Mompreneurs: A Balancing Act
One common theme runs through every conversation with mompreneurs: "When I'm with my kids, I feel I should be working, but when I'm at work, I feel I should be with my kids." There's no avoiding these guilt-producing feelings but they don't have to rule your life. You can succeed in spite of these very natural emotions and when you make it as a mom and as a businesswoman, thanks to your hard work and determination, you'll find that the reward is greater than anything you might have imagined.
Looking for the secret to balancing work and motherhood? You won't find it here. On the other hand, women everywhere are somehow making it work. It's a balancing act, but it can be done. Witness all the successful mompreneurs in every business sector who can be found in almost every geographical location. There may not be a secret charm, but there are tricks and tips of the trade.
*Don't put off filing your inbox, or waste time looking for a pen or a whisk, for that matter. Be organized at the get-go and have everything where you know you can find whatever it is you might need.
*Have and stick to a plan. A planner can be a great help in balancing work and home life. Whatever method you use, both personal and work appointments should appear on the same calendar to prevent overbooking. Try to schedule in time for doing paperwork, as well as down time with the family. It won't hurt to schedule in dates with your partner, or a workout at the gym, either. Keep a list of phone numbers of people you can call on if the babysitter takes ill or you're kept late at the office and need to find someone to care for your kids until you get home. Make to-do lists and shopping lists, and don't forget to cross off items as they are accomplished.
*Take the needs of your family into account. Make sure your office is childproof and keep important papers out of reach of curious (and sticky) little hands. Have some child-friendly activities on hand in your office, such as crayons, and as your kids get older, give them something to do to involve them in your work, such as stuffing envelopes.
*Prep work is an integral part of making it all come together. You're exhausted at the end of the day, but taking the time to set up the next day's clothes for your kids, or getting the coffeepot set up so you can wake up to steaming caffeine can make all the difference for a morning that might otherwise turn into chaos. Not a night owl? Set your alarm a bit earlier and do the work before your family awakens.
*Don't take on more than you can to prove your perfection as a mom. Don't volunteer to organize a bake sale at the elementary school when you're facing a work deadline. They'll find someone else. Save your energy to give your child that attention, instead.
*Delegate work details, housework, and errands. Your kids and your partner can share the burden. Have a family meeting, and talk about who might be best able to accomplish specific tasks. At work, there may be a way to share tasks, too. Make sure you thank the people in your life who help you out.