4. How do you deal with it?
I strive to create balance in my life. I try to make it a priority and set aside time aside for those activities that rejuvenate me and my creativity. I always tell other women, you should aim to do an activity to nurture yourself once a week- a hot bath, a walk outside, a lunch date with a friend, a manicure, sitting on a park bench reading a book. Whatever self-care means to you.
5. How do you re-charge?
I do a lot of yoga and go to the gym three to four times a week. Every night I throw some lavender in a bath and just relax and unwind. I also meet my girlfriends for dinner once a month and I love to head to the bookstore, grab a latte and just ensconce myself there.
6. What advice would you give other women considering being a working mom?
Learn the art of saying no. We’re masters of taking on too much and being the “yes girl.” You have to learn to say no or you are going to lose yourself in the juggle. Pick priorities and make those be the things you enjoy most. You also have to be willing to ask for help. Superwoman does not exist.
7. Who inspires you?
My readers know Oprah inspires me because she lives and speaks her truth, and does things her own way. But there is no one person who inspires me. I am inspired by pieces of many different people.
8. What one thing can you not live without?
My Blackberry or my iPod. I would be dead without my music.
9. If you had an hour of time to yourself, how would you spend it?
I’d get a Shiatsu massage or sip a peppermint latte at the bookstore.