Balancing Business & MotherhoodAug 05, 2020
Anyone that's familiar with me or my brand knows that my children, especially my daughter, has been a big part of my business — I literally started my business from her hospital bedside.
With the year being as hectic as it has been and with the back to school situation being such an unknown, one of the biggest conversation topics for a lot of entrepreneurs is how to balance business and motherhood.
For those of you who are running your business at home, your kids are going to be right there with you for a large chuck of the school year. Without daycare and after school sports and activities, it's going to feel like you’re actively wearing your mom hat 24/7.
This week, I’m giving you a little bit of a behind the scenes look on how we do it in my household. Is it perfect? No. Is it messy? Absolutely! But you know me, I'm all about getting scrappy and making things work in a way that’s best for you.
How do you keep it all together and do it all when your kids are with you literally all the time?
People ask me this all the time and it makes me laugh. The advice I'm going to give you is likely not the most sound advice, and it’s probably not advice you’d find in a parenting book — but you know me, I'm a straight shooter so I'm just going to tell you exactly how I do it.
To give you an idea of my work situation, my husband works from home two days a week and goes to the office three days a week. I also have a wonderful employee that works in my home with me a couple days a week.
On the days that my kids are home with me and my husband is not home, I don’t schedule a ton of things. Those days tend to be my CEO days focused on admin and behind the scenes things because I know they're going to be a lot more needy and ask for my attention more.
If you're familiar with me in my brand, sometimes my kids will just sneak behind me while I’m doing a training because they love to see themselves on video — I don’t mind that for the most part, but I don’t want them to interrupt when I’m calls with my clients.
Most of the time, they don't interrupt me when my husband's home because his office is downstairs so they bug him instead.
Organize your schedule when it's just you and your kids
Special shout out to my single parents out there who don't have the option to palm your kids off to your partner, or no easy access to back up.
I coordinate my schedule to the best of my abilities but sometimes I just have to do things when it’s just me and the kids, like a group training or being interviewed on the news. If I know I just cannot have my kids in my office, I'll put them in front of the computer because they literally will not leave until I shut it down.
Some of you might be anti screen time, but I will say, one of the biggest tools that I use to get stuff done is screen time. I will note that it's not all video games, my daughter does do some online learning with ABC Mouse. Although my son is academically advanced, which is amazing, so I’m trying to think of some other online enrichment things that he can do, he will actually just sit and read, which is crazy in the best way.
Use bribery sparingly
I told you this advice probably wouldn’t be found in a parenting book, didn’t I? I use bribes, and I use them sparingly.
If I have to get a ton of stuff done for a deadline, I ask my kids to read a book or pick up their toys and let them know that when I’m finished and they’ve completed their tasks, we’ll go out for ice cream or I'll order their favorite lunch.
I have a little stash of toys I can give them as well, but I have to use those sparingly too, because these kids are smart. They catch on and then they try to work the system to get these bribes.
Keep communication open with your kids
I have a very open path of communication with my kids, especially my daughter. Because I started this business in her hospital room, from a very young age she has understood what I do.
She understands that when I'm on calls, it’s a really important part of my job and it's part of how I make money. I communicate with them and explain the importance of what I do, and the importance of them not interrupting me.
This has has been really crucial because if you are just telling your kids not to go in your office or bug your, then you’re not giving them the opportunity to understand why you’re asking them to do these things. They're likely going to defy you just because they're kids and they do what they want to do, when they want to do it.
When I explain things in a way that makes sense to them, they understand how important their role is in making sure I can do my job properly. I let them know that mommy's client is working on something really important for her job and so mon my is going to help her with that. If you're coming in here all the time I can't help her properly.
Meet them where they’re at and communicate with them in a way they’ll understand. So, I ask my kids what happens when I work hard and help people do good things, and they reply with, you make money. So I ask them, when you have money, what can you do? Because they’re kids, of course they say buy toys.
So then I ask them, if someone wants toys, what do you have to do?
Giving them examples that they understand is so much more effective than just telling them they can’t do something because you said so.
Involve them in even the littlest thing
I make them a part of my business so that they understand their role and they also understand my role. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen my celebration wall full of Post It notes. My kids enjoy being the ones to hang up the Post It’s and it becomes their job in my business to help me put them up, and then also take them down.
They understand when it’s time to help mom in her business, and when it’s time to go do their own thing.
When they feel like they're a part of what you do, they're much more open to listen to your recommendations when you ask them to shut the door because you’re about record a podcast or that you would absolutely love it if they weren't screaming and banging on the door in the background because you’re about to jump on a client call.
Schedule in specific time with them
Schedule in lunch breaks and dedicated time just for them so they know when it's lunchtime and mommy’s not working, they can come and talk to you about their day.
Sometimes we sit down together or sometimes they even come up into my office. We just discuss what's going on with their reading or their goofy video games.
This next one doesn't work for everyone, but I order a lot of DoorDash and GrubHub and that's because I want to get stuff done during the day so we can have evenings together. You guys know I don't really like to cook anyway but I save time by not having to make lunch.
Yes ordering delivery is an expense, and it's an expense that most people maybe don't see the value in, but for me I look at the value of the time that I get back when I'm not cooking lunch.
You don't have to have everything figured out
I have no idea what our schedule is going to be, but I know we’ll figure it out. The awesome thing about being an entrepreneur is that you can schedule the school time when you need to.
Once I have an idea of what's going on for school, I will schedule school time and then I will set my calendar up for clients and my live training’s and all the things I love to do around school.
I’m so lucky that having my assistant working with me a couple of days a week in my home means she can work on business things while I'm doing schooling with the kids.
Give yourself grace
As a parent and as a business owner.
Just do the best that you can do, because that's all you can do. No one is expecting you to have all the answers or be the best teacher — we're all just winging it.
There's a lot of moms in the business space and none of us really know what we're doing. We're all just navigating and trying to figure out what's best for us, our families, our businesses and our unique situations.
Feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram, and just tell me your thoughts on this topic, maybe you have some awesome tips that will also help me in my family too!