As I write this post I am hiding in my office as my Mom watches my kids downstairs. I just needed to escape for five minutes to screw my head back on and breathe. Being a mom is HARD. Being a business owner is HARD. Doing both seems impossible some days. Don’t get me wrong. I love both jobs, but it’s a struggle sometimes especially when you are a new mom (which I’m not … I’m 4 years in with two kids) so I wanted to share five practical tips for my fellow mompreneurs.
- DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO NON-MOMS – Friends. This is all too real for me. I went to a networking event recently and was the only mom. I rolled up in my minivan with two car seats full of food crumbs and looked around at the hatchbacks and women with perfect makeup and outfits and thought “OMG I DON’T BELONG HERE! Is there food on me? Is there lipstick on my teeth?” I only had five minutes to get ready and had been up since 5:15 so that thought was totally legit. It’s really hard not to be jealous or bitter sometimes when the my non-mom peers complain about “What do I blog about? I have so much on my list when will I get it done?!” and all I’m thinking is “I just want to shower! Appreciate peeing by yourself! You don’t know how good you have it!” Whenever I get like that I just think of what I HAVE that THEY DON’T instead of focusing on what they have that I don’t. So maybe they can sleep in til whenever they want, but they don’t get to cuddle in the morning with kids and answer smile inducing silly questions. We both have it good. We’re just at different stages in life.
- MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF – This sounds so simple, but it’s NOT. You need to take care of yourself to be a good mom, wife, and business owner. You can’t do well at any of those without taking time to relax, shower, breathe, etc. Time by myself is a treasure I didn’t even realize I’d need one day. I think back now to pre-mom life and can’t believe HOW MUCH TIME I HAD TO DO WHATEVER I WANTED. It’s obscene. Get help from a babysitter, parent, in-law, SOMEONE. Find a way to afford hired help if you need to. It is so worth it.
- TAKE MOMMY TIME OUTS – This is exactly what it sounds like. Go sit in the bathroom and lock the door (preferably with a glass of wine) for five minutes if you need a break. Momming is HARD. If you feel yourself getting worked up and are about to explode, take a time out. Make sure securing the kids won’t die and you take five minutes to hide somewhere. Count to 100. You don’t want to snap at kids and regret it later because you’re stressed and tired.
- RECOGNIZE YOUR STAGE IN LIFE – Whether you have a newborn or two kids in high school know this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever and every stage will fade so enjoy it now. My husband is always saying “every storm runs out of rain” and it’s very true, but also try to see the beauty in the rain too. It makes things grow and leaves rainbows. That’s my cheesy way of saying trying to not see kids as a burden (which I am 100% guilty of sometimes) and see them as the beautiful creations they are. In a few years I’ll have lots of time to work when they are in school, but for now I don’t want to miss out while they are little.
- SET WORK HOURS FOR THE DAY – This is a hard one sometimes because same weeks / months if doesn’t feel like I have a regular schedule with solid office hours. I laugh when I see office hours in email signatures sometimes because I think “How do I put my five 20/30 minute work periods a day into office hours?” and honestly every day varies for me, but I have gotten to a point where we have a consistent routine. Knowing what days and time periods I have to work is SO helpful because I can play with my kids and not be thinking “oh my gosh when I am going to get x, y, z done?!??!”.