Putting the MOM in Mompreneur: How to plan your work schedule around your family

 

We recently asked a group of over 1000 Mompreneurs what their biggest challenge is when it comes to balancing work and family. 

Here are the key themes that emerged from their answers:

  • “Trying to juggle it all”
  • “Mom guilt”
  • “Managing work that pays the bills on top of the kids’ activities, managing the household and still trying to have a personal life”
  • “Constantly being exhausted and overwhelmed”

Hands up if you have also felt like this before?

Being a CEO of your own business on top of your duties as CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of your family can be tough. But it’s possible! We’ve seen Mompreneurs make it work.

And the result of making it work? Fulfillment, purpose and happiness.

Before we share our hot tips on how to schedule your business around your family, we’re going to share some insight straight from the horses’ mouths (read: straight from Mompreneurs to aspiring Mompreneurs). 

We've asked some of the Creative Crafting Club members to share with us how they manage their clubs on top of their mom duties. 

Here’s what they had to say:

 

Somien, mom of 3, with number 4 on the way (Ages: 2, 4 and 7):

Every mother is a superhero, and adding more responsibilities makes her more aware of her arsenal of superpowers. And as with superheroes, mothers need to learn how to manage and maximize their powers: "with great power comes great responsibility" (and vice versa). 
 
This was and still is my experience in "training" to become a 'Mompreneur'. One of the powers I thought I never had is a power called: planning & prioritizing (P&P) - our household's means to staying sane. 
 
Every Sunday my husband and I plan for the week ahead: events and responsibilities, kids activities, food etc. Everything is documented in my diary (ink on paper - I'm still old-school). Shopping takes place once a week and I try to get most of my work done in the morning when the kids are at school - trying to minimize the unavoidable late nights. Use your time effectively. 
 
As with every superhero, mothers also have weaknesses. My "kryptonite" is without a doubt guilt. That's why every week is a learning experience and I try to keep that perspective: understanding what works and what not; adapt P&P to the different phases of my family's life; exercise my powers with love, care and superhero responsibility. 
 

Heleen, mom of 3 (Ages 14, 19 and 22):

I am a mom of 3 daughters, two of them are studying and one of them is still in school. I’m fortunate that all 3 of them still live at home.

The transition from full-time mom to Mompreneur was a challenge initially and I had to learn that planning and communication is key to making it work.

I discovered that it IS possible to own a business and still be a mom.

The great thing about running your own creative crafting club is that you get to determine the hours that work for you, your students and your family. I took my youngest’s school schedule into consideration when I did my planning to make my work schedule fulfilling and stress-free. It was important to me to be able to pick her up from school everyday and drive her to her after-school activities.

It wasn’t easy at the beginning, there were many afternoons that I felt rushed and overwhelmed and like I was trying to juggle too many balls at the same time. That made me realise that thorough PLANNING is the recipe for success!

Now I’ve reached stability - my weekly class schedule is locked down and my daughter knows that I am available to her at all other times.

Another thing I had to learn is the importance of making time for yourself. To just take a day or a few hours a week for yourself to 'recharge your battery'. I use this time to read a good book or go out to catch up with good friends over a cup of coffee. You have to look after yourself to be able to be supermom and super-Mompreneur. 

My advice to new or aspiring Mompreneurs would be to:

  • GO BIG. There is no better time than NOW!
  • Do proper PLANNING
  • COMMUNICATE well with your kids and husband - they are your biggest fans and support network
  • BELIEVE IN YOUR PRODUCT, Eat it, Sleep it, Drink it, Live it!
  • Set REALISTIC GOALS for yourself
  • BREATH, don’t overthink everything
  • BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! You CAN do it!

 


Anneke, mom of 3 (Ages: 3, 7 and 12):

Being a mother of three healthy children is an absolute blessing. For 6 years I was a housewife.

Once the kids became older and more independent, I felt that I had to get out of my comfort zone and take on a new challenge. 

My Creative Crafting Club gave me the perfect opportunity to combine creativity and my love for kids. I could also plan my class schedule in such a way that I was able to still fetch my kids from school and take them to their extra murals. 

Some days are challenging but I’ve tried to put some things in place to help:

  • I’ve made a timetable with my weekly creative crafting club classes and the kids’ extramural activities. It’s on the fridge for easy visibility.
  • I try to be as productive as possible during the mornings while the kids are at school.
  • I diarise important information immediately on my phone.
  • It is imperative to have a good support structure in place. Don’t think that you are weak to ask family or friends for help.

I’m definitely not the perfect parent and things go wrong at times but I’ve learnt that it’s okay and to let it go. 

Be kind to yourself. Giving your best as a mother, wife and entrepreneur is good enough.

 


Jana, mom of 1 (Age: 14 months):

My son is 14 months old and B.U.S.Y. At the same time I’m trying to be the best wife & homemaker I can be while running a business as well. I’m exhausted most of the time but it’s so worth it! 

My top tips are : 

  • Prioritise - family time is my first priority, I try to fill our love buckets first.. This makes for a lot of late nights where I work after the baby is in bed! That being said, sleep is vital for staying sane so I do my best to stick to a reasonable bed-time to get enough rest.
  • Plan ahead & stick to a routine - last minute is not an option anymore! This took some getting used to as I used to thrive under last minute pressure.. Now I know I have to plan and prep ahead of time.
  • It takes a village - seriously don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help! Grannies, nannies, besties they usually want to help, so let them!
  • Let go of the guilt - some days are going to be crazy & that’s ok!

 


 

Here are a few tips that we’ve collected over the years: 

  • Replace worry with PLANNING

Does it sometimes feel like your life is getting out of control with worry? 

“What if those little bumps on Henry’s back are measles? Or what if too little or too many kids show up to my crafting class? Or what if...? What if...? What if...? …. Sound familiar? 

When did my life become a hamster wheel of worry?

Moms could win awards for WORRYING. 

Don't let work be one of them! 

  1. Schedule working hours and stick to them! 
  2. Create realistic to-do lists so that you know when to stop. Once your business is up and running it gets so exciting that you’d easily get into “I just need to do this one last thing..” mode.
  3. Point number 2 above will happen! Over and over again! Set an alarm to remind you when to stop working.

Ask yourself, what works for you and your family? Make a list and figure it out! 

I divided my time into categories; Henry, husband, work, food, exercising and me-time. It took a bit of trial and error at the beginning and now I have found my sweet spot and am running at full speed without feeling tired.

Being a Mompreneur is like having two full-time jobs. Planning my week and creating to-do lists is my number one recommendation for being successful as a mom and in your business. 

 

  • Celebrate the small things

How often do you celebrate the small things? 

When last did you pause to open a bottle of bubbly with your significant other just to say: “Cheers! Our little boy started walking today!” or “I had my first customer today!”

As Mompreneurs we tend to set big goals for ourselves and we need to remind ourselves to be realistic and that it takes time and a lot of effort to reach those goals.

Here's the trick! 

Celebrate the small wins!!! With each small celebration, your feel good hormone (dopamine) will start clapping hands. 

And in return, your confidence will build, you will feel motivated, you will experience a surge of energy and heightened concentration and this will better equip you to stay motivated, to keep going and to keep an eye on that big prize. 

 

  • Say NO!!!... politely

How many times have you said “no, no, no, no” and then last minute blurted out “okay, yes sure!”?

So there you are, baking pancakes at the school fair AGAIN...!

As much as I loved that movie “YES man”, saying NO to stuff is really, really important.

As a business owner, learning to say NO is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your family. Gain control, overcome the fear of rejection and put yourself first! 

Here are a few helpful tips.

  1. Use the Sandwich Technique: Bun: Start with saying something positive. Filling: Then say NO, you could give a reason if you wish. Bun: End with another positive statement.
  2. Practice in front of the mirror or in the car. Imagine the scenario and say the words out loud.
  3. Don’t make up a fake excuse and lie about it as lying will most likely lead to experiencing feelings of guilt. 

Saying NO will free up your time and allow you to focus on what matters most to you and your family -  on your own terms. 

 

  • Keep focus

Juggling between kids, work, friends, school, food, extra-murals…  Now there is a headless chicken inside that hamster wheel!  

Try to master the art of FOCUS this year.

  • Turn off notifications; on your phone, on your laptop and even the baby monitor (just kidding!!).
  • Stop multitasking, it's overrated! Pick one thing in your business that you would like to focus on, and then focus all your time and effort into that one thing.
  • Be passionate about what you do. Find work that engages and excites you and that gives you purpose and makes you feel resourceful.  
  • Have a productive work environment. Find a room or space in your house where you can work without distractions.
  • Last but not least, set goals! Start with quarterly goals and then break it up into bite size weekly goal chunks. This will help you determine what you need to focus and work on to reach your goals. Work on the important tasks first thing in the morning.

"He who chases two rabbits, catches neither" - Confucius

How do you stay focussed? Please share your tips with us! 

 

  • Say YES if help is offered (and don’t be shy to ask for help!) 

Why is it that men struggle to ask for help? Or is that just the men in my life?

So here’s the thing: we would get HOPELESSLY lost on the road to our holiday destination and my first instinct would be: 

“Let’s just pull over and ask someone where we are.”

“No ways! It’s probably just around the corner, honey.” my husband would answer.

Asking for help will assist you in getting better results, a lot quicker! 

And who knows, you may even end up making a new friend on the road!

Don’t only count on family and friends to help. It takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a team to build a business. There are lots of online options available, perhaps you could hire a Virtual Assistant? 

 

  • Be KIND to yourself

Do you feel like you have to be everything to everyone, all the time? 

That is just not realistic. And just the thought of it is exhausting!

So you got worked up and raised your voice to your kid? 

OR you’re serving microwave heat-up Mac ‘n Cheese for the 3rd night in a row?

OR you pretended to go to the bathroom to just GET A BREAK from it all!

IT’S OKAY! 

IT’S OKAY! 

IT’S OKAY! 

We’ve all been there and we know how you feel!

Give yourself a break. Be KIND to yourself. 

As a Mompreneur, we know that it is rare to have “me” time, it is actually nonexistent. 

You have to be strategic about your time and set expectations, to yourself, your partner, your team and your kids.

Block a whole day off once a quarter for a ‘care day’. Let your family and team know that you won't be available that day. Switch off emails and focus on working ON the business that day, and not IN the business, do something that will rejuvenate you like going for a mani or having your favorite lunch.

 

  • Include your family in your business 

Kids can ask the darnest questions; “Mom, are we rich?” or “Mom, why don't we have a summer holiday home like Alex?”.

Time for payback… ask your kids if they know what profit is? Or, where does money come from? 

As a Mompreneur, one of the best things you can do is to introduce your kids to business. If you could help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset then they will have a greater chance of success in business one day.

Next time little Phillip or Emily asks you “Mom, can I have an iPhone?” or “Mom, can I have an Xbox?” you could cheerily reply; “Ooo, I love the new iPhone shape!” … “Let’s brainstorm ideas how you could earn money to buy it yourself”.

Get them excited and help them set goals and teach them to save, save, save.

My favorite part of running a creative crafting club is that your kids can join in on the fun. And by fun I mean attend your classes (if they are between 2 - 12 years old), help you as an assistant and even help you with the prep before your classes!

 

So that's it from us, we hope this post has inspired you!

Moms run the world. We know you can do it!

 
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