I rarely meet women who have achieved the perfect work/life balance – I think it would be safe to say that we are all seeking this utopia – but I wonder does it actually exist? One thing for sure is that “one size fits all” doesn’t exist and the only way to achieve this perfect work/life balance is to discover it for yourself and not be swayed by the views upheld by the media and our friends and family. It never ceases to amaze me how everyone seems to have an opinion about the way I should run my life – my friends, my family and the media!
When my first son was born, I had just set up Diva Cosmetics and I simply had to work. William was only 8 weeks old and he attended nursery for 4 days a week – from 8am until 5.30pm. I had no choice in the matter (although some would and did argue that of course I had a choice) – I had set up Diva Cosmetics and it needed my total focus and dedication in those early days. William was part of my reason to set up Diva – I knew that I needed to secure financial freedom in order to provide for him and my personal goal was to be able to do this within 5 years – ready for when he started school and would have long holidays. I do not feel that William had a compromised early childhood – quite the reverse – he spent his days surrounded by other children (with whom he remains in contact still and he is now 11) learning to share and tolerate others and their views, he was cared for in a stimulating environment – discovering the joys of finger painting, full body painting, mud pies and cookery as well as spending 3 days per week with me at home. By having 4 days in an office, I was always able to ensure that Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays were William and me time and I was not distracted by work. I can honestly say that I felt that I had the perfect work/life balance. Of course, this arrangement would not appeal to everyone – but I most certainly felt that I had an ideal balance.