If you are a parent, a working parent, a business-owner parent, you will find yourself in this piece. If you are not, then this will give you a few insights.
Six weeks ago, I became a mom to a wonderful little girl and my life suddenly got a whole new meaning. With that, I added another “title” – now I am a mom, a wife, a business owner, a Chapter President of the National Association of Professional Women, former athlete (well, former is the operative word here), a “my human” to a dog and a cat, just to name a few. However, a day still has only 24 hours, so I thought I’d write about what helps me get through the day. Nonetheless, this is a question people keep asking me before they say it must be a tough mentality, stamina and self discipline of an athlete. Flattering!
One of the main reasons why I started my own business was to have the freedom, flexibility and ability to raise my own child while being a working mom – I simply couldn’t see myself commuting to and from work 5 hours every day (yes, that was my commute) just to hand my baby over to someone else to raise her…
While I was preparing myself and my fairly new business for the arrival of the baby, I read tons of articles, book, visited numerous websites in a search for any advice and how to-s… You know how they always emphasize the importance of scheduling?
Well, you can kiss any schedule goodbye for a while – the only schedule you are on is the one of your baby’s (but keep working on establishing a routine that works for you and your baby). Instead, it’s important to become super extra flexible and to put in place plans B, C and D… While I am a lucky one with my baby already sleeping through most of the night, my days start somewhere between 5:30am and 7:30am so that I can begin with work-work between 9 and 9:30am. The rest of the day is pretty much up in the air – alternating between work and the baby. When she goes to bed in the evening I usually do the work for my own business and call it a day somewhere around 11pm or midnight.
To be bale to get it all done and to have some balance, I resort to several tools and techniques:
– Working in advance: during the pregnancy, I did as much as possible in advance, form writing, scheduling my social media updates, and creating promotional material, strategies and mailing lists, to meeting with as many potential clients and business alliances as possible, attending any possible networking events. Lastly, I had to secure my “back up” team, too (just in case I wouldn’t be able to continue working within a chosen time frame).
– To-do lists: Since I work from my own office and have no nanny, no housekeeper, and no dog walker, staying organized is the key. At the beginning of every week, I create a to-do list based on priorities, so I know exactly what task or project to tackle. Also, I update the list at the end of every day in preparation for the following one. And it happens quite often that some tasks get carried over form one week to another. Hey, we’re all just humans and can only do so much, right? This brings us to the next one:
– Take it easy: this is not “the take it easy” you most likely have in mind – laying by the pool, sipping on refreshing drinks and getting massages (although it surely sounds terrific). What I mean is accepting the fact that not everything I do (outside my business and clients’ projects) will be perfect or done immediately – the house may not be as spotless as it used to be; the laundry may not get folded immediately after it’s dry; I may respond to emails a few hours later than I used to. And this is fine. As long as the family is happy and taken care of; as long as the clients’ work gets done; as long the pets get their portion of attention; and as long as I can take a few moments to myself, the household chores can wait a little bit.
– Over-communicate: more than ever before my husband and I find this to be utmost important. His work hours and commute are not a piece of cake. So we both have different obligations and to make our schedules work, we need to know about each other’s agendas. This way one of us is always available to step in and look after the baby. Meanwhile, I need to give him a credit for being a terrific husband, and an incredible dad.
Here, see a video of another mompreneur who shares her story and her secrets to successful management. Now, what are yours?