We hear all of the time how hard it is to “have it all,” especially as our lives are busier than ever before. Many times, it’s hard to balance it all: work, family, friends.
How does one even begin to prioritize it all, including taking care of themselves? Meet Bronwen Smith, new mom, owner and lead designer of B Floral, a thriving event design and production company who works with some of New York City (and the nation’s!) largest brands to life.
We sat down with Bronwen to learn more about how she juggles her business and new baby, Hadley, while still making time to care for herself, as well as advice she would give to others!
You’re a new mom and running a huge event business. How do you split up your day in order to get everything done?
Bronwen Smith: It’s an ongoing challenge, but I’m very lucky to have an amazing team at B Floral, and at home to help! I focus on being in the office for the busiest times of the day, and strategically plan meetings around my daughter’s schedule so I can be with her when she wakes, and for a few hours before bedtime.
Tell me a little bit about your morning routine- do you have any rituals you do for yourself to get the day started?
Bronwen Smith: I’m usually awake by 5:30 am so that I can shower and get ready for the day. Most mornings, even on weekends, I spend a few hours on my phone responding to missed emails from the day prior and sending important emails for the day and week ahead. This is my only time to myself for the day, and I’m lucky to be a morning person to begin with. Once my daughter wakes up, the rest of the day is a whirlwind!
As moms and business leaders, sometimes self-care falls by the wayside. Is this something you feel personally in your life, and if so, how do you make time?
Bronwen Smith: This is so true! People warn you about it falling to the wayside and you tend to think “no, that won’t happen to me. I can balance it all.” But, it’s hard! Now that Hadley sleeps through the night and I’ve been able to have a semblance of a schedule, I’ve resumed working out regularly. For me, working out isn’t just about being fit but also about reducing the stress and anxiety that comes with owning a business, motherhood, and daily life. I also take time to see friends, and am fortunate to work with people that I enjoy spending time with.
What is a challenge you have faced recently and how did you overcome it? What did you learn from it?
Bronwen Smith: While I was pregnant, i knew I would take some maternity leave but did not expect to be out of the office for more than 4-6 weeks. Then, I would go back for half days but still be accessible. Hadley had other plans for me, and was born more than two months before her due date. While she was very healthy given her early arrival, she spent the first 10 weeks of her life in the hospital. Obviously she was my one and only priority during that time. It was very difficult to have to take an extended leave from B Floral, my original baby. It taught me to be ok with giving up some control, and that when you build a strong team that you believe in, they will thrive! The experience has also taught me that my definition of “busy” or “overwhelmed” has completely changed before and after Hadley!
What advice would you give to others on how to prioritize the different aspects of life (i.e. family, work, personal life, etc.) so you can “have it all?”
Bronwen Smith: Believe in yourself — it may seem overwhelming at times, but it is possible to have balance. You need to trust your instincts and do what you need in the moment. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with time you establish routines and make time for what is important in all areas of life. When you feel overwhelmed, take a breath, and trust yourself. You can handle more than you may think.
Ask for help and accept help. Even something as simple as asking someone to take a walk to vent, or to bounce ideas off of is important for organizing your own thoughts, and getting a handle on your priorities for the day. Make time to speak with co-workers, family, and friends about your struggles and your successes.
Photography credit: Instagram, B Floral / Luke Polihrom