Making it Work

We asked one of our local mothers, Trudi Moran, how she keeps juggling it all, from being a mother to a business owner. She shares who inspires her and some tidbits of wisdom she has learnt along the way.

If you like to do it all or strive for perfection, whether you are a mother or not, this will be for you. Maybe you can relate to it even just a little bit or a lot. Either way, we hope it inspires you and makes you feel like you are not alone in what can often seem like the madness of making it all work.

Trudi Moran is a mother of two boys, Callum, 16, and Seth, 13. She is the owner of The Ellenbird family centre in Hilton, a gift shop and a restaurant. Amongst other roles, she also runs a full-time bookkeeping business and is a tax practitioner.

She wasn’t always in the bookkeeping business. When she was 18, she immersed herself in the travel industry and started working at Thompson’s Tours, in Durban, where she organised visits for overseas guests.

During her five years of work there she really grew. She learnt about the diversity of people in this world, that everyone thinks differently, how to be organised, dedicated, have a backup plan at all times, and ensure everything runs smoothly on the surface. Even if underneath, as she describes it, you are “paddling like mad” – oh, and of course, to have fun!

When she fell in love and got married, she realised that the world was bigger than she had thought, and that if she put her mind to it, she could do anything. Moving from the city to the country she had to leave the travel industry and pursued Administration and bookkeeping, working her way from the bottom up.

We forget to have fun so often because we are just trying to stay afloat. Trudi admits that she too slips up, sometimes forgetting to fetch a child or pitching up at the wrong time – can you relate? Sometimes she’s even gotten her days mixed up or forgotten to buy bread and milk, the regular commitments we all face daily.

It is also so often that perfectionism gets the better of us, too, and we just want to be in control of everything. This is something that Trudi has learnt that is not possible all the time. She tells herself that it’s okay, she is just human, and things can be done tomorrow. She also learned to give herself a break and laugh about things. Thankfully her family has learnt to laugh with her.

Family is at the heart of what keeps Trudi going; she was brought up in a family where she was taught to consider others’ well-being and treat people with care and respect and share with those around her. Her parents are both very involved in their community. A trait passed down to her and her siblings.

She values her sons, family, and friends above all else, and she describes her home as a railway station because there are always people coming and going. Her door is always kept open for others.

We can imagine Trudi has very busy days, and undoubtedly it’s not just her two sons who need her attention. Even with her busy schedule, she is a support system for others. Trudi makes time for them, answering those calls or lending a helping hand. She believes that nothing is as important as making people feel safe, heard, and loved. It is “food for the soul”.

She has a strong support system for herself, too, people who help her every day, and she has learnt to ask for help, which has lightened the load. When her days get tough, and she wonders how she is going to do it all again, she remembers who relies on her, gives herself a pep talk, and prays.

Her faith and determination are qualities she incorporates into her life to keep her going and trust God in the big decisions. However, on a more practical level, she also writes lists and sometimes has lists for her lists, but without these, she admits she would drop some of the balls.

Doing it for her boys, teaching them how to be in the world, to express their feelings, and find things to be grateful for, is her fuel. Receiving their love and care is her reward that makes it all worthwhile. She and her boys are a team, navigating through tough times and dancing to the beat of the music that always fills their home.

Trudi shares that any mother out there faces similar challenges, “Take time off for yourself. Take care of yourself, and find even one hour a week to do something for yourself – it doesn’t have to be huge – it is just to remind yourself that you are important, and if you aren’t taking care of yourself, then you can’t take care of everyone else! Don’t let the edges fray too much. And remember – YOU are loved, YOU are amazing, and YOU are enough!”