I know how easy it is to work, work, work, when you are at home especially when you have a deadline. Sometimes, the phrase “do not take your work home” is easier said than done. It’s not a crime to be ambitious and hardworking, however it is a crime to neglect your children.
Whenever I am opportune to speak with Mumpreneurs, I always ask them what motivated them to go into business. Most mumpreneurs including myself started our businesses because we want more control of our time and we want to be able to spend more time with our family especially our children. I didn’t want to miss pivotal moments in my son’s life and I’m sure the same goes for you.
Once you start a business, the reality sets in. Starting and growing a business to the point of success is not a walk in the park and it certainly demands a lot of your time and attention. This demand sometimes means you have to make sacrifices. However, these sacrifices are okay every once in a while but it should not be the norm. It certainly should not take you away from the very children you desire to care for and cater to. Remember that your first and most important role is Mother and not CEO because once those moments are gone, you cannot get them back.
Does this mean you have to choose between your work and children?
So what do I recommend?
Be Organized – Plan your day with family time blocked off. Planning your day in advance will increase your productivity. Don’t wing the day, things will come up that may seem important or end up duplicating your effort.
Prepare the night before to avoid morning frazzles and chaos. Make sure homework’s are done, lunch is planned, bags are packed and placed by the door, etc
If you have young children, have a family calendar. You can plan out their lunch schedule, school/ medical appointments so they don’t clash with your business appointments, and extracurricular activities. This will also ensure that everyone is on the same page (Mum and Dad).
Weekdays are usually busy for everyone with office and school runs, so make your weekends count. Plan family activities so you won’t be tempted to stay home laying around, or watching TV. Even if you decide to stay at home, remember that the goal is to spend time together as a family and not get caught up in different activities. You can watch movies together, play games, have karaoke and dance sessions, etc.
If you have an office stay focused while you’re there. Make sure you are productive and you manage your time properly. If you work at home, have a designated work station and stay focused while they are at school/ daycare.
It’s easy to take on the role of a super woman but remember, it’s okay to ask for help when needed. It does not make you less of a mother or wife. Involve family members, especially grandparents, you’ll be surprised how mutually beneficial this arrangement can be for all parties involved.
Outsource when necessary. Outsource the part of your business that are not your areas of strength for example accounting, social media, video editing, etc. Also, any activity that takes you a long time to complete should be outsourced. Collaboration is a good way to outsource when you’re on a tight budget. Find services who offer what you need and offer them your services in exchange.
Automate every possible process. There are several scheduling tools for social media, invoicing, email lists, etc. During your designated work hours, plan out the part of your business process that needs to go on after hours. For example, if your audience engagement is better in the evening, schedule your posts to go out in the evening. Also, you can create an invoicing or receipt system that goes out even without you prompting it.
Involve your children in the process. The reality is that when your children see you working, they get to observe your work ethics and they are inspired to become hard working citizens. If you have a business which you can involve your children in, it will teach them basic entrepreneurial skills, responsibility and independence. They will also learn to value money, especially if you use the opportunity to teach them how to earn and save. One way you can accomplish this is by getting them to help you with your business, and paying them a stipend. Also, ensure that they save a percentage of their earnings.
Make time for yourself and do something to unwind. Plan a spa date alone or with a friend. Go and have lunch, watch a movie, read a book, go swimming or to the gym. Self-care is important so you won’t break down or feel overwhelmed.