Today I want to talk about something that is very close to my heart, which is running a business while being a mom. I see questions come up a lot about what are the best ways to manage it all, and I wanted to share some tips that have worked for me since 2008! I don't usually share a lot of personal things with you all, because I feel that most of you are here for strictly business related things. But this is something that I know many of you are struggling with and can be effecting your business and mindset.
I know that this past year has brought a LOT of change, especially with families being at home together while trying to balance work and even school. Some days it can feel absolutely overwhelming and frustrating with little ones underfoot. I totally get it.
For me personally, I have learned a lot over the years and I am still learning. When we found out in 2019 that our youngest child was diagnosed with autism, it honestly turned my world upside down. I was just getting used to the idea of having some uninterrupted work time with my other two children going to school, so to get that news about our son, Finley, meant that I was going to have to re-evaluate my business plans. His diagnosis meant a lot of things for us- not just working from home with a child that needed extra care, but also driving across town for therapy every single day of the week.
Having children at home while you are trying to wear #allthehats is not an easy task, and until you are in the thick of it you really can't fathom how incredibly tough it can be at times. If you're experiencing this now or if you're expecting a little one soon, I want to assure you that YOU CAN DO THIS!
Here are some ways that I've learned to embrace the crazy combination or motherhood and business, and not only survive but enjoy the ride!
1) Be flexible
For me, this is the biggest one that I struggled with. For the longest time I fought it and wanted to work a ‘normal' day from 9-5. However, with children at home- this was not only impossible, but extremely demanding on myself both mentally and physically.
When you are running a business and being a mother, there are going to be so many ‘stop and go' moments throughout each day. My advice is just go with the flow as much as you can and try to remember that your children are only this young for a very short period of time. Give them the love and attention they need, and get back to work when the time is right. Being flexible is a crucial part of making your work/life balance attainable and doable.
Can't work for six hours straight like you need to? That's ok! Plan out your work day around theirs– nap time, after they are tucked in for the night or even a few hours before they wake up. Give yourself grace, and remember that you are doing a fabulous job.
Knowing ahead of time what needs to get done on what day is a huge part of what keeps me sane and on track. I focus on the top 3 things I need to get done each day, and if I have some extra time I will work on extra things. I used to write a to-do list for each day that was a mile long and I could never check everything off. That made me feel bad about my day, myself and my business.
I've learned that prioritizing the most important tasks and staying focused on those tasks helps me feel accomplished and pleased at the end of my work day. I use an awesome planner by my friend and biz coach, Amber Housely, which has each day of the week listed with spaces for the top 3 priorities for each day. It's amazing!
If you haven't yet considered outsourcing, now is the time if you are struggling to stay afloat!
Outsourcing does not have to just be related to business tasks, but also things to make your life easier on the personal level too. A maid or babysitter is a popular one to consider if you feel like you need an extra hand in order to get your work tasks completed.
If you need more help for your business, I encourage you to consider a VA, social media manager, copywriter, book keeper or hiring an employee. Think about the things that take up a lot of your time, and if it's not the part about your business that you truly enjoy, how it can be outsourced or delegated?
The point of having your business is to enjoy what you love to do, and if you're barely able to do that b/c you are trying to do so many other things- it's time to make a change.
For me personally, this looks like outsourcing child care in-home for Finley two days a week as well as extra help with Marketing (something that I am not particularly good at). I also love to take courses to help me with certain business tasks. It's ok to accept that you aren't great at everything your business requires! Getting outside help with these things will only help your business as well as yourself grow and flourish.
I truly hope that this has given you some encouragement and positivity, because I know firsthand how hard it can be to put on the ‘Girl Boss' hat while your little darling is tugging at your leg for a snack.
If you'd like to chat more about this, feel free to email me and tell me about some things that may or may not have worked for you in regards to motherhood and business. I'd love to hear all about it!