Being a mum is hard. When they are little it’s sleepless nights. Mastering weaning. Toilet training. You name it. When they get older its juggling their play dates, after school clubs, being a taxi. I can’t be alone when I say my children have a better social life than I do! So when you throw into the mix being your own boss, it can often feel like you have another child. Lots of people even describe their business as ‘their baby’. And it’s not surprising. Setting up a new business is hard work. It involves sleepless nights. It involves making mistakes. Wondering how to take your business to the next level. This got me thinking, what do other mums advise when it comes to managing the juggle of being a mum and your own boss?
Here are 4 top tips from mums that know what it’s like juggling children and a business:
Photographer Cheryl Catton said: ‘I schedule in time with my kids and time for work (I have a 3 and 4 year old). It sounds a bit silly, but it does help. When I have time with my kids, I am actually present with them, because I know in an hour’s time, I will be able to focus on my work. It is obviously difficult to focus solely on my work when I have the kids at home. At least when I am with my kids, I am actually ‘with’ them.’ Working from home when I had child free days meant I often ended up doing errands. Now I try to focus on my work and leave the other stuff. If I was working in an office, I wouldn’t be able to do a load of washing, or go grocery shopping etc. So I don’t do that when I’m working at home.’
Lauren Roberts, who set up Mumming explains how she manages: ‘I take a step back and review each week, looking at the list of all the things you did do (a ‘tah-dah’ list). Then taking time to plan each day, the night before so you’re clear on when you’re focusing on. Looking at work vs. family time. Also you have to not feel like everything needs to be perfect. Sometimes the standards we set ourselves are too high, perpetuated by Insta-filtered pics!’
‘I think setting ambitious, but realistic goals for your work life is important.’ says Stacey Tillott, of Stacy Tillott Marketing. ‘I’d like to be doing more work. Working with more clients, on more projects. Be earning 6-figures. But with two days of childcare a week, the desire to spend quality time with my little one as well as starting a business from scratch is hard. Managing marketing, prospects and clients. Keeping my mental and physical health intact too, it’s just not possible to do it all. So whilst I give myself goals to reach, I accept and make peace with limitations until I can change one of those situations.’
Jagoda Wichurska, from Blueberry Studio advices ‘Being flexible, realistic and sometimes just accepting the fact we can only do, what we can do. Also when you get into a “guilt mode” (that you don’t spend enough time with your children, perhaps you should read them a book instead of emailing your client whilst your kids watching Paw Patrol, or giving them a not-so-healthy snack because you just want them to stop crying) try to remind yourself WHY you do it all. I’ve got a picture of my children next to my computer. So I remember I do it all for them! Yes, I want to grow a successful business and earn more money. But at the end of the day, I do it all for my family and their future.’