This is a post I almost didn’t write. It’s not because I didn’t think anybody cared about this topic. Quite the contrary! I frequently get emails and questions about how I manage to get my blogging work done with two small children and how I balance everything. I totally understand the question. I wish I had the chance to sit down with every work at home mom I know to hear the nitty gritty details about how they balance all their roles and responsibilities.
The reason I almost didn’t write this post is that – to be quite honest – I often have no idea what I’m doing when comes to balancing work and family, so it would be a bit silly for me to try to give advice in that area.
I won’t try to bore with all the details of what goes on in my head when I’m thinking about the whole work/life/family balance thing, but I also won’t pretend that I have it even close to figured out. What I can give you is a few non sugar coated truths that I’ve learned that I think will help you.
If you want to balance growing and blog and biz with being a mom, here’s a few things you need to know.
It will be messy sometimes. It’s better to accept that now. Home will be messy. Work will be messy. It doesn’t have to be that way all the time, but it will be some of the time. ‘
I often need to have Skype calls for my business while I’m nursing my baby and trying to make sure my toddler at least doesn’t do anything dangerous. Here’s a picture from when I was on a Skype call planning a joint webinar with someone. I’m in my toddler’s room nursing my baby (he’s under the nursing cover) while my 2 year old is playing (a.k.a dumping out every single toy we own on her floor).
It’s okay if now is not the time for you to start or grow your business. It’s okay to take a step back or close it up for a season (or forever).
I feel like there is a perception that we should be able to fit everything in, but that’s often not possible or just not wise. Sometimes other things do take priority, and it’s totally okay if you choose not to pursue your business dreams right now.
However, there is one caveat I would issue here: make sure if you’ve decided to either stop pursuing your business or not even start it yet, that it is a conscious decision. Don’t use your other priorities as an excuse because you’re afraid to go for it. (I say this because that was me for at least two years before I started my business.)
Don’t put too much stock in the advice you read about how to get it all done. When my oldest daughter was born, I was, of course, struggling to get everything done. I would read blog posts online where other bloggers talked about how they got it all done, but most (or all) of that advice didn’t work for me at all.
For example, “work during naptime” is common advice. Sounds great, but my baby didn’t nap much outside of my arms! Or I would read someone say that it’s okay to put your baby in the pack n play for 20 or 30 minutes while you write a blog post. Sounds great, but my baby would scream every time I put her down – not exactly conducive to writing a thoughtful blog post.
That type of advice ended up doing nothing but frustrate me. It was better for me to ignore and focus on the things I could do in my situation.
You might feel alone, but you’re not. Sometimes being a mom entrepreneur can be rather lonely. I don’t really fit in the full time working mom’s camp. But I’m also not really a stay at home mom either. So where does that leave me?
It’s so important to talk to others who have been where you are. One of the BEST things I ever did for myself and my business was attend the Insipred Retreat in the fall of 2015. I got to talk to people who were right where I was or even further down the path. They were so open and honest about their struggles with balancing everything. I left with a renewed commitment to prioritize my family over my work, and I still haven’t forgotten it.
It’s okay to accept a lot of help. In fact, accept as much help as you can. If there’s one thing I can say with a lot of certainty, it’s that those bloggers you see out there who are releasing 4 new products a year, publishing 3 blog posts a week, and are homeschooling their 5 kids aren’t doing it alone!
If you’re early in your blogging journey, you may not be in a position to afford a lot of help. When you see other people creating tons of stuff, you might imagine that they’re doing all the parts just like you are, but that’s just not true. Right now in my own entrepreneurial journey with a quickly growing business and two little children, I’m getting as much help in my business as I possibly can. I would much rather pay some of my revenue to someone else who will take something off my plate than bring that money home but be stressed. If you’re newer in business, you will need to grow slower and bring on help gradually as you can.
I also accept plenty of help at home. I buy convenience foods even though they are more expensive. My husband and I both do the cleaning. I never in a million years thought I would ever hire someone to clean my house, but at different times, I’ve had a weekly housecleaner to do the deep cleaning. Since my first child was 5 months old, I’ve had some type of part time childcare help.
You’ll never get it all done. Stop trying. Even if you finished all 100 things on your to do list, you would come up with 100 more. Most of us entrepreneurs are idea people. The ideas will never stop coming.
So there you have it. That’s pretty much all I know about balancing the whole working from home and motherhood thing. What about you?
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