Being a mum is a full-time job. Add in your own business, and you’re bound to feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Running a business is tough enough on its own – you have more responsibility than you would if you were working for someone else, particularly if you have employees or contractors as well. Not to mention all the paperwork.
Add mum guilt into the picture and your stress levels are bound to fly out through the roof. Thankfully, there are ways to make it easier on yourself.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 34% of all business operators are women, putting us in the top 10 global marketing for women business owners. And you can guarantee a large percentage of those are also mums – and they’re doing great with both jobs. How are they doing it? Here are a few tips:
Stick to routines
Whether you’re returning to work in an office outside the home, or you’re setting up a home office, the older your baby gets, the more you’re going to need to juggle. This means routines have never been more important. As a mother, you may have created your own routines for the kids – sleep time, bath time, bed. Others preferred baby-led methods of routines – where the baby decides (and lets you know) when it’s hungry or tired. Whatever works for you as a mother, works for you.
But when you start back running a business, you need to establish some boundaries, particularly when it comes to your time. Get into the routine of writing down when you start and finish work each day. Make sure you factor in a lunch break, and of course, try to work your hours around school, sports, and play – you want to create a good work-life balance. And when the working day is done, switch off so you aren’t tempted to continue working.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Supermum! Yes, you can do it all – but that doesn’t mean you have to. You don’t need to be available to your clients or customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – regardless of what they expect from you. Again, this is where boundaries are necessary. If you’re not yet on the outsourcing plane, you’re falling behind. Research has found that two-thirds of all B2B businesses outsource.
By outsourcing just a few aspects of your business, you can free your own time to do more at home. It’s generally less expensive than hiring a full-time employee, allows you to control your cash flow better, and gives you the chance to focus on the aspects of your business that need you. If someone else is doing all the paperwork, accounting, social media, or YouTube uploads – you don’t have to, and you can spend more time selling your products and services and doing the job itself.
Look after number one
This is a tough one at the best of times, but even more so when you have children AND a business to run. But taking care of yourself is essential if you want to have success in your business, and success as a parent. Make sure you set aside some time for yourself as well, even if it’s just an hour at lunch or 30 minutes before bed where you can just switch off and enjoy the peace.
Self-care is essential to mental and physical wellbeing. Take a day off every week or two where you don’t answer the phone or do any work. Head to your local day spa once a month for a massage or get up early and hit the gym for a workout. Or, consider taking some time out in the wilderness, going camping, or going out for a walk and enjoying nature.
It’s okay to say no. You don’t have to do everything. If you’re running on deadlines and someone hits you with an urgent job, you don’t have to say yes to them. If you’re exhausted at the end of the month and the girls want to take you out to dinner but you prefer to stay at home and go to bed – get your Oodie on and rest up.
If you’re not looking after yourself, your family and your business will be impacted, so it’s crucial that you learn how to balance your working life with family. When you do, success on all fronts is guaranteed to follow.
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