Mixing motherhood with entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. I am no expert on the subject, but I have learned some things in the past few years that I believe could help you.
If you’ve been a parent for more than five minutes, you know how important routines are to having a peaceful and productive household. Children thrive when they know what to expect throughout their days - and adults are no different. Routines are everything!
One of the most important routines to establish for adults and children is bedtime. Having a consistent bedtime and waking time for everyone in your family will help your household run more smoothly. When your bodies get into a rhythm you will be able to fall asleep quicker and be more alert in the mornings. Think of how productive you could be without tossing and turning at night or feeling groggy in the morning!
Managing your time is key to successfully mixing motherhood with entrepreneurship. Being a successful entrepreneur and balancing time with your family is not something that you just luck into. You have to be intentional with your time.
Since you have limited time with both, it is important to use the time you do have wisely. If you know you only have a couple of hours to work during your kids’ nap time, you better have a game plan for what you want to get done during that time. When that time comes, sit down, focus, and tackle that specific task.
If you feel like you got nothing accomplished at the end of your day you need to track your time. The secret to being productive while working at home is knowing where you spend your time. For the next few days, go about your day as usual but keep track of what you do in a notebook or on your phone. Doing this will help you find patterns and time-wasters throughout your day. Once you discover what is crippling your productivity you can make a plan to work on it.
It’s too easy to get so consumed with your business that your family time gets put on the back burner. Don’t let this happen! That to-do list is not going anywhere, but your kids are getting older by the minute.
Family time together doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or expensive to be special. Your family just wants quality time with you and to have your undivided attention. Dedicate a day, or even just a few hours, where you put your phone away and let your kids choose an activity to do together.
If you’re having trouble finding time to spend with your family, block out time in your schedule like you would any other item on your to-do list. You don’t want to look back and regret not spending time with them when you could.
Infants and toddlers need constant attention and stimulation so involving them in your day-to-day doings is not really feasible. As they get a bit older, however, finding ways to involve them can benefit both you and them.
When you teach your kids to pitch in around the house, or with your business, you are teaching them valuable life skills that will benefit them in the future. Giving them chores teaches them a good work ethic (and takes something off of your plate!). Letting them help you with (minor) parts of your business teaches them the importance of teamwork. Involving your kids in what you are doing creates a stronger bond with them and shows them that they are valuable and needed.
Communicating with your spouse or partner is also important when mixing motherhood and entrepreneurship. They are your support system and want to help you succeed. Talk to them about your business and let them help you in any way that they can. What benefits you and your business will benefit your family too.
Being an entrepreneur is hard. Being a mom is hard. Being both at the same time is nearly impossible. As much as you would like to be able to handle everything on your own, the reality is that you are going to need help.
The form of help you need or get may come in many different forms. For example, maybe you and a fellow work-from-home mom can trade off days of babysitting so you can both get work done. Maybe you hire a sitter or put your kids in daycare for a few days a week. Hiring a housekeeper or dog walker are also forms of help that may ease your load. If your business is growing, hiring a social media manager or virtual assistant might be the help you need.
There is no shame in needing help. By learning to accept help, you can be a better mom and entrepreneur.
This one is a biggie! Too many entrepreneurs and moms burn themselves out because they sacrifice their health and happiness in the name of success. Society pushes the notion that only those who hustle the hardest will succeed, but that’s just not the case. If you want to be successful at mixing motherhood with entrepreneurship, you have to learn how to take care of yourself by setting boundaries and knowing when to take a break.
Having (and keeping) boundaries with your business when you work from home is so important but often overlooked. Everything is always so accessible to you that it’s easy to allow your business to creep into every inch of your life. Checking your email at 3 a.m. when you’re feeding your baby or doing a quick blog post on your computer while you’re cooking dinner may seem innocent at first but can lead to burnout quickly.
Don’t buy into the hustle myth that society wants you to believe. It’s ok to take a break- in fact, it should be part of your daily routine! Learn to delegate the jobs around your house and business that you can and ask for help when you need it. Don’t wait until you start to feel overwhelmed to reach out - that’s how burnout happens. Take a break to refresh your mind and body and your productivity at home and in your business will improve.
Most women choose to go into entrepreneurship because they want to build a life they can be proud of and provide for their families. There is a learning curve to mixing motherhood and entrepreneurship, but don’t let anything make you forget your reason for doing what you do. The work will always be there, but you only have a finite amount of time with your kids before they are grown.
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