This blog post is for any woman out there who is running her own business and trying to raise her children.
A massive thank you to a follower on my Facebook for the inspiration to write this blog! So let me share with you my experiences of being a Mumpreneur. It’s not pretty. It’s not the perfect life that is captured on social media sites that other people portray, so let me share my journey with you, the good, the bad, the ugly… I am going to be purely honest and I am also going to share my secrets to coping with the madness that being a Mumpreneur brings.
This blog title really captured me, when I first launched as a Virtual Assistant in 2012, I had no idea where my business life was going to take me, but I was excited and buzzed at this new chapter. I have 3 children at the time I launched that business I had a 1 year old, a 2 year old and a 5 year old heavily relying on me.
My ‘lets’ fix this attitude’ was if I can work from home it wont affect me or my career when they are sick as I can work from home at my own leisure. I had visioned it was going to be an easy transition.
So I got to work, I started promoting my services, I launched on Facebook, and believe it or not within the first 3 months I had a few clients under my belt, however; in the long term this wasn’t enough to provide financial stability I needed to push myself a little further and get out there more.
This also meant getting out of my comfort zone dramatically. I had to go back to professional looking woman! Heels, make-up, hair etc… So off I went to my first ever networking event. I was PETRIFIED! What do I say? What do I do? How does this all work? I remember opening the car door outside the venue and my whole body was shaking with nerves, who would be there, what would happen… I almost didn’t go in! I remembered my WHY and pulled up those big girl knickers and off I went. As I opened the door I saw a few people some in suits, some in casual wear and I wasn’t quite sure what to do, but I was warmly welcomed into the group. This was the first step to the next few years of my life. This one event gave me the confidence to go to more, the more I went the more I grew my network, the more my business grew.
Networking became a massive part of my day to day business life. Some mornings even included a 5:30am start to be at the breakfast for 6:30am – having two small babies this was not easy. I look back now and don’t know how I did. I would do the breakfast meeting, build relationships, go home get the kids ready for nursery and school and then start my working day.
My working hours grew and grew, I would be up til midnight or sometimes 3am, on occasion I also worked through he night just to get tasks complete.
Why? What people didn’t see, was whilst I was building this business I was working on client tasks to get paid. I was feeding and nursing children, cleaning the house and maintaining my own marketing. I was non-stop. My babies would make me feel guilty by giving me the I just want a hug mummy, but your too busy. This then changed to full on melt downs – MUUUUMMMM you will pay attention to me.
The other part of this, I would be responding to emails, whilst cooking dinner. Answering customer calls whilst bathing my children. As the girls got older I would be sitting in the park writing blogs whilst they played. I grabbed every second I could to stay on top of the business and attempted to give the children all I could.
As the business grew and I took on staff a bigger office and more, I tried to take a step back and would go and have quality time with my children at 3pm after school / nursery. I really appreciated the time I had with my children as I had missed so much trying to juggle everything.
Here are some tips to help you juggle the business / home life and parenting more proactively than I previously did:
- Keep the kids as busy as you can, encourage them to draw, colour, play games
- Keep snacks at the ready and drinks to hand as much as possible
- Remember that your business is not your everything. Your children are.
- Remain focused when in business mode, your procrastinating is going to cost you and your children more than you realise.
- Take CARE OF YOU! Turn the PC off and be kind to yourself. If things aren’t completed then that is a big fat tough. You need rest, your children need you. You will make the time up when you can.
- You will be more productive if you take regular breaks – eat dinner with the kids occasionally.
- When you rest you will be more productive in your business
- Don’t sweat it! The more you stress to get things done the more tired and slack you will become.
- Don’t forget why you are doing all of this. You are doing this for your children’s future, but they also need you NOW.
- Be gentle with yourself, where are you over committing yourself
- Plan your weeks and get organised – schedule mummy and kids time!
- Don’t beat yourself up if things go wrong as they occasionally will. We can’t control everything.
- You can make a success of anything you want to, but letting go of the stress and ‘time pressures’ will make this transition much easier for you.
- Remember you are good enough. You are not failing, you are doing your best
- Help the children to understand that you are working, read them children’s books on mummies that work!
- Don’t let the stay at home mum guilt trip cripple you
- Your children are seeing you working, that means they are seeing you make change happen. This builds their confidence and empowers them to have goals of their own! Let them see what you are doing? Help them to set goals of their own whether this be a hobby or a school goal or even keeping their room tidy! Small and simple goals for the week ahead go a long way!