I read this quote last year and it rocked my world – personally and in my business –
“Women are expected to work like they don’t have kids, and raise kids like they don’t have to work.”
Can you relate to this quote as a mom and an entrepreneur?
There are so many of us out there who are moms and struggling to be creative entrepreneurs at the same time. It’s hard to juggle being everything to little people and doing something that you absolutely love.
Trying to make family and work life jive the past year (and having so many conversations around this topic with other creative entrepreneur mamas,) led me to this question:
Is it possible to be a freaking awesome entrepreneur and a loving, attentive mom at the same time?
I say yes, absolutely, and I’m going to give you my 3 tips for surviving mompreneurship. It’s going to take hard work and intention, but I feel that when I’m practicing these things my life as a mom and as a creative entrepreneur is a little more easily manageable.
(P.S. I am SO NOT an expert at this and I’m writing this from experience and a desire to do better and help others. We’re working on this together.)
3 Tips for surviving mompreneurship.
Tip 1: It’s about balance… or not.
When you think about balance you think of the scale with even weights that you try to even to equal, right?
Well, when it comes to being a mom and an entrepreneur you have to throw out that idea of a scale and start thinking in percentages and budgets.
— I know what you creatives are thinking… ugh, math! But hear me out! —
There is only 1 you, and you equal 100%. Think of yourself – your time and your energy – as a budget: You have so much to give, but you have to be careful where you allocate that giving. Some days the kids are going to get 100% and business is going to get set aside. Some days the kids are going to get 20% (a.k.a. lots of screen time) and you’re going to be doing “screen time” too, banging out work and sending emails, and giving your work 80%.
For me, on wedding days, I’m giving my business 90-100% of me (depending on how early the kids and my husband wake up that day.) Those days where I can give one thing 90-100% of my attention fuel me to be at peace with the give and take that is required on other days.
(I feel I should also mention that the above example is dumbed down a bit. I know kids and business are not the only aspects of your life, but you can apply this principle to everything else as well.)
So, tip number 1 is about balance… or rather, balancing your time and energy budget to equal 100%.
Tip 2: Plan out intentional time
While we all have good intentions to be these balancing boss-babes, how often do we actually plan out intentional time? Now, if you’re one of those people who are into Happy Planners and stickers you may find this easier, but for the rest of us this is going to take a little work: It’s time to be intentional about the things we want to do.
In your business, schedule out specific tasks – not just “work time” – in big or small pockets. You know what needs to be done in your business, and setting specific tasks for a certain date can help ensure things get done on time.
Just like you schedule out your clients and tasks to accomplish in your business, treat those meaningful times with family and friends like an important appointment, because they are.
Want to take your kids to SeaWorld? Drop the millions of excuses and put a date on your calendar. Set that time aside and guard it with your life. Tell your kids that it’s their day and then put away the phone – unless you’re taking selfies together ;-). Also, even if you’re on a budget and are just taking a trip to the local park, you still need to put it on the calendar. No excuses!
Check-in: Have you been intentional with your time? Are you making family time as big of a priority as your work time?
Tip 3: Set your boundaries and say no.
Mamas, guard your time. Before we know it our kids will be driving, dating, talking about college, and, you know… growing up. I know the last thing I want to do is to look back and wish I’d worked less.
Saying “no” is so hard. I know. I’m a yes-a-holic, so I totally understand, but it’s something I’m working on. We can do this.
Starting my day-of wedding coordination business I had a goal of 6 weddings the first year. When I hit 6 booked weddings I had a client request an open date and I had a big decision to make: Book one more wedding, or protect my time. My gut instinct was, “Book it, duh!” but I took my time and had to dig deep to decide if booking that one wedding was going to help my goals (specifically, the goal to have a good balance in my work/family life.)
I set that goal in order to be present more with my family and friends – more soccer games, more homeschool fun, more family vacations, more quality of life in this season of life. It has been hard to turn those people away because I’m a helper by nature and I want to help them, but it has made my life so much better and left me feeling more fulfilled.
Decide today where that threshold is between helping others and taking care of you and your family. Where do the boundaries begin? And remember, this is not to shut people out, but to allow yourself more freedom to do the things that will leave you feeling happy and fulfilled, thus leaving you feeling ready to give that 100% we talked about every day.
Dig Deep: Set some boundaries according to what you value and where you want to spend your time. Write them down to help you keep them.
You are amazing!
Know that you are amazing and can do great things in your business and family life, and know that it is possible to be a successful creative entrepreneur and a loving, attentive mom, and you’re doing a great job. I hope these tips are helpful and encouraging to all the moms out there living as creative entrepreneurs.
Have tips for surviving mompreneurship as a creative? Please share them in the comments below!
About Darcy – Wife – Homeschool Mom – Day-of Wedding Coordinator – Introvert – Problem Solver – Keeper of Schedules – Harry Potter Addict – Healthy Lifestyle Enthusiast – Avid Reader – Missing Things Finder – Creative – Helper –