Son: Mom, I need help with this science project.
Daughter: Mom, can you do my hair?
Baby: Ba-Ba, wah wah wah
Husband: Babe, can you fix me a plate...I'm starving!
Yes, I am a busy wife, mother of 3 adorable children and entrepreneur! Some days it's manageable, other days it's chaotic and I wish that I could wave a magic wand to make everything run smoothly. But since that's impossible, I have to try my best to keep everything afloat.
When I first heard the phrase mompreneur, I chuckled and thought to myself, FINALLY a defined a title that fully embodies what it's like to juggle so many responsibilities as an entrepreneur with children. I mean, have you thought about it? Imagine having children...especially small children who are completely dependent on your every move, while trying to run and manage a fully functional (and profitable) business. Let's run down a typical day of daycare/school aged children:
Morning: Repeatedly shout GET UP, shower, brush teeth, serve breakfast, hurry out the door.
Afternoon and Evening: 2-3 hours of homework, cook dinner, spend quality time (watch tv, discuss their day, etc), shower then bed.
So technically, from the time of their departure until the time that I have to pick them up from school, I literally only have about 5-6 hours to put on my creative thinking cap, read, respond to potential or existing clients, network, complete household chores and run errands. However, this list is not exhaustive as it only includes the role of a mother!
Now what about my husband? I always feel this extreme guilt to have the house squeaky clean, all of the laundry and dry cleaning done and a hot meal ready upon his arrival all while looking my best. *Blank stare* I will admit, that I sometimes fail in performing my “wifely duties” and he is somewhat the “sacrificial lamb” in this whole entrepreneurial venture which makes me sad. I often find myself apologizing or rushing to get the household chores done about 30 minutes before he gets home. But through it all, he has been an amazing support system and keeps me sane.
As a wife and Mompreneur, you tend to spread yourself thin trying to do everything and help everyone but it becomes unbearable at times. You want to feel accomplished and push yourself with "You can do this" type of chants all while drowning in at least 10 cups of coffee. S T O P…I had to tell myself this…as an entrepreneur, it is important that you prioritize your health, mental stability and appearance because these are the building blocks for running a successful business. Ironically, I always advise my clients to be cautious with taking on too much because it can leave them overwhelmed or overworked which will eventually affect their families and the work that they produce. You don’t want to under deliver in your career.
When I realized that I had a problem balancing work and life, I began to research programs and events that would assist me in addressing this issue. Yesterday, I attended a Worthy Women’s Entrepreneurial Seminar Series and the topic was Avoiding Burnout. The speaker, LaTia McNeely-Sandiford, MSW, discussed life as an entrepreneur and shared techniques to help simplify my life by creating a system that incorporates the me and my family into the business in order to build a strong support team. LaTia also discussed the importance of keeping a schedule by identifying, writing down, and daily routine tasks so that I can be more efficient throughout my day. I left her seminar feeling reprogrammed and rejuvenated. You can find out more about her organization and Worth Women’s Network by visiting her site here.
Whether you are a mompreneur, entrepreneur or work for an organization, avoid the burnout of working yourself into the ground. Take a step back, analyze, prioritize, commit and start over again.
WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER!