When you think of the strongest woman you know, who is the first person that comes to mind? For many of us it’s our mom, or maternal figure, and it’s no wonder. Motherhood is often described as a fulltime job, and while we’re glad it is treated like the hard work it truly is we also know that fulltime does not begin to describe the extent of it, especially during COVID. How do primary caregivers maintain a sense of self while giving so much of themselves to those they love?
We talked to a few of our favorite self-employed moms, including Bawdy Love Co-Founder, Gwynedh Van Allan (they/them), burlesque and event producer Mx. Pucks A’Plenty (they/them), and a burlesque performer and painter Whisper De Corvo (they/them), about how they find balance while being a parent, a partner, an individual, and a business owner.
Q: What do you love most about working from home in relation to being a parent?
Gwynedh: Starting Bawdy Love was excellent for me. I can make things I love on my own schedule, and reprioritize at a moment’s notice to be with my family.
Whisper: I love existing together. Hearing my son singing or laughing in another room or getting random snuggles and all of us eating our meals together.
Q: What are your biggest struggles when allocating time to parenting, work, and self?
Gwynedh: I often feel guilty for the time I spend on work and how it divides my attention. I have a hard time putting it down completely to focus on myself or home things. And when there is a lot to do it bleeds over into parenting and being a partner.
Pucks: Sometimes I’m stuck in Zoom hell for hours at a time, so I can’t always be at the ready for my kiddo. There are days that I can’t cowork with him and have to be locked away in my office. Zoom fatigue is draining and can spill over even after work.
Q: How does your work help you be a better parent?
Gwynedh: I think doing something I feel passionate about, even when it is extra challenging, is important. It is important for my identity and important in showing my kids that choosing something fulfilling is just as, if not more, important that something that makes money. I want them to feel empowered to do what they love, even if it is hard or strange.
Pucks: I’m proud of my work and that shows up in the way I feel about myself. When I’m feeling good, I show up better in all parts of my life.
Whisper: By creating a schedule we are finding more time together to play games, take a walk, or chat. I’ve been using this situation (working from home during COVID) to highlight emotional literacy.