Today’s guest post is written by my good friend and fellow Mompreneur, Lindyn Williams. She is someone who wholeheartedly understands the busyness that come with being a work-from-home-mom, and I love venting to her when my head is spinning because she always has something wise to say that brings me back down to earth. I hope you enjoy her 5 tips to balancing work/life harmony as a Momprenuer.
Intro from Lindyn: As working a mama, I can guarantee that not every day is going to go as planned. And that’s ok! When you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and need some clarity, save this post and re-read as necessary. Carly and I both felt the need to add that we try our best to follow the tips below- but life happens and we get off track. Writing this post has reminded me where I need to allocate my energy again. We hope you find some value in this post and feel free to let us know what works for you!
Have you ever had anyone say to you, “It must be so nice that you can work from home and be with the kids!” You look at them sweetly, but cringe inside, knowing full well that the kids were either at daycare all day, or spent a little more time than they should have watching Paw Patrol, while you sent off email replies and invoices, finalized a copy for your website, and planned a perfect post for your Facebook page.
Being a work-from-home mama definitely has its advantages, but it’s not always pretty.
I want to share a bit of my story about how I manage work/life harmony as a Mompreneur and five tips that have helped me achieve success.
In 2015, I took the plunge and jumped both feet into my own photography business. It was taking shape on its own, but I knew it was destined to be bigger than I had originally dreamed. I thought, “HOW exciting is this?! I can make an income doing what I love during hours that I choose!” It really did seem too good to be true, and I quickly received a dose of reality, because what I didn’t expect, was just how emotional the roller-coaster of birthing a business-baby would be.
I was doing well at gaining followers and perspective clients, but I was sucking big time at the important things that I once had somewhat under control (a.k.a. primary food maker, house cleaner, grocery shopper, etc.) It was still my job to run the household, but now I had a business to run, and I knew something had to change in order to make it all work.
Most women at this point might begin the devastating downward spiral into self-doubt and shame. Thinking things like,
“I shouldn’t spend this much time on myself – the kids need me more than I need this business,”
“My business can wait, there will be time to do this later when the kids are older.”
On the flip side, I also saw the value and quality of life I could bring to my family by creating a business with purpose and clarity.
Ultimately, my goal was to add a sustainable income to our household in a way that still allowed me to be home with the kids as much as possible. What I needed were clearer priorities, and tools to help me organize my busy brain. Over time, I was able to find the tools that worked for me.
Here are my 5 tips for managing work/life harmony as a Mompreneur
1. Become a list person! Get your priorities down on paper and create a schedule that works for you.
We have priorities in all areas of our life, specifically business and personal. Take time to write out what’s non-negotiable and make a plan to ensure it happens or stays top of mind. What works for me, is creating a simple, six week list of goals for both aspects of life that can be broken down week-by-week.
For example, for week one, the intention and focus for business might be to schedule my social media posts using the schedule option on my Facebook Business page, or Latergramme for my Instagram account. Breaking that down day-by-day might mean that one day I think out my plan, the next I collect all my images to post, and the next I focus on writing my captions for each photo – by the end of the week I’ll have enough posts to get me through the next two weeks without having to spend 30 minutes every day on just one post. Week two I may be tweaking my email processes, or plan a product launch, etc. Breaking down simple tasks into daily activities allows you to see just how much time you spend doing things that don’t matter.
Personal goals for week one might be to have dinner prepped and thought out before 3pm during the week. Breaking that down day-by-day will look like meal planning one day, shopping and chopping the next, making sure there is leftovers for lunches the next, and so on. Little things that when written down, suddenly mean so much more.
Just as you would in yoga, practice setting your intentions for your weeks ahead so your brain can focus and avoid getting overwhelmed.
**DON’T FORGET!** scheduling time for you to recharge is very important as well. Ten minutes for a walk or meditation, or 30 minutes for a workout will allow you to be fully present and energized for your seemingly never ending list of tasks that you’ll actually be excited to tackle!
2. Get your significant other on your side
Working for yourself is amazing, but when you’re faced with constant criticism or doubt from someone close to you, it can really take its toll. Sitting down and having the hard conversations, that you may not feel are necessary, do need to happen. “Your people” need to understand that you need all the support you can get, especially when it come to the kids or household chores. Invite them on-board, and get them involved as much as possible so they see the amount of work (and heart and soul) that goes in to what you do. They don’t need to be excited about everything you are, but they do need to understand that honouring your path and being supportive is often enough.
Even if you don’t have a significant other, making sure you have a cheer-squad of family and friends behind you who know that what you’re doing isn’t just a hobby, but rather, a legitimate business, is important.
3. Allow yourself some grace and let go of what you can’t control
We are capable of doing it all, but not all at once. Give yourself a break when something doesn’t go as planned, or a project takes a little longer because the kids needed extra snuggle time – it’s OKAY! Learning to go easy on myself when things aren’t going as planned has been one of things that I have learned during this mompreneur journey. I practice this by letting go of what I can’t control. Not everything I do will work out, and that’s alright, because building a successful brand or business doesn’t happen over night and it most certainly doesn’t happen without a few set backs in between the successes. Roll with the punches, and put your focus to where your next steps will be.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
As Mompreneurs, not all aspects of owning a business come naturally to us. Reaching out for help doesn’t mean you’ve failed or are failing. Like I mentioned before, having a supportive team behind you makes all the difference, so don’t be afraid to reach out and simply ask! Help can come in the form of daycare or kid-swapping a couple times of week, asking a friend or family member to bring dinner over so you have a little extra time to work or meet a deadline, or even seeking out help professional business advice.
One of the people that I reach out to for help is my business coach. She has taught me how to focus my time on the important things instead of wasting time on things that don’t matter.
Don’t have the budget for a coach just yet? Team up with another Mompreneur, perhaps in your niche, who is managing well and staying organized (or at least appears to be). Having someone you trust to keep you accountable in any aspect of life is valuable, especially in building a business. I have a circle of photography mamas who I look to for guidance when I feel like I can’t handle much more – they rock at bringing me back to reality and give me the encouragement that I need to keep moving forward.
5. Enjoy the process
If you can’t enjoy the process that comes with starting/maintaining your own business, then maybe it’s not the best fit for you. Yes, it can be incredibly frustrating, and yes, you may have many arguments over where your time is best spent, but you must accept that creating the life you desire comes with huge commitments and some sacrifices.
Our hours are not straight forward and our time limited, which means getting up at 5am to squeeze in some work before the kids get up, or staying up until 11pm to get that last quote/order out. But in the end, it should be worth all of the growing pains, and if you stay consistent, true to yourself, and follow some or the tips above, you WILL be successful, you WILL manage and you WILL have fun!
Lastly, please know that you are not alone – there is an evergrowing community of momprenuers, and if they can do it, then you can too! If you want it badly enough, you’ll make it all work. Your businesses will expand, your kids will thrive, your realtionships will grow, and your house will be clean… eventually 😛
Lindyn is a connection and emotion photographer specializing in capturing her clients true essence and wholehearted personalities.
She has been a self taught photographer for 3 years in her hometown of Sechelt BC. Raising two little ones, building a new home, and running a business is her daily routine and she strives to find harmony in the every day struggles and triumphs.