You and I both know that there is no one way to have the business and life you want. As moms, we have to take so much into account managing play dates, being Dr. Mom, planning trips, holidays and gifts etc. Not to mention how everyone slept (or didn’t sleep), how healthy everyone is, the age/stage of your kiddos, their emotional needs, YOUR emotional needs…all alongside the realities of getting to the “work” of running your business.
Could there be a better or easier way to make it all work?
Rachel Olsen and I recently got together and wrote a book, Odd Mom Entrepreneur Out – Eliminate Guilt, Grow Your Business & Elevate Your Life. We asked some of the most successful Mom Entrepreneurs we know the following question, “What is your best advice for managing a family and a successful business?”
Here are some of their responses:
Elena Lipson, Self-Care Mentor and Coach:
Make sure you sit down with your partner and have the important conversation about expectations, money, time and what kind of support you need. Get super clear on what’s do-able. Do you need your partner to cook dinner each night, do laundry, help around the house, or maybe hire some help? Since I started my business I’ve hired someone to clean for me, allowed hubby to take over dinner and bedtime on the nights he’s home, and share my travel calendar way in advance so that we can both plan for childcare as needed. I think so many arguments and miscommunication can be avoided if you just sit down together and share needs, expectations and fears. Otherwise they tend to bubble up, become massive triggers for each of you and build resentment. Which is NEVER good for your sex life (another major key to a successful business).
April Perry, Co-Founder, Power of Moms:
I block out time to “just be” with my family. Before school while everyone is getting ready, after school when we have our daily smoothie, and before, during, and after dinner until it’s time for bed. The TV is generally off, I’m not on my phone, and I’m able to be present. That alone enables me to have plenty of time with my family. It’s not always easy to do that!
Liz Goodgold, Founder, RedFIRE Branding:
As a mom, we know the value of positive reinforcement. Instead of only criticizing our kids or employees, we recognize the power of finding the good. Women are also unbelievably great at empathy; we recognize other’s feelings and care. At no point should we stop being ourselves and adopt the roles of somebody else.
Mindee Hardin, Inventor Boogie Wipes:
Take off one hat before you put the other one on. You cannot mother and run your business at it’s best when you are trying to do them both at the same time. Set a schedule of work time (someone else is caring for the kids) and play/mom time. Guilt trips are gut checks, if you feel guilt when you are working, you did not give enough of your love and presence to your kids recently and vice versa. If you are with your kids and feel like your business is suffering and you are not on top of your tasks, you either need to schedule more work time or lower other people’s expectations of you – meaning stop making people think you are going to answer emails and phone calls all day long and respond right away. And – take a deep breath, this time of mothering these jumping beans in temporary it’s less than 10% of your life, everything will be OK. Give yourself permission to love mothering as much as working.
Rachel Olsen, Best Mom Products and Co-Author, Odd Mom Entrepreneur Out:
There isn’t extra time to put any energy or effort into tasks, projects or volunteer activities that don’t serve a purpose you are deeply passionate about. Motherhood magnifies what is important. Doubling up means you double up where your skills and your values meet. For example, I really think through all the opportunities in my life like the roles I want to take on at my daughter’s school. This year, I chose to be the PR Chair for the PTA because it is a natural way for me to use my skills and give back that makes sense. This is where values meet skills.
Flesché Hesch, Founder, TheBizyMom.com and Co-Author, Odd Mom Entrepreneur Out:
You cannot do it all by yourself! Decide what you love to do and where you can share your biggest gifts and strengths and get help for the rest. Get extremely clear about family time and work time and be ruthless about guarding that schedule for yourself. This requires being crystal clear about your priorities and goals and letting everyone in your life know how to best support you.
What are your favorite strategies for managing your family and business at the same time? Share your suggestions or questions in the comments below.
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