Motherhood has us busy enough, with chasing kids, cooking favorite meals, reading silly stories, helping with homework, cleaning messes, and chauffeuring from point A to point B. But sometimes we crave a little more, something just for us. So we start a new (or pick up an old) hobby and dedicate some precious time to ourselves. Perhaps that hobby becomes more serious over time. Pretty soon your friends say, “You should sell that!” Or “People will totally buy this from you!”. Before you know it, you’ve opened an Etsy shop or started your own blog. And then you have to figure out how to juggle motherhood and business.
I think it is important to point out that, despite all the blog posts, social shares, and pins that will tell you otherwise, no one really has it all figured out. As a mom in business, you’ll be tempted to “have it all” and find that coveted “balance”. It is fine to strive for it, but please don’t measure your success or self worth by those standards.
Figure out what sort of calendar you like to work with the most and stick with that. Some people prefer paper and pen, while others would be lost without their favorite app. Whichever feels right for you, use a calendar and use it often! Record EVERY little thing, even if you are sure you’ll remember. Because one day, you won’t!
Batching will allow you to get more things done in less time. You might already be familiar with the technique if you’ve heard of once a month cooking. The idea is to work on tasks for the entire week (or month even!) all in one sitting. For example, I spend Thursdays writing blog posts and newsletter content. That way I’m in one frame of mind and I can minimize distractions. Sometimes I’m able to get an entire month’s worth of newsletters done in one sitting. It is so nice to know that is done and I don’t have to think about it again for a few weeks.
It is so tempting to scroll through Instagram while sitting on the playground bench, or answer emails on your phone during family movie night. And this is not to say that you should NEVER, EVER do that. No judgement here, I promise (I do it!). The point I want to make here is that the time spent with your family without thinking of the business is fantastically restorative. Spending time doing something fun with the people you love and NOT thinking about the orders you need to fill will actually help you be more motivated and productive when it comes time to work on the business again. You know what they say… “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”!
When things get crazy, write down your priorities. Business goals and dreams, your most important household responsibilities, and of course, your unbreakable family values. Seeing them written out in front of you will help you refocus on the important things. Don’t waste precious time on the things that don’t matter, Momma!
This one is so hard for me, but I’m going to put it out there, even if I don’t always take my own advice. No one person can do everything. Even Batman has Robin and Alfred helping out! Seriously though, think of the things that take up too much time and brainstorm ways to delegate or hire out. If your business makes enough money to support it, perhaps hiring a cleaning service to see to your bathrooms and dusting once a month would make a huge difference. Or you could consider trading babysitting with another business owner friend. The kids will have loads of fun at her house for a few hours while you get those orders filled, and then you can return the favor the next day while she edits her clients’ photos.
As moms in business, it is up to each of us individually to decide what makes a successful “work-life balance”. The important thing to remember is that there is no one size fits all plan to successfully juggle motherhood and business. Sometimes the business will take center stage, other times you won’t be able to find a spare moment to answer an email. That is normal and okay. Follow these suggestions and make the most of this adventure of yours! Use that calendar, work on tasks in batches, take breaks, remember your goals, and don’t forget to ask for help.