Recently BAMBI News – the magazine of BAMBI Bangkok Mothers & Babies International – was looking for working moms who would be able to share the key to a work-life balance. And who would be a better person to do so than Joëlle. With her lovely little boy and all of the ventures she has set out – consulting through her consulting agency Bow Consulting Limited, her passion in Aromatherapy and Aromachology for which she organizes workshops and of course her online venture here at My Healthy Bangkok – she is the perfect person to talk about this topic. Read the entire article below.
FINDING THE KEY TO A WORK-LIFE BALANCE
By Joëlle Smaniotto
Parenthood is demanding and when we also have work pressures and our personal lives to attend to, we can quickly start to feel overwhelmed. Aromachologist and entrepreneur, Joëlle shares the key things that have helped her on the quest to find more balance in her life.
As a first-time mom and entrepreneur, I sometimes feel under the water, overwhelmed, and so freaking busy. And that is before I even turn my laptop on, or open my Aromatherapy cabinet, be it at dusk or dawn.
It is beyond obvious to say that my life changed the day I became a parent. Alongside my career which I have decided to pursue, comes a heavy load of new mommy tasks, and I am sure many of you can relate: that new to-do-list never ends!
Yes, women are known to be multitaskers, but at what cost do we want to tick all of those boxes? Is it even possible to be a supermom, a superwife, a superfriend, and a superwoman? How can we manage it all?
Fearing mommy blues and a “little” burnout episode, not so long ago, I realised that in order to be happy, I would NOT and should not do it all.
It is all about the “F”!
This concept revolutionized my world! Inspired by a famous book I started to read (needless to say I haven’t finished it yet). In life, there are only so many f*cks you can give. So excuse my French, but the busier you are, the fewer fs you can give to what doesn’t rank on top of your priority list. So, be picky! Be picky about the ‘drama’ you want to be part of, or even have an opinion about, be picky about the social occasions you must check out. It is not rude but only human to feel there are only so many people, places and causes that you give a real f about. And once that realization hit me, it did clear some space out of mind and my schedule and took some weight off my chest.
Being present, fully
I’m not sure if you practice mindfulness but it is life changing too. Once you have established the fs you want to give, the next step is to fully enjoy these moments. If you will, do the exact opposite of multitasking. For me? No more breastfeeding or playing and sending work emails. When we play, I play. When I work, yes I’d keep an eye on the baby monitor, but only this. This allows me to be more productive, and also feel great about the moments I spend with my son.
So by mindfulness, I mean pay attention to the present moment and enjoy every minute with your kids. Even if your work schedule doesn’t allow you many hours a day, sometimes it is not how much time but the quality of that time.
Acceptance and making choices
My keyword for a balanced life as a working parent is acceptance. Accepting that you can’t attend that late team meeting AND be home on time to give your baby a bath. It has to be either “this” or “that” today, and another choice again tomorrow. It is up to each of us to make this kind of choice, be okay with it, and not give one of our precious fs to those who would have an objection to it. I work in health and wellness and am lucky that my partners and I share the same values, starting with not compromising health. Isn’t that what a work-life balance is all about after all? If it was any other way, I think that re-evaluating the people I work with would be on the table.
As a mom, I know and accept indeed tat I am the one doing most of that “job”. Moms are the ones getting stuff done. Period. Why? Because more often than not, we are the only one to know what needs to be done. Right? But, like in any successful organization I believe, one CEO can’t achieve much without a strong support network. And although it was hard for me at the beginning to let go of doing everything myself, I learned how to delegate. After all, managing a household is not so far away from managing an enterprise. So get a #TeamYou to support you, beautiful mama, in order to get your stuff done! Not everything, but what truly matters.
About the author
Originally from Paris, Joëlle has been living between Asia, the Middle-East and France for the past 11 years. She started working in luxury hospitality management after graduating from Business School. In 2015, she studied French Aromatherapy and Aromachology also known as Olfactive Therapy at the Faculté Libre de Médicines Naturelles et d’Ethnomédicine in Paris (FLMNE), France. Today, while she works as a brand consultant and representative through her boutique agency, she also committed to conveying knowledge about essential oils.
She moved to Thailand 2 years ago with her husband and has created myhealthbangkok.com, where she shares her experiences and tips to live a healthy life around here.