Five Tips for Juggling It All and Thriving
You’ve heard the word: Mompreneur. For women who run businesses and manage families, this one’s for you. And for those of you who work for someone else and are moms, this one’s for you too. Stay at home moms? Every bit of it still rings true.
I’ve been a mompreneur since I started my business back in 2009. I was pregnant with our first child (what a time to start a new business, right?) but felt compelled that the time was right to work for myself and off I went to start the darn thing. Three (sometimes four via fostering) kids later, I am only marginally closer to escaping mom-guilt and the crazy constant juggle but I have learned a thing or two along the way.
Here are my top 5 tips for Mompreneurs everywhere:
- Get rid of “work-life balance” from your vocabulary. It’s usually not a true balance. You’ll have it for a brief time, and then it’s gone for awhile. But stop sweating it, you’ll figure it out and rebalance sometime soon, before it all starts over again. Some weeks will be work-heavy and others may be family-heavy. It is what it is.
- Delegate. This looks different for everyone and I mean it both personally and professionally. I realize not everyone has family around or extra money to spend but here are a few ideas: take turns with a friend keeping each other’s kids once a week; hire a housekeeper to come twice a month for a deep clean; show your children how to do their laundry – even if you still have to fold it, by 7/8 years old they can likely put it in the washer, move to the dryer, and put their clothes into their drawers themselves.
- Professionally, realize that you may no longer be the best one for every single job in your company. It may be time to hire a VA, someone to write your blog posts and handle social media, an accountant, or even an intern to run those random errands and answer the phone. What do you do that makes the company money? How can you continue to do just that and let someone else handle the rest?
- Wake up early. This is the only way I will ever work out or shower before taking the kids to school. If it doesn’t happen before the kids wake up, it’s not happening. Even if your gig isn’t exercise, waking up early gives you time to have a quiet moment, grab a cup of coffee and be ready for the house to wake up instead of the abrupt awakening of children asking for breakfast. For me, being woken by people asking for things NOW is the worst way to start my day. Even if you set your alarm early just to take 10 minutes to meditate or stretch, you’ll have a happier start to your day and feel more prepared once the house awakens.
- Set priorities for each day. I am a fan of the to-do list, but I break it into one-day chunks. I use a basic notebook to keep my to-dos handy, and one page will have bullet points for what needs to get accomplished that day, plus probably a grocery list scribbled on the side. It helps clear my brain at night to write down the following day’s most pressing priorities. I keep track of what those are, and the less important things can take a couple extra days without me stressing much over them. You’ve heard it said before and it is still true: Focus on what matters.
- Carve out some quiet time for yourself. This might mean a walk (for me, before the kids wake up!), it might mean a facial or massage once a month, it could be hiding in the sauna at the gym (done it), or it may be a 5-10 minute meditation at your desk. Whatever your quiet time looks like, don’t underestimate how important it is for your sanity. You’ll be a better mom and wife after getting some time to yourself, and even us adults need a break just to daydream, read a book, or run a couple errands alone (hello, Target by yourself, amiright?). When I run low on this area, I crave alone time and get a little frantic about it. I’m convinced that even extroverts who love having people around need a second to be with themselves, and for me it’s a proven way to make me a better wife/mom/business gal/human being.
What tips do you have to add to the list? I love talking #momlife with other women and the second I feel like I’m the only one struggling with something, it turns out we’re all in the same boat. This conversation has been had since before working moms were a thing, and our generation is finding all new ways to thrive as more and more women start businesses and work outside the home.
Drop me a line to let me know what helps you with the juggle and any other tips or struggles you deal with!