Juggling motherhood, business and a pandemic

Running a business from home whilst navigating home-schooling in the middle of a global pandemic sounds pretty stressful. But for mumpreneurs around the world this way of life has become the norm.

Sallyanne McCrory, owner of Holistic Kitchen, joined me to discuss the balancing act of motherhood and business. Sallyanne has three children under the age of ten (her youngest came along in the middle of launching her business) and juggles making products, sales and shipping, admin, marketing, childcare and self-care – all in a day’s work.

Holistic Kitchen is the place to go for essential oil blends, skin care and pregnancy care products “to suit any mood, emotion and need.” The products are all lovingly handmade by Sallyanne at her home studio in East Yorkshire.

“I set up Holistic Kitchen initially because my little boy had eczema and I wanted to go down the natural route. So I cleared out all the chemicals in the house and I started to work on my own recipes. I used a balm I made (now available as Little Pot of Wonder) on Hunter, who was only two at the time and his eczema cleared up. I worked as a therapist so I had a holistic background anyway and was always interested in essential oils.”

Sallyanne McCrory sat at a wooden table with arms folded

In the first instalment of the Fempowered Collective podcast, Sallyanne gives her words of wisdom for balancing business, motherhood and the hurdles of life.

Listen to the Fempowered Collective UK Podcast now

Listen and follow on Spotify here. 

Rid yourself of guilt

One of the most striking points she makes is ridding yourself of guilt, especially if you feel like work sometimes takes over.

Sallyanne says: “As women we find it easy to feel guilty when it comes to running a business. For example, all Sunday, I had to take the opportunity to work while Dave [Sallyanne’s partner] had the kids. I felt guilty all day that I should be downstairs with the kids.

“It’s about bringing yourself back to realising, OK this is what I do, I need to do it. It’s about making sure the children understand why I do this. I do it for their future, I do it so we can live in this house and we can pay the bills – so when I say “mummy’s working” they understand.

“But if you’ve got something to do when you get home, I can’t relax in myself until it’s done. But as long as I say to myself as soon as it’s done, I’ll spend time with the kids. I’m always telling the kids what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.”

Your business doesn’t stop at 5pm

When you run your own business, it doesn’t run 9-to-5. Sometimes there are tasks that you simply can’t get done during the day and you need that extra time on an evening. I’ll admit I am sometimes more productive on an evening after dinner than I have been all day and those extra couple of hours on the laptop takes a huge load off my mind for the following day.

Running your own business or being self-employed means you have to put in the hours. It means you sometimes have to put the kids in front of the TV just to give you a flicker of a chance to answer those emails. And that’s OK.

The trick is to accept and find balance

Just as it’s OK to work after hours – it’s also OK to switch off. In fact, it’s important that you do switch off your computer and take time for your family and yourself.

Sallyanne continues: “As long as you are fitting in those pockets of time that are quality where put your phone away and spend time with your family then that’s OK.

“But it’s important to find time for yourself too. Just five minutes a day where you find space – go for a walk or do some yoga – can make a huge difference.”

You can hear the full interview with Sallyanne McCrory on the Fempowered Collective UK Podcast (episode 1). Available on all platforms.

essential oil blend

Shop the whole Holistic Kitchen range here. Follow on Facebook and Instagram @HolisticKitchenUK