I’m not sure that mom-preneur is an actual word, but it should be. Between the dishes, laundry and housework, child rearing, attitude correcting, refereeing the playtime and dancing over legos left in the floor – anything on top of mom/housewife is a win for the entrepreneurship side of what we do. It’s a struggle to find time or to find the balance between business and babes.
We homeschool. I have one in first grade and a preschooler and a baby who is very mobile. Needless to say, mom-ing over here is a full time job complete with an extra side of “making sure the baby doesn’t eat a lego” stress.
I’m far from perfect. But now that I’ve been running a business on top of being a mom for the last six years, I feel like I’ve learned at least a few things that can help YOU as you run your business while you mom.
- Balance is queen. Balance is queen but above all, if anyone ever tells you they have found the perfect balance, they’re lying through their teeth. Because our babies are SO unpredictable, you might find a balance that works for a while, but it’s only a matter of time until it doesn’t. Sometimes, balance looks different and balance will BE different every day. But what’s important to remember is to strive for balance. When you realize that balance won’t be perfect, it seems to fall into a place where everyone can be happier.
- Grace. My sister has a saying, and it’s “slather grace on that like butter.” We’re southern folk so we butter everything, enter a GIF of Paula Dean riding a stick of butter on a rainbow background and that basically sums up us southerners. And you really should. Slather grace on yourself like butter because grace with ourselves is really the only thing that’s going to get us through. Sometimes, business wins out. Sometimes the kids need so much that you get nothing done for the business. There’s guilt all around because the balance is never perfect but grace, I tell you – grace covers everything. Somedays, we need to remember that tomorrow is a new day, a new start, a new try. If it didn’t work well today, sleep, rest, be at peace and try again tomorrow.
- Take it one day at a time. If something didn’t go well the day before – take a deep breath. Tomorrow is another day. Another opportunity to get it right. Don’t let one bad day run you down a rabbit hole of a hundred bad days. Take each day, one at a time and work hard with the right priorities.
- Set realistic expectations. When you’re a mom, things go wrong. Or plans go completely awry. There are days when I can get everything on my to do list accomplished but they’re rare. There are some weeks when something moves from Monday to Friday one day at a time. Set realistic expectations with yourself and your clients. Good communication is key and remember to ALWAYS give yourself buffer time to meet deadlines.
- Have back ups. Part of our business is creating content. There are days when we don’t get our content created in time, but we have backups for when that happens. If you’re running a business where you can create backups, they’re like a safety net so you CAN STILL show up. For us, that’s social media. We strive hard to write blog posts ahead of time and plan instagram posts out for the future but on days when they just don’t get done, that’s when we go to our safety net and pull something out that’s pre-prepared.
BONUS TIP : This bonus tip is maybe one of the most important. And it is to SET BOUNDARIES. The wonderful thing is that you can set boundaries that work best for you. For me, mornings were made for snuggles and I make it a point to snuggle my babies every morning before we get started. Sure, I could get started early and steam roll right through work projects – but I’d miss out on those good morning snuggles, messy hair, giggles and tickle fights – and that’s just something I’m not willing to give up. When the kids get up and are playing on their own, that’s when my business day starts. Some other examples of boundaries might be not checking emails after 5PM or no working during the evening hours once your husband is home. Find boundaries that work for your life and stick to them.
The entire point, friends and fellow mom-preneurs is this. We only get one chance to raise these babies. Though running a business can be difficult at the same time, it’s definitely do-able. However, make sure that YOU are running your business and not the other way around where your business is running you. Never let your business get to the point where you are running past deadlines. It’s no fun when your kids ask to play and you say you can’t because you’re late on your work. Make sure your business is in a place where you can work gradually, use your time wisely and get out of the place where your business is taking over your life. Using these tips is how we’ve created a place of happiness in our home. No- it’s not perfect and many days I’m behind. But I’m not “late,” to my clients or weeks behind, even because we’ve set realistic expectations and I have the freedom to work not on short deadlines, but deadlines that work for me.
If your business needs an overhaul, start small, making little changes that can lead to huge results. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
- Extend your deadline time. Our turnaround time for weddings used to be 2 weeks. However, now, it’s 4 weeks. When we extended this deadline, it was for times like peak wedding season with a newborn and times when the kids are sick- this was a huge game changer for us in how we are able to give our time. Most of the time, we deliver our weddings in a much shorter time frame but by under promising and over delivering, we’re surprising our clients with their wedding images before that deadline.
- Hire help. I have someone come in and clean my house once a month. Not because I can’t clean, but because it’s a way that I can outsource. It’s much easier to keep it clean when I know that once a month it’s getting a deep clean. This keeps my house cleaner and frees my time to be doing other things like working and playing with the kids.
- Instill nap time or quiet time. If your kids are young enough to need naps – use that time to work, uninterrupted. However, if they’re older – create quiet time for reading or quiet play – set a timer for one hour that you can use to get things done and knock out your to do list!
I hope this helps you on your mom-preneuring journey! If you want to chat about ways you can make things work working from home, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org
And because no post is ever complete without an image, here’s one of my three cuties at the Christmas tree farm in December.