If you’ve just had kids and you’re thinking of running a business from
home; you may be worrying about how you’re going to manage your work-life
balance. We won’t pretend that it’s always easy, but it can be done. Here are
some things that can help that you might not have considered:
You don’t have to leave your kids out. You can involve your children in your
business get their input on ideas, graphic design, etc. Their excitement can
help motivate you to run a better business.
When you hire, hire for flexibility. The more your people can flex, the easier it
is to spend all day at home when you need to because your child isn’t well or
some other minor emergency arises.
Accept and understand that sometimes things have to wait. Sometimes your
business has to take the front seat. Sometimes your marriage does. Other times
your kids’ needs do. Understand that you can’t be everything to everybody all
the time – nobody can. Then don’t feel guilty about it.
Find a mentor. You’re not alone. There are many mums out there
running their own businesses from home. You don’t have to make every mistake in
the book and learn from it yourself. Get help. Get someone else’s input and
steer clear of some of the obstacles in your way.
Create a schedule… Your kids won’t mind you working but they will
mind if they never see you or if you’re constantly dropping them for business
stuff. The same is true for your clients of your parenting. So, try to create a
schedule and make it public and then stick to it.
…But be flexible. Rigidity is a disaster for business and for
parenting. Your schedule should be something you try to keep to but if
something truly important (to check ask yourself, “what’s the worst that can
happen if I leave this?”) comes up, you
should be able to shift things around to deal with it.
Know your priorities. You can only become overwhelmed if you treat
everything with the same urgency. Your child’s health is more important than
their desire for candy all the time. Your meeting is more important than the
filing. And so on. Take regular time out to review your priorities – then
you’ll do what matters and feel less stressed about the things that don’t.
Automate what you can. Be ruthless about automating your business
processes. Every time that a software tool or an outsource can handle something
for you, in a cost-effective manner, let it. You’re not superhuman and you
don’t need to be. Running a business and being a mum can be amazing fun.
Remember what’s important. Some people start businesses to unleash
their creative urges. Others to spend more time with their kids. One of the
amazing things about being a stay-at-home mum with a business is that you
really can focus on what you think is important. As long as you take time to
remember what that is.
Switch off when the working day is done. Live in the moment
with your kids. Turn off your phones, e-mails, computers, etc. and be present
with them. Listen to their stories, hopes and fears (and don’t let them put
screens between you either) because this is the reason you chose to work from
home with your kids in the first place.
It’s awesome being a working mum with her own business and by using just
a few rules, you can make life much easier than you might expect it to be too.