3.5 years ago, I shared my daily rituals of being a work-at-home mumpreneur. One of my gorgeous readers asked for an update on how things have shifted since then.
So, I thought I’d share with you the behind-the-scenes of what a day usually looks like for me as I tango between motherhood, owning a business, creating, and living a life well loved.
7am: Beth wakes up beside me. She cooes, plays with her hands for a while. I keep napping. When she gets restless, I sleepwalk her out to Chris, pass her off and go back to bed for a 20 minute nap to catch up on missed zzzzz’s as Beth still wakes up a few times during the night.. I don’t like napping during the day, so a little sleep-in on my own does wonders.
8am: Eat breakfast – usually it’s a Bounce protein ball and a Nudie juice. Do the usual tango of getting kids out of pyjamas and into clothes.
9am: Either go out for the morning (go grocery shopping, visiting friends or have a mini roadtrip) or have a “Happy Home Day” (do crafts, gardening, cooking, little house renovations).
Midday: I take a quick drive into the village and buy lunch (usually Japanese, Vietnamese or Indonesian. Most typical: tempura vegetables & teriyaki chicken on rice with a “full fat” Coke. Yep. I know that’s wildly un-PC, but it’s my thing currently, and I’m cool with it). Check the mail. Talk shit with Cindy the Post Office Lady.
Head home. Eat lunch with my little family on the verandah.
1pm: Breastfeed Beth in bed. When she falls asleep, do the soft creep out of the room.
Head off to my studio office just off our garage.
Work for a few hours.
What this usually involves:
- responding to emails from my team about current projects we are working on
- writing blog posts
- working on next big project (for example, lately it’s been the 2015 workbook, Academy membership site redesign, and creating new workshops for the Academy)
- managing my team
- studying and uplevelling my education (on business, marketing, software, finance, management)
- painting/drawing/illustrating images to go on Facebook
- connecting with my mastermind sisters.
Ostara has worked out how to get through the closed doors to my office, so usually comes to visit and draw with all my stationery supplies. Chris looks after Beth, and will give her a bottle of goat’s milk formula if she is hungry. If she’s unsettled and he can’t calm her, he brings her to me for a change of pace. If he needs a break to get some jobs done around the house, he’ll hand her to me as well. We’re constantly checking in with each other to see if both of us are getting the time we need to get things done (without going cuckoo).
When the girls are getting antsy in the later afternoon, I’ll take them outside. Ostara bounces on the trampoline, or we have a picnic.
5:30pm: We have dinner super early. At Granny o’clock. Usually we have vegetarian pesto pasta or turkey pasta. I’m gluten intolerant, so pasta is always gluten-free.
7:00pm: I put both girls to bed. Breastfeed Beth to sleep. Give Ostara a cuddle as she goes to sleep. Sometimes I forget that she is still so little and needs Mama cuddles too.
8:00pm: Plop on the couch beside Mr D. Drink a cup of Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea. Read magazines, journal, books, needle felt, sew. Chris watches TV as I do stuff. I try not to work at night time, but if I’m feeling a bit behind I will, or if I’ve got inspiration to blog (like I do tonight), I do.
9:30pm: Head to bed to read.
10:00pm: Lights off. Stare out the window at the night sky laden with stars. Listen to Beth and Ostara’s breathing rise and fall.
Throughout night: Wake up in shafts of moonbeam, nurse Beth.
Ostara goes to kindy two days a week.
Usually it’s a bit of a tango getting her there on time.
What most often happens is Chris will look after Beth (it’s usually around her naptime) and I will do drop-off and pick-ups.
On the return trips when Ostara isn’t in the car, I listen to business/marketing audiobooks and Success magazine CDs.
Sometimes I take Beth with me, and sometimes Chris comes as well for a family outing.
I actually really enjoy doing dropoffs. I really like the other kindy parents and it’s like a little social gathering twice a day.
And I like thinking that this is probably the same crew I’ll be hanging with for the next 14 years of Ostara’s schooling.
One day a week, we have a pilates instructor/personal trainer come to our house for an hour to give me and Chris a workout.
After I gave birth to Beth, I was really needing to get my body back in balance after such a long illness, and with still dealing with hypermobility issues. I’d read that pilates is effective in helping hypermobility.
I kept on trying to work out on WHEN to get to a class, but every which way I looked at it, I knew it was going to be a huge amount of effort to get out of the house and leave the kids with Chris. Plus, I knew Chris was wanting/needing it as well.
I TOTALLY hit a money block about hiring a personal trainer. I had this pre-conceived notion of:
Who am I to have a personal trainer? That’s just TOO decadent!
But I worked out that if me and Chris were both doing separate classes, it would be about the same price anyway!
So our lovely instructor comes once a week and we all pile out onto the verandah to do it in the morning sunlight. Ostara does pilates with us. Beth watches from her rocker beside us or gets cuddles from our instructor.
It’s a really great way to start the week, and we feel SO.MUCH.BETTER. in our bodies for doing it.
After Beth was born, I soon found myself drowning in piles of laundry. I was running every weekend around the house trying to get it in enough shape to work for the week ahead. I was getting damn exhausted, man.
I DEFINITELY had money blocks as well about hiring a cleaner. Like:
Who am I to have a cleaner? That’s too much! I should be able to manage it all!
But ALL of my successful business friends gave me a gentle intervention:
Ummm, Leonie… you’re not actually SUPPOSED to do it all. Give yourself some support here!
They all have cleaners, and were shaking their heads at my running, exhausting attempts at Superwoman-ing it up.
So I hired a cleaner. And I knew Chris would be resistant to it. So I told him the day before the cleaner came what was happening. I think he realised by this point we needed more support in keeping up with kids, house, acreage, animals and business.
Want to know how it all went down?
Basically, our cleaner is the greatest thing ever invented on the face of the planet. She comes for five hours every week. Does all our washing, folding, putting away of clothes. Makes everything sparkle and shine. After she leaves, me and Chris run around the house giddy, showing each other the incredibly perfect folded towels, how clean the oven is, how shiny the floor feels under our feet now it’s been properly mopped. It’s like a brand new house every damn week!
School holidays have just started, so I’ve asked her to come for TWO days a week so she can help out with kids and Chris can do some work for me. It’s the first time ever we’re having a babysitter. And even though we’re staying here at the house with them to work, it feels wildly luxurious. An extra set of hands! Squeee!
Plus, we just really love having her visit. It’s a nice thing.
My new local project manager, Donna, comes up to our house one or two days a week (I say up, because we live up a mountain!) when Ostara is at kindy.
On those days, we’ll do brainstorming face-to-face, planning, and a team meeting on Google Hangouts with Joyce, my US assistant.
I try not to work at all on weekends.
I do this because otherwise I will work every single day for a year and then wonder why I feel burnt out.
Weekends involve usually half a day of outings (take Ostara to ballet/go to the beach/go to the hardware store) and the rest having “Happy Home Time.”
I read the Weekend Australian as my ritual. We do a lot of verandah-ing (i.e. sitting on the verandah, talking, reading, playing with the kids). I always make stuff (food, craft, art, woodwork, toys etc).
SOME THINGS TO NOTE
SUPPORT DIDN’T HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT
I know I’m extraordinarily lucky to have my husband at home, and for my business to be at the level of self-sufficiency it is at while my kids are young.
And I also want to share:
It didn’t happen by accident.
It wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t a surprise.
It wasn’t like winning the lottery.
I have absolutely intended for this to be this way since I was very young.
I’d decided when I was really young (looooong before we started trying for kids) that I would move to the country when I had kids and work out a way to be a stay-at-home-mama AND do my creative business thing.
Chris always says to me
“Just remind people you aren’t an overnight success… every single day for the last decade you’ve been blogging + creating + putting yourself out there daily.”
And of course it’s been one of the biggest joys of my life… of course it has – why else would I have stuck at it?
Steadfast determination and aligning my actions with my intentions brought me here. Aka: doing the important shit every day. Being a determined motherfucker who totally believes in her dream of helping as many peeps as I can.
Was it scary to decide to persuade my love to quit his government job to move to the country and be a stay-at-home dad? Of course!
Did I know that I would make it happen, by hook or by crook?
My faith did. My fear didn’t.
I listened to my faith. And I worked my butt off to make it happen.
I can’t imagine our lives without my love at home with us now. He’s such a huge support for my business, and does much more kid-looking-after than me so I can work.
I am so grateful for his support, love and steadfast faith in me. I totally believe it was a soul contract for us to come together.
I said to him this morning:
I just don’t know if I could do this work without you having my back.
Sometimes it feels really scary to put myself out there.
You are so sage & wise & grounded & give such good advice. You really help me stay centred.
And he said:
You know, even if I wasn’t here, I really believe you’d do it anyway.
Because it’s in you. It’s the thing you love most.
Anyways, what I really mean to say is: he’s hot. 😀
THINGS DON’T GO ACCORDING TO PLAN ALWAYS
Let’s be real here… Things often don’t go according to plan when husbands + childrens are involved!
Some days are a total write-off with sick kids or an emo 4 year old or me being ill (hello three weeks of bronchitis) or a hunky husbo that is needing more time/energy/listening. I’ve learned to be better with accepting that sometimes chaos and humanity happen. And try and just be present with what needs attention in that hour.
In those instances, I assign more stuff to my team, re-evaluate what’s highest priority (coz hey, I’m the boss here, I don’t need to be an asshole slave-driver to myself – it’s taken me years to finally get that), and burn some midnight oil if I need to to get up to speed.
It’s a real balancing act… I try and just turn up to life + business and see what is most needed on that day, and balance that with long-term needs (i.e. my four year old might really NEED me to watch a hundred rounds of her “Pirate and Singing Act”, but I also need some time to focus on my business, and also refill my own well so I don’t burn.the.fuck.out. So I watch her for three rounds (or as long as I can stand) before letting her know that I love you, I think you’re awesome, I need to go to work now, and you can have some quiet play time with yourself, your sister or papa-bear.
I HAD TO GET OUT OF MY “DO IT ALL MYSELF” MINDSET
I used to think I could do absolutely ALL of it.
Now I know I can’t and I’m not supposed to.
It’s good to be supported.
It’s good to balance.
I’m sending all of you mamas out there so much love, time + total heartfelt compassionate understanding,
May all your dreams come true as you do the biggest job on the planet…
I heart you,
(This is a long, wrangly post. My apologies. I mean, I’m not really sorry. Coz that’s just how I like to write. But if you like to speed read, please just make sure you check out the important news about changes to the Academy & 2015 workbook. They are further down in the post. Otherwise… get yoself a cup of chai. Chill da fruitcake out. Let’s sit and meander our way there, yeah?)
Hola my darlings,
There’s a lot happening + shaking over here in Land of da Unicorns and Gigglesnorts.
I feel like I’m emerging out of a long, dark winter. My pregnancy with Beth really sent me into a cave.
And everything is kind of new again, out here in the glowing sun.
I’ve learned so many huge lessons over the last five years since becoming pregnant with Ostara.
It’s been a five year circle.
Ostara, that incredible, spirited, sensitive daughter of mine… that one I have known I would give birth to since I was 14… she taught me how to grow up. She birthed my true self. She made me look into the shadows of all myself, and really made sure that I did what was needed.
If she hadn’t, I could have continued on, completely oblivious to the way the unhealed, unconscious parts of me were running the show when it came to my marriage and my family of origin.
It was really, really hard and awful to look at it all… but holy dooley, I’m grateful it happened. It needed to. It made me even more of myself. It gave me the personal power and freedom to claim the life that is mine, and create, develop and grow relationships that were healthy, compassionate, sovereign & respectful of boundaries.
I don’t know how to talk about any of this without sounding like psychoanalysis wanker mumbo jumbo, but there ya go.
If it makes sense to you and your heart, I’m grateful.
If it doesn’t, I’m sorry to be obtuse, but it’s the only way I can currently talk about it.
Anyways, point being:
Ostara of the Light has been an incredible teacher for me.
Where would I be without having given birth to her?
A very different woman.
And despite having many more scars, being less naive, slightly less optimistic, far more worldly and worn…
I am grateful.
My heart is more open, more compassionate, more understanding, more kind because of her.
And of course, Beth’s pregnancy was a trial by fire.
And emerging out the other side of that is this incredible… lightness. Ease. Blessings. Joy.
I just never expected it could be so glorious having a wee bubba.
She is an easier babe to keep settled.
What’s more, I’m a better, more relaxed mama.
I wish Ostara could have had the me of now as her mama when she was a bubba.
But it is what it is.
I cannot argue with what is.
And only trust that all of us have chosen this just the way it happened, and continues to unfold.
Anywaysies, I’m happy, lovebugs.
Content in my bones.
I feel like everything I’ve always dreamed of has come true, by hook or by crook:
the relationship I have with my husband, so tender, full of love and understanding.
being a mama to these two girls.
our home: warm, colourful, expansive, filled with love and beautiful views.
our land: space to roam and play and garden. Maybe I could get a goat to milk! Or a horse! But I wouldn’t milk the horse!
our life: free, creative, gentle, happy.
Everything I thought it would be.
And of course my business is a huge, wide, loving blessing too.
But it’s not about owning a business.
It’s really about that act of creating, of sending out words, art, stories, things that might just be what someone else needs.
That’s the thing I never really want to lose focus on, really.
Sometimes I do of course.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed at how many balls I have to keep juggling in the air, how many things I have to learn, how many more skills I need to master… owning a business can really kick one’s butt.
But I just have to keep remembering:
the business is just a vehicle for sending out my stuff into the world.
the real thing, the real magic…
is in the creating.
That’s what is home to me.
That’s where I hear the angels sing, the muse call, the dreams dance.
Writing. Art. Forming. Creating. Sharing.
I’ve been volunteering lately.
Doing more donating.
Trying to work out what my next big thing is.
I’ve reached a point where I feel like I’m pretty much financially free.
Our needs as a family are taken care of, and I know I have the skills to be able to keep creating an abundant income for the rest of my life.
Five years ago I had no idea if it was even possible to live off my business as a family.
It felt like a big scary experiment.
And now we know well and truly that it can be done.
And that it’s 100% doable.
So it feels like that experiment is totally resolved.
I don’t have to keep striving for that anymore.
The question is now:
What drives me next?
And the answer absolutely has to do around service, donations and volunteering. Something I’ve been doing all along anyway. I’ve always joked about being the next Bill Gates but way more liable to talk about sacred vaginas.
And now I’ve got even more energy, time and abundance to devote to those things.
So that’ll form part of my way ahead too.
We’ll keep supporting the panoply of charities we currently donate monthly & yearly to. But I want… need… to up my game and do more. Because my heart is full of all the people and animals and land that are suffering. Sometimes it feels overwhelming, how much needs help. But I remember what Ricky Martin says in his autobiography about his charity work:
Even if it’s just one life you help, it’s the whole world to that person.
I was talking to a couple of my entrepreneur goddess mates about it yesterday, and we decided to fund the building of a school together in a third world country as a fun side project this year. And we’ve already found half the money needed for it. I know we’ll find the rest of it licketty split.
Magic happens when women circle.
Money can be a source for good.
Doing career talks at high schools, providing more support to local organisations, volunteering as a marketing consultant for non profits… the list goes on.
I know this world can change. I know we are the ones who will change it.
Over the last five years, I’ve also experienced so many business transitions and transformations along the way.
From massive hippy to more business-y.
And I’ve been kinda sensing this need to integrate the two more. To become Ultimate Hippy Creative Spiritual Business Goddess.
Everything all included together.
And it always has been.
But I want to do it even more.
And even MORE Leonie flavoured.
More cwazy, more colour, more hippy. Even MORE.
I want to write more blog posts that are long and emotional and don’t have all the answers.
I want to be known less as a know-it-all, and more of a know-a-lot, still-learning, and happy to share what I know and what I don’t know and the whole journey with you.
That’s the whole thing about business and spirit and life like this…
Ch-ch-changes and transformations are good. And needed. At least, they are for this Scorpio woman.
I feel like I’m constantly evolving and learning what it means to be me.
And it doesn’t help (well, it does actually) that I’m married to another deep-thinking Scorpio who adores transformation and personal evolution as much as I do. He is arms-wide-open to changing himself. He expects it of me too. He’s my match, my muse, my teacher.
He calls me on my shit, I call him on ours.
There was a lot of shit at the beginning.
There isn’t as much shit now.
It’s pretty rad, really.
Anyways, there are some important things I need to talk about on the work front.
About changes to my Academy and the upcoming 2015 Workbook.
But don’t worry:
It’s all good.
Here’s what you can expect, yeah?
Amazing Biz + Life Academy
I was at a crossroads, trying to work out the next thing that I was being called to.
What I wanted to pour my energy into next.
I could have scrapped it all. Moved into higher priced products or coaching that were paid for one-by-one.
But honestly, I’m still just in love with the idea of helping as many people as I can, giving them everything I create, and making it as affordable as possible.
It started four years ago as the Goddess Circle, and evolved into the Academy. And I still love it and wholeheartedly believe in it.
So it’s my main focus over the next year to pour even more energy and goodness into it.
- We are going to be undergoing a name change to the Shining Academy (www.shiningacademy.com).
It’s something I’ve been feeling pulled to in my spirit for a long time now. We will still have the same focus on creating a joyful, creative, spirited life and a powerful, abundant business. Spirit and joy is such a big part of the energy I wanted to create here, so I need a name change to reflect that more beautifully.
- We are creating a whole new membership site.
Brand new design, better functionality.
Totally upleveled and gorgeous.
- More and more courses and meditations will be released – especially ones that are easier to consume – smaller chunks of digestible, implementable information for when you’ve only got 10 or 20 minutes to study.
- Programs like Double Your Biz will also be available as year-long daily email actionables – you’ll get a daily email with a marketing/biz task for you to do so you can do it one step at a time.
- More creativity + spirit courses will be created. We’ll do a relationships course (I think I’ve even managed to get Mr Dawson to do some co-teaching with me for it! EEE!) and more artsy ones and and and… ideas KABOOOOOM!
- I want to do some more screen capture videos showing you some really practical business stuff as well – like the systems and organisation I use in my business.
- The masterminds on the membership site will be shifted to be the Academy Facebook mastermind which is thriving + growing + filled with so much support, resources and sisterhood.
- We’re working on some really great ideas & projects to help you get more accountable & start using all the education and resources here in the Academy for you.
- You will be able to see when your account is due, if you need to change credit card details and all your membership and account information on site.
- We are still working out the coding, but we’re going to try and make it so you have the ability to see what courses/programs you’ve used and what ones you are still working on.
I’m so proud of the last four years.
So proud of our incredible success stories of women who are stepping up to the plate + creating real change in their lives + businesses. Conscious creators + powerful women aho!
Proud that 97% of our members say they would wholeheartedly recommend the Academy to a friend.
Proud that we have members who have been a part of it since it began, and continue to renew their membership every single year.
I’m so very excited about everything that’s going to be shared here over the coming months and over the next year… it’s the biggest reinvention of the Academy since it began…
And I’m SO delighted to be sharing it with you.
I am so committed to helping you make your life and business shine beautifully, abundantly, exquisitely through the Academy.
This year we are (OMFG!!!!) printing them ourselves with a Malaysian printing company which kinda takes me back to ye olden days when I lived there for a bit when I was 18… Back to the days of ramadan and durians!
Anyways… it’s been a MASSIVE learning curve to be taking on such a big print job, and learning about publishing and wet proofs and customs and importing and shipping houses and all that… but it feels wildly grown up and powerful.
I needed more capacity to customise to make it the best yet based on what YOU want to see!
So here’s the kinds of differences you will see:
- spiral bound so you can write it in more easily!
- comes with a bonus foldout A2 wall planner calendar which looks effing gorgeous!
- thicker more durable covers
- added pages for monthly check-ins
- and more inclusions!
- There’ll be a name change to 2015 Create Your Shining Year in Life + Biz workbook to reflect my whole-of-brand spirit-call name change.
Special Note For Affiliates!
This year we’ll also be able to offer affiliates commission for printed workbooks (as well as e-books)!!! SQUEEEE!!!!!!!
I really wanted to be able to offer this as a massive thank you to our incredible affiliates who are so important. I’m so grateful to you for helping spread the word.
And of course there will be a HUGE affiliate competition for the workbooks… the biggest one yet!
If you’d like to make magical moolah sharing about my work (thank you!) you can sign up as an affiliate for free here.
My team has done a brilliant job… My eyes are still recovering from many late nights… It’s going to be our best yet. It took all your feedback and tried to weave it all in for the most powerful goal planning workbook for hippies and creatives and heart-centered women evaaaaaa! Can’t wait to share it with you.
Phew. Okay my loves.
That’s my update.
Big, beautiful changes abound.
Continuing to shine, refine, glow, grow.
Honoured to share this journey with you.
Grateful that all around the world, there are strong, passionate, creative women birthing their dreams alive.
Grateful that we get to do this… together.
So much love, as always,
When I stand at the grocery store, looking at the magazines on sale, I shake my head.
I can’t believe people fill their minds and time with this shit.
It’s just so much unreal, unwise nonsense out there.
Stuff that will damage your brain cells and your heart cells. Stuff that will give you untrue ideas about what you are supposed to look like, what your life is supposed to look like, what love is supposed to look like. Stuff that doesn’t light up your cells with spirit.
Having said that, there ARE great magazines out there.
Magazines that will leave you a better person, more inspired, and happier after reading it.
So choose wisely.
Make sure you nourish your brain, heart and spirit with good things that make you stronger, wiser, kinder. Because that’s what you were born to be, yeah?
With that in mind, here’s the magazines I recommend:
Inspiring Magazines I read and recommend:
This one is by FAR my favourite. It’s the best magazines I’ve ever read.
I subscribe to it.
Highly, highly recommend for chicks (& dudes) who are passionate + positive.
ESPESH if you have a biz!
You get this one as an insert in the Weekend Australian newspaper every weekend.
I’ve read it religiously every week since I was 16. I get anxious if I don’t get it on the weekend. I always feel secretly pissed when I read the Letters to the Editor about articles that I’ve missed. It’s an important ritual to me, one that informs my world. I learn something important from each and every magazine.
My favourite columnists used to be Ruth Ostrow & Phillip Adams. I even wrote to Phillip about ten years ago to thank him for his articles, and he sent me the most wonderful, kind letter back. He’s now been pipped at the post to favouritest by Nikki Gemmell (author of Bride Stripped Bare). I squealed with joy when I’d read she’d moved back to Australia and joined the Weekend Australian magazine team. Her writing is fresh, honest, kind. Despite reading every one of her columns each week, I still bought her book anthology of columns (Honestly: Notes on Life). It even made my Top 20 Books of 2013 booklist.
In other words: I love, love, LOVE this magazine.
I reckon I’ll be reading it for decades to come.
A fantastic, thick, beautiful book-like magazine.
Filled with fantastic interviews.
When I finish reading it, it goes on the bookcase, it’s that good.
Reading Dumbo Feather makes me a better person.
So I do it.
I prefer reading magazines in print form (and books in Kindle format). But with the New Yorker I make an exception, and read it on my iPod while I’m breastfeeding the babe to sleep.
I read one article last night about teenage mothers and their children in Louisiana. It broke my heart, and I’m still thinking about it 24 hours later. I like things that are beautifully written and thoughtful.
Life & Spirit Mags:
I’m a big ole farmer hippy at heart. Talk to me about compost baby.
Oooh, and preserving vegetables.
Ooh yeah, like that.
Look at your plump lemons.
Anyway, these are chockfull of good, useful things.
This one is for the goddess hippy woo-woos.
Definitely the best spiritual magazine I’ve found that’s not all “10 Easy Ways To Open Your Chakras”.
More biz-centric Mags:
My favourite part of this magazine is the accompanying CD. I listen to it in the car driving back from school drop-off.
Lots of aha! business moments from this baby.
Well worth it.
Plus, international subscriptions are surprisingly cheap!
Always interesting. Business. Tech. Culture.
This one is a really good toilet read, truth be told!
Short articles. About a bathroom break long.
Even if I just get one lightbulb moment, it’s a good one.
That kinda sounded gross, but there you go.
I’ve heard good things about Taproot too. Haven’t got myself a copy yet. Might just need to.
Any other magazines you can recommend, sisters?
Share in the comments if you like. We can pool our wisdom.
I’m always looking for magical magazines to add to my inspiration basket!
The Always Learning
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