Having your own business has many blessings and so does having a child, but it is not always easy to balance this. Really, balance is not even the right word. I am not sure what the right word is at this time but if I had to take a jab at it, I would say that it is more of a juggle. You have only so many hours in the day and often your kids see your hours as their hours and they want to be involved in each and every hour. At least my 2.5 year old does. Once she is older and in school I am sure I will be having a different view of this.
Let me back up a bit. I currently have two beautiful girls. My oldest is 2.5 and my youngest is just a week shy of being five months old. My business began back when my first daughter was born. It was a great way for me to leave my job and afford to be home with her. For the first couple of months with my first, who is my strong and fierce warrior queen, I was in shock with all the newness of being a mother. To add onto that she was also colicky (for any mother who also had to deal with this, bless you!). She wanted to be held and I spent most of my tired days just trying to soothe her.
During the time of my first, I was still working my business. Thank goodness for the internet or I am not sure how I would have grown as I did. The idea in these earlier days of stepping out in public seemed like such a huge challenge I didn’t always seem up for. Mostly because I felt like I barely made the time for me to shower.
Once I found out I was pregnant with my second child, my husband and I decided that it would be good for not just us but also for our toddler to start a daycare program just a few days a week. Not only did this give her the stimulation and interaction she was so ready for, it also allowed both of us to focus in on ourselves again and work our businesses a bit harder until the newest baby arrived. (By focusing on ourselves I mean, I made a dentist appointment and went without a child! I also spent sometime just playing in the garden and could complete a project from start to finish!).
Thanks to the work that I managed to get in when my daughter was little, I was able to afford to send her to daycare and invest more time into growing my business. This time away also allowed our time together to be more meaningful and I find I played more with her when we were together! Now my youngest, is such a different experience from my first. She is much quieter and a really good sleeper! The universe must have heard my plea. Actually, right now she is sleeping so I can be here and write this post for you.
You see, juggling working for yourself and raising children is a game of trial and error. It is also a moving game where each month, you might find yourself having to change up your tactics a bit to fit it all in.
What keeps me going and not just choosing to scrub the floors or lay in the grass over writing this? Well, it comes back to my why and why I am doing this. My why in the beginning was not always strong. I was after all feeling overwhelmed with first learning how to be a mother. I still, wouldn’t let my business totally go the wayside, at least not for long.
I knew that what I was building, what I am building, is something that will provide me and my family the ability to enjoy the experiences I would like to provide for them and myself. I also knew I wanted to show that I can do something challenging and see it through. (Building your own business is challenging, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).
My business is not just for me, it’s for my family. Fortunately it is a business that I chose and perhaps, I think it also chose me. It’s something that I believe in and something I can get behind because I have seen what the products and the business has done for my family and what it has done for so many others. What I am building now, will be passed down to my children if they want it, or passed on to another person who is as passionate about it as I am.
In a way, my motivations are also selfish because I want to have the money to say, hey, I made this money this year and I want to use it to take our whole family on a trip to Mongolia, or Nepal or, I don’t know anywhere! Travel is a big part of my why. If you really want to be successful, I cant stress enough the importance of having a strong why.
Okay so maybe you are thinking, Cortney, blah, blah, blah okay a strong why… but HOW do you actually do it. Meaning, what tips and tricks can you show this mother over here?
Don’t worry. I got you.
HOW I DO IT
Da, da, da, daaaa…. I show up.
I make a list of the things that I know that I need to do and I put them into my calendar. I try to be realistic about what I can do and pace myself. I have found that when I get really excited about a business ideal, I make my to do list really long and try to squeeze it into hours that I just don’t have. Schedule in you lunch, your shower, time with kids, a quick vacuum of the house and yes, even down time where you don’t have to do anything.
Ask For Help
This is at least what I have to do at this stage in my life. As my business grows or I need to work on certain projects, I do enlist help. I use a grocery delivery service or have someone come and help me clean the house once a month. Understanding just how precious your time is matters. If I can save one to two hours for an extra $10 for someone to go get my groceries so I can work on a project, damn girl you know I’m going to do that!
I am not super woman, and I am okay asking for help.
You know how people say, sleep when the baby sleeps? Well I bet you might have heard, just work when the baby sleeps too. Okay so here is my piece on that. Yes, I am doing this right now but truth be told I don’t always spend the time my daughter is napping to work. Sometimes I know I just need some me time. Time where no one is touching me or screaming or needing something of me. I’ll just sit on my porch, take a shower, make a snack, just do somethings I need to do to refuel myself. THIS is so important to be productive in your business and to also be able to be there for your family when the need you (which sometimes feels like all the time). Honor yourself.
Create Sacred Time
Other ways you can get time in for your business, especially if you are building up a side hustle in addition to your office job is to create sacred work time. This means, identify a few days during the week where you carve out YOUR time for YOUR business. Your business will not grow if you do not nurture it. This could mean keeping yourself up an extra half hour or more after your kids bedtime to send out some e-mails, work on a post or create your social media plan for the week. If you are tired, think again about your why. If it is strong enough, I promise you it will push you through. Write that why down. Post it up. Keep it in front of you. The carrot before the horse, or something like that…
Schedule That Time
Maybe you ask your partner to tap in while you breakaway to the coffeeshop or bookstore early on a weekend day before everyone is moving around to do work. What about waking up just a bit earlier? The time is there. It really is. If you really want to make it happen you will find a way.
Momentum and consistency in your business really is important. Going in and out of working on it, not working on it can really slow your progress down. So if you are ready at this moment to build your business while juggling being there for your family, you need to schedule it, show up, stick to it. Treat your time working on your business as sacred time. Find a way to make it enjoyable or energizing. Light that candle. Drink that fancy drink. Sit on your porch and write that post. You got this girl!
Hey New Moms
For new mom’s, also give yourself a damn break. Seriously. Learning how to mom is hard. If you are feeling on the verge of tears just trying to figure out how you are going to balance your full time job, being with your kid and your side hustle, maybe you do need to take a break, and that is okay! Seriously. We are not invincible. Your kids, will grow and so will you. Recognize that you also need sleep, rest and time to chill out. Allow yourself some time and space to breath and when you are revived, you will rise.
P.S. During your sacred time, silence your phone and close down Facebook or Insta or whichever vortex of a social media channel you subscribe to.
For other mommas out their getting their hustle on, share with us. What helps you to show up to your business and make that time? How do you juggle? If you are struggling with an area, shout it out. We got you!