One of the hardest parts of mompreneurship is finding the balance between motherhood and business.
When I left the traditional 8-5 workplace, it was to be at home with our daughter full-time, but also to run my business full-time. I’ll be the first to tell you that having two home-based businesses while raising an infant at home is pretty much a recipe for chaos. But, somehow in the chaos, we’ve found a rhythm that works for us.
Building the Expectation of Family First
My clients are fully aware of my status as a mother and know that this comes first. It’s non-negotiable – I won’t work with anyone that can’t respect that boundary. I make it a point to bring up my family dynamic in client onboarding to ensure their acknowledgment of my priorities. Because of this, I have had tremendous moments of joy in my work that have involved feeding my daughter during a lengthy Zoom call or letting her coos lighten a particularly tense conversation. She is a part of my every day and my work and I am grateful that I have clientele that not only respect her presence but come to look forward to seeing her when we work together (I mean, who wouldn’t? She’s adorable!).
I have lost a client or two due to their expectation of me being at their beck and call. But that’s fine with me. If I wanted to work more than 20 hours a week, I’d be at a 9-5, and that lifestyle is no longer serving me or my family.
Building boundaries is always worth it in the end.
Developing a System That Works For Your Family
I’ll preface with this: What works for my family may not work for yours – and that’s okay. But I will share what [currently] works for us and allows me to devote adequate time to both my family and my businesses.
CHILD CARE (because it takes a village)
Our daughter goes to her grandparents’ twice a week to allow me a solid 4-6 hours of work and personal time each week. I also have a nanny that comes for 3 hours about 3 times a month to allow me to run errands and do personal things like getting a massage.
If you feel guilty about not being with your child every day, this is normal. If you feel no guilt whatsoever about not being with your child every day, this is also normal (and I am right there with you). Remember, there is no right or wrong way in parenting – there’s only doing what’s best for you and your family.
I learned pretty quickly that allowing my village to help me allowed me to care for myself, including healing from major postpartum depression. Because I am able to take time for myself, I am able to be a better mother, and that’s what my daughter deserves.
ESTABLISHING A DAILY/WEEKLY ROUTINE
Routine is not only good for my baby, but it is a necessity for my own sanity! I have found daily routines throughout each stage of our daughter’s life and stuck to them, shifting them accordingly as she continues to develop. She knows what to do when I set her into her playpen in the mornings. She knows what to expect during nap time or bedtime. And because of that schedule I keep at home, she is able to replicate the same behavior at grandma’s and when we travel.
Finding Moments of Joy
I would be lying if I said this process was easy – it most definitely is not. But, for every hard moment, there are multiple moments of joy. Being able to snuggle up with my daughter in the late afternoon is well worth not making an extra couple hundred dollars and being tied to my cell phone with a demanding client. Watching her learn to crawl is immensely more important to me than sitting in a board room where very little of the information pertains to me.
There is so much joy to be had in watching my daughter reach milestones while simultaneously being able to help support my family on my own terms.
How do you work to create a child-first business environment?