Being a mom is already a full-time job. For moms who also want to run a successful business, having a good work-life balance can seem like a far-off dream.
But it’s possible! The biggest perk of self-employment is that you have the power to schedule, delegate, and organize your life to make working and mothering a realistic combo. It’s all a matter of being strategic.
To help you with the big picture, here is a short guide on how to run your business while also being a mother.
Streamline when you can
Take a step back and really examine how you handle your business and work practices. Is there anything slowing you down?
Whether you’re getting bogged down by a waterfall of invoices or just have trouble communicating with clients, there’s almost certainly an app or software tool to help. Pen and paper may be the instinctive choice, but going digital can really save you time in the end, both in the office and at home.
For example, if you’re working in a salon, then this salon software from Gloss Genius is meant to help keep everything – appointment schedules, invoices, client communication – all in one place. It can’t help you change diapers or organize playdates, but it certainly leaves you more time and energy to devote to your baby!
Say ‘no’ – and don’t feel guilty about it
This one is tough, as being a mom and an entrepreneur feels like you can never say ‘no,’ but learning how to get rid of obligations will simplify your life.
Practice in the mirror. “No, I can’t take on that additional client.” Or, “No, I can’t come to the next PTA meeting.” Or, “No, I can’t take you to the playground today.”
Saying all this may make you feel terrible at first, like you’re halting your professional growth or being unfair to your children. Just know that you’re not being a villain by saying no: you’re being realistic and practical. You have the right to say no what you don’t have time or energy for, both at home and at work.
Delegate (AKA ask for help)
If you have a spouse or partner, don’t be afraid to sit down with them and really discuss the details of childcare. If you do the majority of kid-wrangling, then ask them for help.
If there are specific areas where you’re struggling, then be direct and ask them to take over. Otherwise, ask your partner if they have any ideas. Maybe they can start packing school lunches. Maybe they can have designated playtime in the evenings while you sort through invoices.
Communication is the key to success. Having a direct, clear conversation with your partner can end up taking the weight of the world off your shoulders, even if only a little.
Don’t forget to take breaks
Burnout is a very real thing, even for moms who know they can do it all. It’s important for your physical and mental well-being to take rests when you can.
If you’re stressed about finding the time, then make time! Pretend like you’re planning a meeting for your most important client: yourself. Schedule off blocks of your day where you deliberately put aside work and childcare. It may sound impossible, but taking regular breaks will make the rest of your life so much easier.
Oh, and when you’re actually on break? Don’t fall into the trap of checking work email on your phone or tidying up toys. Find a hobby you enjoy, pop in a movie, or just take a nap. Whatever you do, the focus on break time should be on you.