I decided to write this post because I have many conversations with women who are looking for work at home opportunities or say that they could never do it because of this or that. My husband and I both work at home, and I am sharing a few tips on how I do it as a mom managing 3 kids, 2 of which are still in diapers.
Other than my family, my biggest passion is being a momtrepreneur. I caught the entrepreneur bug early in my oldest son’s toddler years. Back then, the internet was nothing like it is today. Message boards, websites, and making crafts were how I first got a glimpse of what working at home could be.
I was super inspired by a few bloggers (now turned authors and more) and love seeing how all of those moms have evolved and their children have grown, and how their media platforms have changed.
I’m glad that I found the path I am on and love when my brain is ticking and I can create from whatever medium I’m experimenting with at the moment. The other thing I love is collaborating and working with other women who have similar passions. In my early motherhood years, finding good friends was difficult for me and I didn’t trust partnerships or collaborations. I am relieved that those ideas are gone and I have rich friendships and a circle of women who support and uplift each other. That is how the world gets better and I am grateful that my daughter will grow up with those ideas and we can dispel the idea of “mean girls”. I wrote a previous post on the importance of a mom tribe.
Tips for Managing a Family and a Business
- Remove Mental Obstacles: The first thing that is the MOST important thing for me as a momtrepreneur is to get out of my own way. The dialog I have going in my head can make or break my success. There are so many things I can say are obstacles– not enough time, I don’t know how to do something, I don’t feel comfortable doing this or that. You get the idea. I work to stay positive and keep sight on a goal (for myself or for the future of our family). Ways I stay positive are nurturing my relationships with positive and supportive friends, listen to positive or uplifting music, podcasts, etc and do something each day that I enjoy.
- Schedule and Prioritize: This is VITAL for my success. I have a plan of action for the month, then I break it down weekly, daily and even down to when I can work and exactly what to do. An example is that I know I have 2 hours during naptime to get things done, including my lunch. So each day I make a plan for the next. I generally work during nap and an hour after the kids go to bed. In our family, we have a family whiteboard/calendar where our days are scheduled, meals are planned and I keep a personal planner for my actual work activities. When days don’t exactly go as planned, I may spend a few hours working one-handed with an infant on my boob. So again, organization and knowing your system is vital.
- Be Realistic with Goals and Achievements: One of my biggest flaws is that I’ll reach for the moon in my mind and will beat myself up when I can’t make it happen. So setting realistic goals and deadlines are extremely important for me to feel accomplished.
- Utilize Your Support Team: The first person I go to for help is my spouse. If I have a large list or a deadline to meet, I will communicate with him what I need to make it happen. If I can delegate some of the work out to him, I will do that or will give him 100% kid duty for a while so that I am not distracted or hold any guilt. If you have friends or family close-by, ask for help. And when your business starts earning some money, use some of your earnings to pay for childcare. This took a long time for me to learn, I had a martyr complex and felt that I needed to “do it all myself”, but have since realized paying for a sitter for a few hours of silence is perfectly fine, and so much can be accomplished in a short focused time-frame. A coffee shop is my best friend. Getting away from the chaos of home, sipping on a good cup of coffee and working without a self-imposed distraction is one of my best success tools.
Having a plan and setting aside work hours are two of the first steps to success. Also, having the ability to rebound when things do not go as planned is powerful. It takes a lot of strength to be both a mom and a business owner, and it is very rewarding and can provide so much for yourself and your family. 3 kids, a husband, and a business is sometimes overwhelming. However, I have found methods within the madness to keep my business and my family healthy and happy.