Thursday, July 7, 2016

Last night I threw a huge tantrum because someone ate my biscuit.

Then I snapped at my husband because he didn't do the dishes, then snapped at him for doing them.

Then I got cross because he did the laundry and put the kids in the shower because I wanted him to stop trying to do everything.

Then I stomped off to bed to sulk and promptly fell asleep....

Around an hour later I woke up feeling seven kinds of sheepish.

The kids were sleeping, the house was tidy all was at peace in the world. I had to put on my big girl pants and apologise for my behaviour. To tell my husband how much I love him and truly appreciate everything he does.

If only life was more like Dawson's Creek where we were all able to constructively analyse our problems (let's take a moment to consider that description of a sitcom written about teenagers?!).

For the rest of us we're just doing the best we can, and that's good enough for me. Every day is a fresh start after all.

Today let's be grateful to all of those people in our lives who know us well and love us anyway.

You've made it to Friday - I hope you've got an incredible weekend planned.



While a wild and stormy night rages outside in Auckland, I am thrilled to introduce to you a very dear and talented friend of mine - Lisa Boltman of Infocus Consulting. 

Lisa was a natural choice to share a few secrets behind Work Life Balance. In addition to a successful corporate career, she is presently growing her consulting business all while managing a busy household of five. 


She remains a constant source of inspiration and support for me both professionally and personally, and I am so grateful to her for sharing her take on the work life juggle and what works for her. 

I hope you enjoy Lisa's guest blog - please feel free to reach out with any questions below in the comments section. 

Happy reading! 

With Lisa Boltman - Infocus Consulting. 

Work life balance – What a week to be writing about WLB. For a working mother of 3 little noisy, rough, loving and yet very often grubby little boys, I refrain from calling it BALANCE and more like a form of BLEND.  

I blend a part-time (4 day a week) permanent corporate role in with running a household, being involved in the kids school and sporting life, attending boot camps, and running a coaching and consulting business. This week in particular has been a little more crazy than normal with a 2 day work trip to wellington in the middle, plus sorting out 3 new business opportunities and sorting the house out for 3 sets of visitors/friends coming over in the weekend.

You see balance to me means everything is evenly split in the way of my time and energy – and that’s just not the case and I’d be pushing poo up hill to try and make it so. Balance makes me think of walking along a tight rope and if you’re not balanced then you fall. So for me there is no balance and I don’t think for the short to medium term there ever will be. To be honest that’s not what I want. I’m happy with my blend approach. Some days my paid employment is a bit slower than others and I have breathing space to plan life both in and out of work. On my paid ‘working from home’ day (yes I have one of those once a week and its great and totally helps with the balance/ blend thing) I get things done around the house (mainly washing), drop off and collect kids at bell time with the other school mums, and get good thinking time in the space and quiet of my home office to get a lot off the work ‘to do’ list. On my off days I swap the paid employment part of my day with coaching clients and building client relationships. All the while checking paid employment emails so I am seen as constantly on and responsive.

My typical working day is:
  • 5.40am – up and out the door by 6.40am, lunches made and school bags packed (all done the night before), dinner out of freezer, and leaving hubby to get kids to before school care for a 7.15am drop off so he can make his 7.30am train.
  • 7.30am – at my desk and making a cuppa. Maybe then get a 10min Mindfulness track in before others get into the office.
  • 8am – 4.15pm – meetings, coaching sessions and preparing for various training workshops or writing reports. Lunchtime is often sorting out Dr’s appointments, plumbers or whatever the household needs.
  • 4.15pm – Out the door to sit in traffic for 1 hour.
  • 5.30pm – Walk in the door after collecting the kids from 2 different pickups. Referee the fight over who’s going to check the mail box.
  • 5.45pm – all kids bribed to get into the shower by the promise of a marshmallow
  • 6.30pm – hubby home and dinner on the table. Dinner consists of something easy to make, often a left over meal made in the weekend, or the easy go–to of chicken or tuna wraps...and if I’m really desperate then baked beans and sausages.
  • 7.20pm – Between hubby and I the kitchen is cleaned up, lunches made for the next day, washing hung up (that was put in the machine when the kids were in the shower) and onto reading, spelling or stories.
  • 7.45pm- teeth and the fight over who mummy and daddy are going to say goodnight too first.  Each child watches the clock as each parent says good night to each boy. They all get 5mins each….
  • 8.20pm – still saying goodnight – this part very often drags on because we said goodnight to ‘so and so’ longer than you said goodnight to me….  (To be honest I don’t mind it dragging on as this is my most favourite part of my whole entire day as it’s my 1:1 time with each of them whilst snuggled up in their warm bed)
  • 8.30pm – look at pile of clean washing in the basket at the end of our bed – then turn around and walk out of bedroom – collapse on couch to watch a fix of ‘Suits’, OR log on and work on my Coaching business work.
  • 10.00pm- Pick up washing in basket at end of bed and place it to the side of the room where I can’t see it. Lights out.
  • 5.40am – Repeat.

Sometimes this schedule differs and I head to a boot camp class at 7pm Monday night, 6am on a Wednesday morning, or 7am on a Saturday morning – but more or less it’s the same. Weekends revolve around football games, seeing family or friends – and generally sneaking in another 2 - 3 hours work in sometime over the weekend when needed. 

What my boys love is routine through all of this. They know the days they go to before and after school care, they know its gym night on a Monday for mum, Taco Tuesdays, take aways on a Friday and soup Sunday and family movie on a Sunday. Life works right now, yes I’m busy but I’m happy this way – I’m not looking for balance. I’m looking for satisfaction in the key areas of my life that matter right now. And I have that.  Some weeks I might not make the gym at all, I might have a week of eating out, I may not see or speak to any friends or family, or I may not get any of my private business work done. But thats OK – swings and roundabouts.

Friends, colleagues and clients ask me how I manage my life both in the way of keeping everything afloat, keeping the motivation, and keeping the energy and drive. Well I have a few things in place that help support me;

  1. An amazingly supportive and hands on husband – he’s just awesome.
  2. A great employer who is happy to support me to run my own business on the side and also allows me the flexibility with my work in the way of my hours and where and how I do my work 
  3. An iPhone - the worlds best organiser and sorter of everything from which I run 2 calendars and 3 email accounts, check the weather, bank accounts, message friends, track where my hubby is (yes you can honestly do that), keep up to date on news and search google.
  4. I generally eat well - high protein for breakfast, good snacks and some multivitamins. I recently started a health programme called Isagenix which has been working for me as a complimentary nutrition system and has helped with energy levels.
  5. Preparation – lunches the night before, making meals over the weekend, working out what I’m going to wear to work the night before and setting it out, getting dinner out of the freezer in the morning etc.
  6. A great day-care and after school programme where I know the kids are well cared for and loved
  7. Some good local friends who help with last minute emergencies; and
  8. Goals – if you haven’t worked it out yet I’m pretty goal focused.

With my coaching clients I often use a picture of a circle/ pie diagram to help them work out their ideal balance - blend mix. I’ll take key areas of a persons life, such as career/ work, personal development, family, key relationships, health, money etc and identify how satisfied they are with each, how much of the pie each area makes up and how much they would like it to be. We then focus on the one or two key areas that would make the most difference for them. I explain that if we were to put in 100% energy into each of the areas of our life we would be considered Super Women – and how realistic is this, although god knows we deserve that title a lot of the time.

So rather than giving yourself a hard time for not having BALANCE, give yourself a break, take a more holistic view and just BLEND – it’s much easier mentally, and you’re not failing to be balanced or not – your just BEING, which by the way is another great B word.


Lisa Boltman is a qualified and passionate Coach and owner of Infocus Consulting. Lisa supports her clients to make a positive shift in their lives - be it leadership skills, career or personal development she will work with you to make it happen. 

For more information on Infocus Consulting or working with Lisa link in with her via


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I caught up with a colleague for coffee last week. Our conversation started with work, moved on to life and ended up in a fit of excitement over potential blog posts. 

I adore this woman. 

Working with her is like getting up every morning to watch the sun rise. Absolutely delightful. Her passion and energy for what she does is contagious and inspiring. 

I wanted what she was having, and I had to ask....

What is your secret? 

Coffee. The answer was instant, and although we laughed and moved on it did get me thinking. 

Often the greatest pleasures in life are simple. We have enough to manage in a day without the additional burden of expensive purchases, excessive planning and unnecessary guilt. 

So let me level with you. 

I have a seriously sweet tooth and a sedentary job. 

This is a problem.

Every week, we inevitably end up with two spotty bruised bananas that remain in the bowl until our house resembles the butterfly enclosure at the zoo. 

This is also a problem. 

During my second pregnancy I stumbled across a painfully simple way of resolving both problems. 

Jacq's Simple Pleasure #1: Frozen Banana

Simply grab a handful as a cheap / healthy sweet fix. They're best eaten straight out of the freezer, I often pop them in a snap-lock bag and munch on them in the North-Western on my way to work but  the uses for this humble frozen fruit are seemingly endless. 

My kids literally go bananas for them. Don't be surprised if you open the freezer to find it raided during the night. You have not been mass invaded by monkeys. 

The following photos are courtesy of The Glowing Fridge, who's ability to document how to freeze a banana transcends art. I really hope you enjoy the tip. 

What's your simple secret? 

I'd love for you to leave a comment and let me know. 


Saturday, June 25, 2016

The weekend, in addition to gaining a few kilos due to an over abundance of Whittakers  (school fundraisers have a lot to answer for), I've stayed in.

Our lives are set for some pretty dramatic change over the coming months. It is there, looming on the horizon like some vasty grey storm cloud and although it brings the promise of great excitement, now is the time to batten down the hatches.

It has been almost exactly like a 'staycation' except in absolutely no way at all. Cupboards were unpacked. Stuff went to charity. More cupboards were unpacked...more stuff went to charity. We've arrived in a good place. That's to say we no longer have multiple editions of Womens Weekly, an unused corn toaster and more sets of cards than your average Casino.

I feel confident. Self-assured. Powerful. I am woman. I am all things!

Hold me.

Seriously. Someone hold me. 

My Au Pair departs tomorrow leaving me looking down the barrel of two (.75) children to juggle with no escape, a husband about to change jobs and no looming summer holiday to keep me sane. Clearly this is why reality TV is considered a basic human right.

Added to this is the fact I am in my last week of work before I depart on Maternity Leave. I adore my job. I love my team. I am not sure how I feel about this new phase. Experience tells me that this too shall pass, but in the face of so much change all at once, it is time to refocus.

Because my role often involves long hours, when I am home I try to be as present as possible, this means limiting the time I spend on technology.

Since time is a finite resource, squeezing even five minutes of tranquility into your day can make all the difference.

During the week I leverage my commute, which ranges from reasonable to downright outrageous. I set aside the mornings for mindfulness, meditation or pod-casts with the homeward journey dedicated to work calls.

I find this approach sets me up for the day ahead. Whether it prepares my mind for a difficult conversation, structures my thinking for a complex meeting or sets an intention for how I want the day to go.

Podcasts are a phenomenon in their own right, one I have really only tuned in to over the past few months. So often these days I find myself caught up in the whirlwind of 'Do It' and 'Now', and forget to come up for air.

The older I get the less I seem to know and continual learning and curiosity have to be two values I prize highly.

So if, like me, you could use a break - here are a few recommendations I have to inspire the mind and nourish the soul:

Mindfulness for the modern life.
Buddhify makes me smile. Practical, playful and beautifully designed - the rainbow interface brightens even the darkest day, while the 'Wheel of Fortune' layout injects an element of fun. I value Buddhify for its variety - there are meditations on everything from Work Breaks to Difficult Emotions - and its quality, the average length of a meditation is about 6 minutes. Even during my busiest days I can spare 6 minutes.
The only downside is that it costs around NZD$7 to purchase.
Buddhify is available for both apple and android devices.  

Described as a gym membership for your mind Headspace is a great option for people looking to start out their mindfulness journey. The free section of Headspace provides 100 minutes of mindfulness, hosted by your tour guide Andy. The intention is for you to progress through levels, cultivating a habit of mindfulness, however the app is flexible enough to be used whenever you have 10 minutes to spare. 
Headspace offers both free and paid options, the later of which offers access to some fairly extensive resources.
Headspace is available for both apple and android devices. 


Until fairly recently, I thought a Podcast was an inconvenient App I couldn't remove from my apple interface. How wrong I was. For those in the know, the world of podcasting is as vast as its potential is endless. 

If you are starting your journey here is what I have been listening to lately: 

In addition to being one of my favourite wedding photographers (honestly, sister makes want to get married again just for the photos), Kate's podcasts offer listeners inspiration and stories to motivate you both at life and at work with a distinctly New Zealand flavour. Kate also shares her personal experiences of being a new mother, and her journey in juggling a successful business and family life in a way that is both relatable and refreshing. 

Regardless of the topic, the savvy business focused podcast of Michelle McCullough never ceases to light my entrepreneurial fire. Episodes are polished and informative and not too American centric for a New Zealand listener. Worth listening in to for great tips on strategy, marketing and brand knowledge. 

And then there was TED, a movement that needs no introduction although just in case...TED is a not for profit / non-partisan movement, devoted to spreading ideas usually in the form of short, powerful talks. 
My only advice is to encourage you to get online, check it out. Enjoy!

Have you found this post useful? 

What do you use? I would love for you to share your thoughts. 

As a closing note, the opinions of these apps are mine alone. I have not received any compensation or benefit from this post.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hey you!

Yes you, right there.

Has anyone ever told you that you are incredible? One of a kind. In the entire future of this universe there will never be anyone else like you. There has never been anyone exactly like you since human life began.

That is why it is so important to be yourself.

So much of our precious time and energy can get caught up in comparing our own lives, our own selves to those around us that we forget that it is our differences, not our similarities that make us great.

There can only ever (EVER) be one you.

In creating Work Wife Balance - I want to provide a platform where we you can be your authentic self. I truly cross-my-heart believe you are worth it.

My dream is for this blog to be a place where real life is celebrated. Not just the pretty stuff, but the frazzled mornings, messy kitchens, crazy dreams and hard-fought victories.

Because guess what?

There is no single answer for success. No one solution. No secret you have been missing out on that has the potential to improve your life beyond measure.

What I do know is this.

The best project you will ever work on is YOU!

I want to share with you an open and honest account about what makes my life easier, at home and at work, and I want to hear what makes your lives easier too.

All of us were born with the power to change our own behaviour. To be what we aspire to be, what we hoped to be, what we want to be. No one else has this power. When we can give the best to ourselves, we give the best to our families, to our friends, to our lives and to our careers.

Today I was speaking with a friend and work colleague of mine who is facing some pretty big decisions. As I listened to her concerns, her fears and excitement it was clear that the only thing holding her back was herself.
What if she wasn't good enough? What if someone else was better?
She completely overlooked the fact that she was the reason the opportunity existed in the first place.

Because being you is life changing.

I love this quote by Karim Seddiki - and I would love to hear your stories, ideas or desires for what can be shared on this blog.

Thank you so much for stopping by!


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Why hello there and welcome to Work Wife Balance. 

My name is Jacq - In addition to being a wife and a mother I also work full-time. Given that being a parent and a spouse is a full-time job in its own right, life can get a trifle frantic. 

When I tell people about my job the first question they ask me is "how do you do it all?

I don't. 

No one does, at least no one I know personally and I know a lot of hugely successful people. 

If you have ever: 
a) Ironed the collar of a work shirt with your hair straightener; 
b) Wound the clock forward, closed the curtains and sent the kids to bed early so you can drink wine; 
c) Cried when Tescoes announced they would no longer ship internationally; 
d) Are about to try any of the above (with the exception of was a dark day) 

Then you've come to the right place. 

Work Wife Balance is about creating a place to share things to make people's working lives easier. Celebrating the chaos. No one's life is as sparkly or clean as it is on their blog. Honest. #zoomout. 

I have made a profession out of helping people into companies, and helping companies with their people. It's something I am good at. Really good at. 

However you have landed here, and for whatever reason I hope you find something that makes your life a little better than when you arrived. 

Photo Credit - bloglovin

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