I know that there are a lot of parents out there who are running their own businesses. I’ve met some awesome and inspirational parents who make creative products or deliver helpful services. But how do they keep it all working? How do they juggle or balance business and family?
I’ve been writing, blogging and podcasting for 1.5 years now and started my business Go to Girl: Social Media and Networking two months ago. Here are my ‘top tips’: *Have a listen to our Podcast by clicking the player.
Top Tips for Balancing Business and Family
1) Remember and Revisit the reason why you went into business in the first place
Was it a passion or a More flexible work hours and time with the kids? Sometimes its so easy to get caught up in your ‘to do’ list and to lose sight of the lifestyle you were intending on creating in the first place. This is a tip that my good friend Rina (Nostalgems Jewellery).
2) Work-Life Balance is not a Destination
I think people are often striving to achieve ‘work life balance’ but it’s more of a journey than a destination. Meaning it ebbs and flows in the sense that sometimes all is well and balanced: you feel like you’re giving good amount of time to your work and your family. Then, at other times (seasonality, unexpected events…) things are thrown out of whack and you feel like you’re chasing your tail.
3) Create Boundaries
Unlike some jobs that you can ‘walk away’ from at the end of the day, running your own business means you’ve constantly got things you could or ‘should’ be doing. This does not however, mean you need to be checking your iphone every 5 minutes when your kids just want you to play ‘pet shops’ or do puzzles with them. The key is to create boundaries for yourself and your work especially if you work from home (like me). Perhaps you have a ‘no work on Wednesday’ rule or you make Saturday your ‘family day’ and you don’t even look at the computer until the kids are in bed. We got a lot of great comments on this one on our facebook page.
Joanne Orr said “Make sure you give your child completely uninterrupted time for them every single day. It doesn’t have to be hours but you should switch your phone, computer etc off for at least half an hour and just get down to your child’s level and meet them where they are in that moment – and fill that time with active listening. I do this in the mornings before work (I work close to home!) and in the pm when I pick him up and we have some time before the dinner routine begins…….!”
Angela Pedersen said “Keep the smart phone away as soon as you get home – that includes after the kids are in bed because hubby time is important too. and when you are at home ‘be present’ at home. Leave work at the door. If its been a rough day. Text hubby and let him know so he can be easy on you and help with kids. And let the kids know so that if you’re a little ‘not yourself’ they understand its not about them and you love them”.
4) Look after ‘You’
As well as a biz ‘to do list’. Write some ‘me goals’ for the week including a few things that help you feel fulfilled. For some it might be ‘go for a run’, for others ‘get a massage’.
5) Don’t Try to Do it All
Easier said than done? It’s tricky to downscale, delegate and even ‘say no’ sometimes but it is important. Use the 80/20 rule and focus your energy on doing the things that bring you the best results.
What in your life could you delegate or let go of?
Some of the ‘happiest mothers’ that I know have definitely embraced rather than fought their role of motherhood. And they are enjoying each stage and are not trying to do it all. Hmmm maybe they’re onto something…
6) Use Systems & Support Networks
Use ‘systems’ to help you. Schedule facebook posts or use Buffer or Hootsuite for your business. Plan your meals or get groceries/meals delivered (I love My Food Bag). Getting together with other mums who run their own business and tossing around ideas and advice is good for the soul and the sanity. Networking via facebook groups or in person is a huge part of my business ‘Go to Girl’ and there are so many benefits.
What tips do you have for balancing business and family?