Business consultant Olivia Jenkins’ cup is always full, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

At 28, Olivia is a busy mum of three under three,  with a thriving business consulting company which she founded in late 2019.

Olivia’s family is now complete with the arrival of Charlotte in November 2020. Her arrival was timed perfectly with Black Friday, the busiest day of the working year! George and Olivia also have two other children, Henry and Archer – both busy boys aged 3 and 2 respectively.

“It’s a familiar battle most mums face – how do you balance business and babies? I, myself have faced the exact same battle.

You love your babies, but you are also ambitious and love your career? Does that mean that your career has to stop? the short answer; absolutely not!

The most common question I get asked by other mums is “how on earth do you balance everything and fit it all in?”

Well, if there’s one thing for sure, everyone is different, however I have found that there are strategies I follow which help to balance business and babies.

  1. Use weekly and daily planners

 Planning is the key to an organised life. Set yourself up for success by planning properly!

Use weekly and daily planners to map out your week and any appointments or key events. My Sunday ritual includes sitting down after the kids are asleep and completing the weekly planner for the following week.

Once finished – put this on the fridge so everyone can see the planner and knows what is happening that week. The daily planners can be completed the night before or morning of and list out any key tasks, appointments or phone calls to make that day.

My favourite to do list has home and work priorities on the same pad – I swear by and helps to compartmentalise the family tasks from the business tasks.

  1. Do your grocery shopping online 

Doing your grocery shopping online can save countless hours running around at the shops. This is so much easier than trying to juggle kids at the grocery store!

You can plan your meals perfectly so you know exactly what to buy when you put your shopping list. This has saved us thousands of dollars as we used to throw away so much fruit and vegetables from incorrectly shopping when under pressure at the store.

  1. Get up before the kids do 

Get up a little bit earlier than the kids do if you need to fit in exercise, study or extra work!

I usually wake up around 5am which gives me an extra two hours in the morning to get things done; study, work or exercise.

This is a habit you will need to form cold turkey. Stop snoozing your alarm – get up and go! It gets easier every day.

  1. Have a growth mindset

 Fall in love with the art of self-development. Learn, grow, invest in yourself.

You are a better mum and businesswoman by doing so. Use your spare time to read a book, listen to a podcast or learn a new skill. Stop the endless scroll on social media!

I would say that I’m a confident, fair and nurturing mum who loves her family more than anything. I’m definitely not the arts and crafts type but I love seeing the kids thrive with their unique personalities and talents – whether that be music, digging or chatting!

I consider myself to be a doting mother but not in the ways that I imagined. 

  1. Get out of your comfort zone every day 

Expand your mindset and open yourself up to new things. Get out of your comfort zone every day.

Your mind wants you to be comfortable; it doesn’t want you to try new things. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will help you get out of your bubble.

We can easily become content at home and not ever leave the house. Get the pram, get to a local play cafe; step outside and do things to mix up your scenery and expose yourself to new opportunities!

Life is about choices and we’ve created the life we are living! For a lot of people, our lives would seem too hectic to manage – two businesses, a renovation, three kids under three! However, we love it and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Sure, there are hard moments and days where you question what it’s all for but these are short lived and we are both deeply fulfilled with our family, our careers and the purpose-driven vision we are setting out to achieve as individuals and as a family.

We have a firm set of values that we live by and so, as long as life is congruent with those values – we don’t feel like we are compromising anything in our world.

  1. Develop healthy eating habits

There’s a reason why you should put your oxygen mask on before a child’s. It’s because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask.

Maintaining good health is key to balancing business and babies. This means, eating good food and drinking lots of water.

Consume healthy foods like lean meats, fruit and vegetables. Take a multivitamin for extra energy. Your body will eliminate what it doesn’t need.

  1. Find ways to stay active

Choose an exercise program that’s right for you. Hate cardio? Great – go take a Pilates class. The key is to find an exercise program that you love so exercising isn’t a chore.

Staying active helps you mentally, physically and emotionally. For me, I’m in A LOT better head space when I stay active. It’s also good time out from the kids!

  1. Be flexible and understanding

Sometimes you just have to reschedule things and not everything will always go to plan.

Be flexible if you do have to cancel and don’t let it get to you. Be honest, make a joke – people understand what it’s like to have kids and juggle work at the same time.

It is so important to be flexible and understanding with yourself. You can’t be perfect all the time so find the beauty in changing up your plans and rescheduling things when you have to.

There’s definitely a mix of challenging and successful in the week! The most challenging days are those where there are competing deadlines and conflicting campaign activations. I pride myself on being “on-call” for clients during promotional campaigns and product launches – so if there are any challenges, I can be on standby to resolve at a moment’s notice. This becomes very challenging when there is an event like Black Friday as all campaigns are activated at the same time!

Successful days are days spent having growth orientated conversations with clients and really diving deep into the strategy and numbers. There’s no greater feeling than working with a client to help them realise their full potential and helping them put the plan in place to reach their goals. I love seeing my clients succeed and that will always feel like the most successful day to me.

I promise you; it’s not the end of the world!

  1. Don’t do tasks you can do when the kids are awake, when they are sleeping!

Simple, yet effective. Don’t do tasks you can do when the kids are awake, when they are sleeping! Save the dishes and get on top of your emails or that important task that you need to silence for instead.

When the kids are up, you can set them up with an activity and do some tidying in that room. Or, set them up with their lunch and do the dishes while you’re all in the same room together.

It’s much harder to be focused on work when the kids are awake, so choose the sleeping times to do the more important work tasks you need silence to get achieved. Save your sanity.

  1. Block out time to spend with them – be present.

 There are definitely moments of exhaustion, however they are short lived!

I’ve always been the type to “get on with it” and embrace life’s ups and downs. I can get knocked down, but I will always get up. If there is ever a time where I’m feeling exhausted, I’ll always look to prioritise self care however I can. Whether that’s booking a massage to relieve some tension, doing some breathwork to release any stresses or going to a pilates class to sweat it out.

You’ve got to be grateful for all of the opportunities and challenges life throws your way. That’s how we grow and I think it’s important to be thankful for and embrace the busyness.

Words of advice

Just do it!

Don’t let anyone tell you that you should be doing this or that, not even yourself! If it feels right for you and you are happy with the life you’re creating for yourself and your family – then that is all that matters.

I know in my heart of hearts that I am a better mum for having continued to honour my career and I don’t think I would have been the best mum to my children if I tried to be someone I’m not. I have a huge respect for full time stay at home mums as I truly believe it takes a great deal of patience, love and tenacity.

This is also the reason I love serving female-led businesses as I know the work that I do with them allows greater time and financial freedom for them to enjoy more time with their families.