Whether you’re a brand new mom or your kids are already getting big, you’re probably running from one thing to the next–without much time to stop and catch your breath.
Sometimes childcare isn’t enough. If you’re an ambitious entrepreneur and a mom, you’ll have to find time to balance both.
So is it possible? Can you handle a business while staying at home with the kids?
It might not be easy to build a successful home business while balancing household duties and growing families, but it’s definitely not impossible. Like any other business venture, you need to generate a business that’s both profitable and enjoyable–all while managing your home life.
Here are some tips for running a business with your hectic schedule as a mom–so you can have the best of both worlds.
10 Tips for Running a Successful Home Business As a Busy Mom
It’s challenging to build a successful home-based business–especially when you’ve got a house to manage and kids to raise. But with the right amount of planning, determination, and time management, you can be a great businesswoman and a mother. No sacrifices required.
Let’s take a look at some tips you can use to manage the responsibility of being a mom in business.
1. Make Your Home Into a Corporate Office
The first step towards building a business out of your home is taking it just as seriously as you would any other job.
When you work in a corporate office or you have an office job, you come into work every day with specific goals to accomplish before the end of the day. The same thing applies when you’re working from home.
Set aside a home office and treat it like your official workplace. This means having a desk, an office chair, a well-organized space, and no distractions.
Once you’re in this office, have a schedule and a to-do list just like you would in the workplace.
In this case, you’re not working for a boss–you are the boss. So you need to hold yourself accountable for being productive and sticking to the schedule.
2. It’s Okay to Say “No”
As a mom, you probably say no to your kids all the time: staying up late, eating more dessert, or playing an hour more of video games.
You have to take that same attitude to your business too. There might be more pressure to say yes all the time, but if you take on everything on your plate, you’ll be busy from morning until night.
You need time for your family–and you need time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no or push back meetings or ideas that you don’t have time for.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Set Boundaries
As a busy, working mother, you already have a lot on your plate. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries on what you’re willing and able to do.
If you have a spouse or significant other, talk to them about how to divide the load for household chores or childcare duties. Women do an average of 60% more household chores than men, and mothers are often expected to carry the brunt of the housework.
Even if you’re working from home, it’s still a job, and you still deserve to be taken seriously for your work.
Be sure that childcare and chores are divided evenly among those in the household–including spouses, significant others, older children, or other able family members.
4. Get Outside When You Can
While it’s important to have an at home office that you can count on, don’t keep yourself trapped indoors all day.
Not only is it bad for your health, but you’ll be more likely to get distracted or become stressed while you work. Try getting out of the house and working in a local coffee shop or the library. You could even attend business networking events when you can–especially if there are ones for working women or moms in your area.
Don’t isolate yourself indoors. Whenever you have the chance to get out of the house–leaving kids with a spouse, relative, or sitter of course–it can be good for you to work in a different environment.
5. Find an Online Community
Working at home alone can often feel isolating. Know that you’re not alone–and you’re not the only mom out there handling the responsibility of a business.
Try to connect with other moms in business and entrepreneurs online. You can search Linkedin, online forums, or social media for “working moms” or “business moms.”
Not only will this give you a network for support, but it also lets you meet and bond with other moms who have the same things on their plate. You can share tips, advice, resources, and inspiration with other women devoted to motherhood and their personal businesses.
6. Keep Yourself Healthy
It’s hard enough to balance childcare and a career–it’ll be a lot harder if you’re sick. Take care of yourself and try your best to stay healthy.
Exercise daily or a few times a week if you can, drink water throughout the day, get 8 hours of sleep a night, and make sure you’re eating well. You can try taking vitamins or supplements if you feel like you’re not getting enough from your diet–or if you find yourself feeling sluggish or tired.
When you do find yourself getting sick, don’t be afraid to take time off. Try to get a family member or a sitter to care for the kids, and keep your work minimal, if at all. You need the time and the rest to recover fully–so you can be back at work again as soon as possible.
7. Set Aside Time for Yourself
When you have kids, sometimes it can feel like it’s all about them. And it is! But it’s also about you.
Your health and well being are just as important. After all, you can’t take care of your family if you’re not taking good care of yourself.
If you push yourself too hard, you, your kids, and your work might suffer. When you’re working from home, it can feel like the work never stops.
Take at least one day off each week. On that day, don’t check your work email, don’t answer the phone, and try not to worry about what’s usually on your mind. If you want a break from childcare duties too, ask your partner or a relative–or hire a sitter to help you out on that day if you can.
8. Treat It Like a “Real” Business
When it comes to home businesses (especially for working moms) there’s a stigma of it not being “real” work.
Sometimes this myth comes from others, but oftentimes it’s perpetuated by home business owners themselves. The confidence needs to come from you. You run a real, serious, honest business–so treat it like one!
Invest in a professional looking office, website, and business structure to make sure that you’re not sabotaging your own success. Your business deserves to be taken seriously–and you do too.
You should also be investing in business tools, like time tracking programs, collaboration apps, and online postage. With Certified Mail Labels, you can skip the trip to the post office and send mail 24/7, every day of the year.
9. Draw a Line Between Your Jobs
For the sake of your kids as well as your business, it’s important to draw a line separating your work and motherhood.
Whenever you’re with your kids, be present and give them your full attention. They can usually tell if you’re checking your work email or making business calls while you’re supposed to be spending time with them.
In the same way, be present when you’ve dedicated time to work. During working hours, put all your attention towards the work at hand, and let people others know that you won’t be available for other things–just like in a regular office.
This promotes efficiency in both areas–business and motherhood–and it will keep your lives from bleeding into each other and affecting your relationship with your kids.
10. Fight Off the Feelings of Guilt
As a mom, you’re likely to deal with some kind of guilt. A quarter of working moms cry once a week–both from the stress and the guilt. These feelings came come from choosing to work instead of caring for your kids full time, taking a moment for yourself to relax, and just about everything in between.
It’s important that you try to avoid any feelings of guilt. Remind yourself that there’s nothing wrong with supporting your family–both financially and as a stay at home mother. You deserve to live the life that you want to live, even if it’s challenging.
Moms in business can do it all, but they’re also still human. You need to take some time to rest and recuperate.
Putting It All Together
Being a mom and running a business is like having two full-time jobs. It isn’t always easy to balance a successful home business with caring for your household.
But you’re not an ordinary mom–you’re a working mother. You deserve to have the best of both worlds without sacrificing your well being.
With the right mindset, good time management, and a lot of hard work, you can build a successful home based business without giving up the time to be a great mother too.
Looking for more tips and tricks to survive your time as a working mom? Check out more working from home advice on our blog!