‘Multi-tasking mums’ is not a new concept, but that doesn’t make the juggle any less of a struggle. Learn some great tricks from one mum and business owner who’s been there done that….
Noa Ries is a mother of two, co-founder of a dynamic start-up business and active wear range, Vie Active, and manages a team of eight. But unlike many women who seem to have the whole work-life-balance perfect, Noa questions this idea. “Women in the 21st century have become the jack of all trades,” she explains. “We take care of our families, work (and it’s no longer just 9-5), workout, cook, clean, socialise and with whatever energy we have left, nurture our own wellbeing.
It can be a hard balance of work and life, but why does it need to be a balance? Life isn’t neatly compartmentalised anymore. It’s impossible to get the perfect 8-8-8 ratio of work-life-balance so we really shouldn’t try force it upon ourselves. We shouldn’t be treating work and home life separately – these are facets of your life that make you whole. I launched Vie Active because I had an epiphany one day when I found myself still wearing my workout clothes at 4pm, hadn’t had time for a shower and felt completely daggy.
I wanted to create clothing that would enable me to look and feel as good at the end of the day as I did at the start. High-performance clothing that would enable me to flow seamlessly from workout to work to family to friends. Researchers coined the term, ‘work-life effectiveness’, which expresses the idea that your work and your life should be in sync – not separated. They aren’t enemies. They are allies.”
Here’s Noa’s tips for women trying to do it all…
- Let go of perfect: “There is no such thing as perfect, so if we begin to let go of this idea, we not only relieve ourselves from the stress of trying to do it all, but we let things happen naturally, as they should,” suggests Noa. “We can certainly try to be wonder woman but part of that wonder is allowing ourselves to be imperfect.”
- Banish guilt from your social life: “You don’t have to accept every invitation,” advises Noa. “Before you RSVP, ask yourself: Is it required for work? Will it help you professionally or intellectually? Will you enjoy it? If the answer to all three is no, don’t go.”
- Commit to a workout regimen: “Exercise is the single best antidote to stress,” says Noa. “I know that on the days that I work out, I feel more energetic, have more clarity and I feel happier and more focused. Regular exercise is the most effective way to improve your self-esteem and body image simply from the endorphin rush and ‘me time’. Find a workout that you love or mix it up. There’s so many choices these days.”
- Move from balance on the outside to balance on the inside: “The reality is that time is a luxury and there’s just never going to be enough of it,” explains Noa. “Many of us are tempted to believe ‘If I just had a little more time or a less demanding job I’d have more balance’. Then there’s the saying, ‘Wherever you go, there you are‘. I’ve always believed that the way we respond to situations in life is what defines our character. Simply shifting your attitude to one of positivity and managing your mindset can have a huge impact on your life.”
- Find a job you love: “And you’ll never work a day in your life! If you want to embrace work-life effectiveness, treat each day like an opportunity for work and play, blending all aspects of your life as much as possible and embracing flexibility.”
- Stop comparing yourself to others: “Nobody is perfect, and everyone has their story,” warns Noa. “It’s so easy to be filled with self-doubt. My barometer for success is that if my children are laughing, then I must be doing a good job.”
Noa’s fave flexible workout gear
“Some of my favourite pieces from the range – perfect for mums on the run – will take you with ease from barre to brunch with your friends, Pilates to the kids park, workout to at work meetings!”
Libby Hoodie, $235.
Life Water Bottle, $18.
Vie Active was born from this idea of seamlessly moving from one thing to the next with clothes that enable and empower women to realise the benefits of an active life.
Noa hails from Sydney’s Bondi Beach, where she had her ‘a-ha!’ moment in early 2012. As a personal trainer and health and fitness obsessed young mother, she had an epiphany one afternoon when she found herself still wearing her Lycra active wear and felt completely daggy. She missed the sensation of ‘getting dressed up to go to work’ that she had relished when working in the advertising industry, and realised there had to be a way that she could live and work out with intensity and yet still look and feel fashionable without multiple outfit changes. After 18 months of research and product development, she left her job at an online advertising agency in Sydney to build Vie Active into the fitness fashion brand she had been searching for, and hasn’t looked back since.
Some of her favourite things are: Bondi Beach sunrises, a great running playlist, the sound of her daughters’ giggles, strong coffee and the sound of the doorbell when you know it’s your latest online shopping purchase being delivered. She’s completed both a marathon as well as a half ironman competition, however these days prefers to spend her time working out by doing soft sand runs, barre workouts and HIIT classes.
What are you tips for multi-tasking mums? Tell us in the comments below!