Being a Mompreneur is a Balancing Act
By Jennifer Schultz
I am a Libra and according to my horoscope sign, represented by scales, I am always looking for balance. This has proven to be my personal truth. Add to that being an entrepreneur and mom, and I am forever seeking the best way to achieve balance in my life.
I guess it all started when I first became a mom and was working full time. I wanted to be that mom that was involved with my child’s day to day activities, whether it was making sure cupcakes were made for school, running my daughter to dance class or my son to soccer. So, I needed to save my vacation days for those important school concerts, mommy lunches or class trips. I planned my lunch time around errands that I needed to run for the kids or ran home to throw on a load of was. I even prepped for dinner sometimes if I knew our night was going to be taken up by running from work to pick up my children, eat a quick bite and then head to whatever activity was going on that night.
Now, with starting my own business, the balancing act continues. In some ways, things are easier when it comes to family life – ability to take off when I need to without having to ask someone else or making sure someone at work can back me up, do a load of wash or dishes if I want to and even work in my pajamas if I am not feeling well. Plus, I have the flexibility of being able to work at night to get a head start on my day, because you know what they say – “Work while your competitors are sleeping.”
At other times, it seems like I have days that are all about running around and not getting much work done. Maybe I have to take my daughter to college and then pick her up in three hours, and then later that day pick up my son from school and then run back out to religion class.
What I have learned about the balance is, it is ever-evolving. There are definitely those days when everything runs smooth and then someone forgot their math book and it’s no big deal, I continue on my merry way. Then there are the days where all the planning in the world just does not seem to help, as I forgot to take out the frozen chicken to defrost for dinner, and the only other choice is cereal or ramen noodles for dinner.
Here is what I have learned during my past year as Mompreneur:
- Keep two separate calendars – one for family activities and one for business activities
- Try to keep “business” hours – whether you don’t get started until 10am and end at 4pm, doesn’t matter, just trying to have defined hours will help.
- Try not to deep clean the house during prime work time. Doing a load of laundry or filling the dishwasher is good to get you up from your desk, but don’t make your whole day become a cleaning day. Save that for evenings or weekends, unless your business model is busier on weekends.
- Enjoy the activities with your children. My son recently started coming home on the school bus as we took him out of aftercare to save money. These few minutes he and I get alone while walking home are not only new, but, create a small pocket of time where we talk about his day.
- Don’t beat yourself up. If you don’t get everything done on your list for your business because your time was devoted that day to family errands – take a breath and think about all you accomplished for your family that day. You can always get up earlier the next day to complete work you missed.
- Ask for help. Whether it be your significant other, your mom, your best friend or your children, know that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
- Know when to stop working. In this digital world, we are always connected. Pick hours or a certain day that you will not work, no matter what. It’s important that you don’t get burnt out.
- There may be times, when you feel like you are going to pop like a bubble – it’s ok to be frustrated. Make sure you are in touch with how you are feeling and take some time to write what’s bothering you down on paper. Review the list the next day and that will help you to uncover what you might need to rebalance.