I was a little wary when I read the title of this e-book: How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too (*aff link). Was this going to be a book telling me that if I worked hard enough I could:

  • have a successful career
  • be the mum I wanted to be
  • have my own interests
  • and look completely fabulous all the time?

Well not really that exactly because I love the author Mandi Ehman’s blog, life…your way which is not at all like that, but I did wonder was it going to set the bar too high? Within the first five pages Mandi set my worries to rest:

When I say it’s possible to have it all, I don’t mean that literally, of course. I respect that there are only 24 hours in a day, and that means that some things are left undone when I lay my head on the pillow at night. But I firmly believe we can be mothers who are fully invested in raising our children and providing a home for our families while also pursuing our dreams and even fulfillment outside of our family.

That is my definition of having my cake and eating it too.

This e-book was particularly timely for me. With the launch of the Planning With Kids book, soft launch of my blog coaching blog, this would have be to the busiest I have ever been. Some of the advice Mandi gives in the e-book I already knew, but needed to hear right now. Some I hadn’t really considered and am thinking about a lot now.

What I liked most about the e-book is how in How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too Mandi never says this is the absolute right way to do things. She shares what works at sometimes that is work in progress:

Can I tell you a secret? I’m a bit [chaotic] when it comes to to-do lists. I switch systems every couple months – from paper to digital, from a printed form to scrap paper, etc. I’ve long given up trying to commit to a single system, so I just embrace whatever system is currently working!

The e-book is just over 90 pages long and is broken into three sections:

  1. A Recipe for Success – what it takes to pursue your passion or work from home. And it isn’t just about you!
  2. Time Management & To-Do Lists
  3. Practical Tips for Success

Mandi’s voice throughout the whole e-book is consistent, honest about how hard it can be working from home, but also very encouraging and inspiring. This makes it easy to read, but as a list lover, I would have liked a few more headings and dot points to make it more scannable. A summary of the end of each section would have been great to be able to pin up at home as a reminder of how to go about pursuing your passion.

That aside though, this e-book has got me thinking. Thinking about what I am doing and what I need to change. Below I have listed (see I love a list!!) my summary of the top 10 tips from the e-book.

But if you are serious about working from home, or have a dream you want to chase, this e-book will give you an honest look at what it entails and how to manage it to your best with your family:

Top 10 Tips For Pursuing Your Passion and Being Mum

  1. If your business is established and you’re still trying to do everything yourself, your to-do list may be the reason you’ve lost your passion.
  2. You will have to make sacrifices along the way. You may have to say no to play dates or invitations. You’ll have to plan your schedule around the things you need to get done for work.
  3. It means creating a plan for how you will pursue this passion of yours – whatever it may be – rather than just diving in and letting circumstances dictate.
  4. I think it’s okay to say, “I’m sorry, not now. Mommy’s working.” But they also need to hear and see me say, “Not now, I’m playing with my kids.”
  5. Having a mentor who understands your goals – as well as the challenges you face as a work-at-home mom – and is willing to give you honest feedback is really invaluable.
  6. For other people, having help with your home or family may be more valuable. A mother’s helper or babysitter can supervise and play with the kids while you get focused work time, or having someone clean your home can free up that time to do other things.
  7. Always – always! – schedule more time than you think you need for an activity. Just like budgeting, one of the biggest sources of discouragement with a schedule is not being able to keep up with unrealistic standards.
  8. I read an article in Focus on the Family that said that consistently getting less than 7 hours of sleep affects your mood, concentration and productivity in the same way as staying awake for 24 hours straight!
  9. According to a statistic on Julie Morgenstern’s website, ―Getting rid of excess clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in an average home.
  10. One of the easiest ways to run your home more efficiently is to make sure you never leave a room empty-handed.

Source: How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too

I feel pretty lucky to be pursuing my passion and being able to do that as a work at home mum. It certainly isn’t running perfectly at the moment and I feel inspired to make some changes, mainly so I can get some more sleep!

Are you pursuing your passion?

*aff link – this means if you make a purchase after clicking on a link from this blog, I will gain a small commission for the sale. It will not affect the price of the item you are buying.

I received a copy of How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too courtesy of the author. You can purchase the e-book for yourself for only $US9 with coupon code dreamBIG!

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3 comments...read them below or add one

  • Gill@OurParklife May 10, 2011 at 10:18 am

    this looks really interesting…I especially like the Top 10 tips for mums pursuing their passion, particularly like Number 4 and think it is simple but excellent advice

    Oh and number 9? I truly believe that if i got rid of 40% of clutter in this house that I would have a much easier job in maintaining the household mess!

    On another note, I just ordered your Planning With Kids book! Finally got around to it – CAN NOT WAIT!

    Gill xo

  • DanniiBeauty May 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Great post and tips! I agree its so important to schedule time. I do it fo everything and it really helps us as a household to run efficiently.

    It was great to see you at the bloggers brunch – you truly are inspirational. Hope to see you again soon!

  • van025 May 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Great tips.Thanks for your sharing.I love the tip no.3:
    It means creating a plan for how you will pursue this passion of yours – whatever it may be – rather than just diving in and letting circumstances dictate.
    It’s really suitable to me