by Cindy Venckus, Early Education Enrichment LLC
Moms by nature are master multi-taskers who wear many hats. Is it any wonder they make such good entrepreneurs? When I asked a group of mompreneurs how they were able to manage motherhood and running a business, the responses varied from involving family to carving out personal time and getting organized. Here is some advice from the experts on how they create a healthy balance for themselves and their families.
“Start your day with some quiet time to get clear, calm and focused each morning before you attend to your children. Just 5 or 10 minutes to breathe, meditate, set intentions or feel grateful for things in your life sets a firm foundation for your day. It helps you be balanced and more successful as an entrepreneur and a Mom, too!” Margret-Anne Cummings, Practical Meditation Coach
“Get a buddy. Whether it’s one or 20, find other small business owners in your area and grab coffee once a month. It’s easy to get bogged down in your own stuff. Having other entrepreneurs to offer advice or a fresh perspective can be invaluable.” Ann Cummins, ARC Marketing
“Family should always come first. You don’t get a do-over as a parent so don’t miss the school plays, track meets, dinners or homework time. If the work is piling up, get up early or skip coffee with friends. Find the extra hours from your life… not theirs.” Kristen Willard, Early Education Enrichment
“Define the roles of your life: Wife/Mother, Business Owner, Homeowner, Friend/Neighbor, Community Volunteer, etc. Then, set aside one hour a week to pick 2-3 goals for each role that you’d like to accomplish that week and schedule the time to work on those goals on your calendar around the necessities like school pick-up/drop-off, preparing and eating dinner, doctors’ appts, and so on. Looking at your entire week and plugging things in will give you a quick assessment of what’s realistic and help you prioritize. It will keep you focused on your goals for a balanced life and help you say no to requests that will eat your time and not support goals. I came across this strategy in Steven R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a must-read in my opinion!” Kani Wagner, Digital Marketing Strategy Consultant
“Understand that you can’t do it all. You are going to have to say no to some invites, volunteer opportunities, activities, and more. Time is a precious and limited resource that you are going to have to guard and manage. Your family needs you. They need your energy and resources, too.” Michelle Hansen MA CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist
“Keeping my life in balance as a mom of 5 and entrepreneur is contingent upon allowing myself time to nurture my physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. That includes an early morning run with girlfriends, 3:00 quiet time to breathe, pray and a bit of chocolate, a weekly date night with hubby, and alternating 1-on-1 time with one of the kiddos.” Peggy O’Flaherty, Creating Space LLC
“As an entrepreneur, wife, and mom of 3 very active pre-teens, it’s a true balancing act where the balance is never truly equal, and I’ve learned to be okay with that. However, I give full attention to each of my roles as I program the “carousel” everyday. I add some additional extra fun times/moments with my family whenever I can throughout the course of a month. I’ve learned to let go of things that can’t demand a lot of my time due to the family and business demands. Gardening, having a totally organized/clean house and volunteering for more than 3 things a year are out of the question…for now. This allows me to gift myself more of what feeds my heart and soul: my husband, my children, nature walks, and an energizing client project! When everything becomes completely crazy, I remember to ‘be gentle to myself’ as a good friend told me, remember to step back, take one thing at a time, and get as many hugs as I can!” Cindy Tschosik, SoConnected LLC
“Managing family and my own business sounds like a dream on paper, but when you’re actually going through the day-to-day motions you’ve got to have a lot figured out! One thing that helps me is to have meals planned out. Believe me, I strongly dislike meal planning BUT it makes such a big difference in my time management and patience level when I have the dinners planned for the week (especially during the homework hustle). If “I’m really ahead of the game I will even spend half a day doing the prep work for the meals. This is where your husband or children can get involved and before you know it, you’re spending quality time with your loved ones. Meal planning can be done by the week and by the month, whichever you prefer. I find that if my meals are planned out we are a lot less likely to eat unhealthy meals or spend money on take out.” Erin Weltler, Clean Slate Professional Organizing
“Each week, schedule time for yourself and your family. Disconnect from your computer and phone so this time is strictly for you and/or your family. You will feel refreshed and your family will see you relaxed and focused on your time with them.” Leslie Murphy, Resourceful Academics
Balancing the demands of owning a business and being a mom can be challenging but well worth the effort. If you plan your strategy, start slowly, enlist help, take care of yourself, and follow your passion, you can–like these moms–grow your business while nurturing your family. Women all over the world are forging their own path in life and finding a way to have it all.